Global flavour landscape: Kerry releases 2019 report on worldwide food and beverage trends

17 June 2019

Flavour food trends

Across the industry, daring new taste profiles are capturing the attention of adventurous consumers – with cocktail flavours making a crossover into mainstream consumer goods, and charred, burnt, smoked, caramelized and blackened flavours adding new dimensions to traditional foods. This is according to Kerry Group’s recently released 2019 Global Taste Trends, which may be leveraged by manufacturers and formulators for new food and beverage concept inspiration, pulling in key cross-regional taste influences from around the world.

The trends list showcases key macro flavour trends and how they are evolving across the globe – from market inception to mainstream establishment. In total, the company outlines six trends found throughout the US, Canada, Europe, Mexico, Brazil and APMEA (Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa) regions.

“As trends shift in the food and beverage industry, our customers turn to Kerry for our global taste expertise and concept inspiration,” says Soumya Nair, Director of Marketing Insights for Kerry North America. “While working on a new product, we make sure we’re meeting consumer demand for on-trend, innovative taste experiences that go beyond flavour by incorporating global taste trends, visual impact and functional benefits in food and beverage applications.”

FoodIngredientsFirst has reached out to Kerry Group to discuss future directions of Taste Charts.


Consumers today seek adventurous and health-associated flavours

Ginger, according to 2019 Global Taste Trends,  has experienced “remarkable growth” over the past five to 10 years, from being a seasonal, festive Christmas flavour (gingerbread, gingersnaps in cookies, cakes, etc.) to evolving into a seasonal coffee beverage flavour at cafés. In the last few years, Kerry notes ginger has maintained a steady growth pattern beyond seasonality, as it gained a “health” connotation perceived as a “better for you” ingredient seen in products beyond coffee (sparkling water, kombucha, smoothies, etc.). The rise in popularity of authentic ethnic cuisine has also driven the growth of ginger as a culinary, savoury flavour on restaurant menus and retail products.

A rise in consumer fascination in floral flavours, particularly in drinkable yoghurt and clean label sports drinks, was also indicated in the report. Consumer focus is shifting to products sourced from natural ingredients, which have connotations of health and freshness. Boasting vibrant colours and a playful appeal, floral trends are noted as evoking “Instagrammable visuals” as well as healthy halos to support wellbeing and beauty trends.

More culturally diverse flavour trends are cropping up in spicy seasonings, with African Piri Piri sauce and Korean Gochujang heating up the space, the company notes. Piri Piri has enjoyed a CAGR of 120 percent in retail in the last two years, while Gochujuang-seasoned offerings have expanded by 400 percent.

In the “eat yourself well” segment, the consumer-percieved gap between food, supplements and medicine is said to be narrowing. Notable examples of such products offering optimal nutritional functionality are ginger-infused beverages, which have seen a rise of 197 percent growth (CAGR) in the past two years. In addition, bone broth emerges as an increasingly popular item, attracting 42 percent of millennials who associate collagen as a key ingredient in supporting brain health, which is a key nutritional attractor.

The notion of “food as medicine” was brought to the fore at the Vitafoods Europe 2019 nutraceutical trade show, which has evolved as of late to feature more traditional food ingredients suppliers (including Kerry). “The whole advent of functional foods is growing very strongly and people have a bit of pill fatigue. We see that trend growing very strongly, particularly in the North American market, but also in Europe,” Albert McQuaid, Global Chief Technology Officer at Kerry Taste & Nutrition, told FoodIngredientsFirst’s sister platform NutritionInsight at the event.

Related to the functional foods space, the market for fermented food products is robustly expanding, with probiotics rising as the number one ingredient consumers associate with gut health and the second associated ingredient with immune health. As such, a proliferation of blended products have been noted – “komboothies” (kombucha smoothies), playing into kombucha’s growth by US$233 million (CAGR) in retail over the last two years, and a tikka masala probiotic pita cracker, as listed examples.

Lastly, in adventurous offerings, Kerry remarks that cocktail flavours are making a crossover into the food and beverage industry, with the emergence of “Gin-spired coffee” and bourbon-flavored items. Moreover, an evolution of flavours that reflect cooking processes is highlighted with profiles such as charred, burnt, smoked, caramelized and blackened being brought into non-traditional ingredients and products for complex taste sensations and visual impact. Within this sphere, the report features “smoky mocha high-protein ice cream” and “smoked cherry nitro coffee” appealing to the 70 percent of consumers with expressed “adventurous taste buds.” In the same vein, market researcher Innova Market Insights tips food discovery by the adventurous consumer as the top flavour trend for 2019.

Published by FoodIngredientsFirst on June 6, 2019

Image from Shutterstock


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