Food, drink flavor trends this year cited

Market intelligence company Mintel has listed four food and drink flavor trends this year, with consumers continuing opting for natural and functional ingredients that can help them to achieve a broad range of health goals.

Inspired by nature, Mintel said natural and flavorsome ingredients will shine stars across food and drink categories, offering health benefits and sophisticated and indulgent flavor profiles.

It cited 76 percent of United States adults agree that natural ingredients offer more functional benefits than artificial ones, while 41 percent of United Kingdom consumers trust supplements based on ‘ancient wisdom’ such as herbal supplements.

“Consumer interest in botanical flavors such as flowers has grown mainly due to their appeal as natural ingredients,” it said in a report published by the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau.

“However, regardless of the perceived benefits of consuming functional formulations, the flavor of products remains a key purchase driver,” it added.

Mintel said other trends include “Bold experiences”, “Taste of the world,” and “Extraordinary classic.”

To stand out, it advised brands to adopt unusual tactics, especially if they can create an interesting experience for the consumer.

Many consumers constantly seek new tastes, flavors or textures that bring joy and fun and offer new and interesting experiences, it said.

“Dialing up the intensity of flavors and playing with bold and unusual flavor combinations can offer brands a fresh and different range of possibilities,” it added.

The report said world cuisine flavors continue to offer consumers elevated taste experiences at home.

“To further enhance the sensory experience of food, brands have an opportunity to combine ingredients from different regions in a single product to offer exclusive experiences,” it said.

Mintel said the incorporation of unique or unusual flavor combinations from different world cuisines “goes a long way” in creating engagement and enhancing consumers’ experiences.

As consumers enjoy food and drink products that remind them of their past, brands should link outstanding flavor properties with health benefits, familiarity and fun moments.

The report said they can offer new takes on classic flavors and transport consumers’ senses to the past, offering comfort and dreamy or sentimental memories and moments.

“The desire for comfort and familiarity remains strong and an element of nostalgia continues to be a powerful purchasing factor,” it added.

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