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SIAL Shanghai|Global Flavor Trends for 2024 will Excite Consumers and Manufacturers

2024.03.28

SIAL Shanghai foresees five top global flavor trends that will strongly impact the packaged foods market: Floral Fascination, Indulge in Imagination, Vintage Vibes and Modern Bites, Local Delights, and Savor the Contrast.

Floral Fascination Shows the Shift Toward Wellness and Sustainability Trends

Floral flavors, including chamomile, honeysuckle, and rose, are in the lead as the fastest-growing botanical flavor trends in packaged foods, followed by herbs and then spices and seeds. Close to half of consumers from around the globe who were surveyed by Innova market Insights say that healthy flavors and flavors associated with better-for-you food and beverage features influence their food and beverage choices most. An even higher percentage of consumers perceive that products in the food and beverage market with herbal or floral botanical flavors are good for their health. Consumers also think that innovative products with both floral flavors and functional ingredients boost holistic wellness.  Floral flavors align seamlessly and naturally with health as well as sustainability. Two out of three consumers surveyed globally perceive that botanical flavor ingredients are generally more sustainable.

Indulge in Imagination Highlights Fantasy Flavor Trends

Average annual growth of new food and beverage launches associated with fantasy flavor trends is 23% over the past three years. This is led by rainbow flavors, that is, products featuring a number of different flavors. Younger generations tell Innova that they crave unique flavor profiles that tantalize their palate, with one in three Millennial and Generation Z consumers looking for new flavors, unique flavors, and different flavors in food and beverage. Technology helps companies to innovate around flavor. The global leader Coca-Cola, for example, uses AI to create futuristic flavors and taste trends to allow consumers to “taste the future.”

Flavor Trends in Vintage Vibes and Modern Bites

The Vintage Vibes and Modern Bites trend captures the combination of traditional flavors and more contemporary flavor interpretations. Nearly half of consumers favor the familiar, saying that traditional flavors and nostalgic flavors most influence their food and beverage choices. Consumers also are rediscovering comfort in familiar classic flavors with contemporary twists such as rainbow sherbet in push-up pops and Buffalo chicken on pizza. Sports nutrition is the fastest growing category that has nostalgic flavors. As part of food trends in the US, US sports and active nutrition company 1440 Foods introduced two nostalgic flavors – brownie and caramel churro – to its Pure Protein range of protein bars, ready-to-drink beverages and savory snacks. Other fastest-growing categories with nostalgic claims include meat substitutes; hot drinks; meat, fish, and eggs; and cereal. New flavor trends and taste trends can help consumers rediscover the past in a whole new way with products like snacks stuffed with a pizza-like filling and non-alcoholic mixers in traditional alcohol flavors.

Regional Delights are Driven by Cravings and Curiosity

Consumers are excited for diverse global flavor trends found in specific regions and dishes. Two-thirds report that they are open to trying new global cuisines. This is an evolution from Innova’s 2021 trend – Traveling Through My Food. Local flavor trends drive culinary innovation in packaged foods across global markets, for example, Indian-style chicken in Norway and New York-style cheesecake in India. In the US, Culinary Destination Limited Time Filipino Inspired Pork Adobo describes its product as “classic Filipino comfort food in a bowl. In the past, Filipino cuisine has been underrated, but variations of this soulful dish braised in soy sauce and vinegar is on trendy restaurant menus all over the nation.” Consumers also would like to see both local cuisines from their region and local cuisines from other regions when ordering a meal. Half of consumers like products in supermarkets and online stores that have been inspired by street food trends. In US food market trends, for example, Kellogg’s Eggo Grab and Go Liege-Style Vanilla Bean Waffles are inspired by classic Belgian-style street food.

Consumers Savor the Contrast Between Sweet Flavors and Savory Flavors

The trend “Savor the Contrast” describes how companies are harmonizing sweet and savory notes in one culinary experience. As part of US food trends, French’s Mustard released limited edition Mustard Skittles that combines sweet flavors and savory flavors. Flavor fusions give new life to classic indulgent foods such as ice cream with whiskey and pecan pralines or with chicken and waffles for sweet flavors and savory flavors plus creamy texture and crunchy texture.

SIAL Shanghai believes that the new year brings new excitement in flavors, and flavor trends add excitement to the food and beverage market.

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