For food and beverage businesses today, understanding flavor trends 2022 is paramount. Firstly you get to analyze the trends that have emerged recently- how they came up and why they worked. Once you get a proper sense of what has worked so far, you can get valuable data-driven insights on upcoming flavor trends and consumer tastes.
Here is a snapshot of the top flavor trends that have dominated 2021 so far:-
A Massive Leaning towards Wellness-Invoking Flavors
With a consistent shift towards wellness-inducing food and beverages, the following ‘healthy flavor’ trends have been in vogue in 2021:-
Natural, citrusy flavors (implying vitamin C and antioxidants-rich)
Fruity flavors like Apples, Blueberries, Pomegranates, etc.
Immunity-building Herb-based flavors (Turmeric Flavor, Ginger Flavor, Black Pepper Flavor, And So On)
Fresh Veggie flavors like Spinach, Broccoli, Beetroot, Carrots, etc
Manuka Honey, Green Tea, Chia Seeds, Quinoa Flavors
Craving Authentic Flavor and Taste in Alternative Protein
When we closely examine the alternative protein food trends, the demand for authentic-tasting, plant-based, and sustainable protein sources is increasing for sure. Contrary to popular notion, the recent alternative protein food trends are not singularly focussed on plant-based meat. Apart from vegan meat flavors mimicking the authentic feel of real meat, there is a conscious shift towards adopting native, gut-friendly, healthy, and eco-friendly sources of protein like:-
Natural Fermented product flavors (pre-biotic and pro-biotic) like Miso, Kimchi, Kefir, Tempeh, and Home-Set Yogurt (both mild and intense flavors have been popularized, based on the consumer’s palate)
Fresh flavors of Cruelty-free Dairy Products (sourced from grass-fed cows in a serene, farm environment as opposed to mass insemination and deplorable industrial conditions)
Exotic Flavors of Vegan Dairy Products like Almond Butter, Cashew Cream, Soy Yogurt, and so on
Comforting Flavors are being craved for by Consumers
People have been relying on home-cooked meals more than ever today. They are using ingredients that provide the much-needed feel and flavor of comfort in these turbulent times. These include:-
Candy, Cotton Candy, Marshmallows, and Birthday Cake Flavors (home-baking with childhood nostalgia)
Warm, sweet, and homely flavors like honey, maple syrup, caramel, fudge, and peanut butter
Soothing Flavors like vanilla, lavender, freshly-brewed filter coffee (as opposed to chicory-laden instant coffee), chamomile tea, jasmine tea
Mild, comforting spices like Cinnamon-laced Apple Pies, Pumpkin Pies, Gingerbread, etc
Exotic Home-Baking and Home-Cooking Flavors like Figs, Passion Fruit, Tamarind, Dates, Bergamot, and so on
As enlisted above, both 2021 flavor trends and alternative protein food trends have largely been dictated by the Covid-19 pandemic, along with other factors. Amidst intense competition in the food and beverage industry, your ticket to success is to consistently give customers exactly what they want. Of course, this is a lot harder than it sounds. Taste and flavor trends are often fleeting. By the time you have geared up and brought your product to the shelves, the opportunity window might have passed. With AI-based planning tools and data-led strategies, you can best capitalize on these flavor trends for a higher success probability.