Top food insights have revealed a massive upsurge in new flavor trends across 2020 and 2021. A majority of these consumer preferences have emerged as a direct impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now that the worst phase of the pandemic is behind us, 2022 will witness an amalgamation of new flavor trends. Some of the most impactful ones will persist for quite some time, while other fads will perish in a while.
Let us take a look at the top 5 flavor trends 2022:-
Therapeutic Flavors will continue to rule.
In conjugation with the fitness and immunity-based food and beverages trend, therapeutic eating and drinking will be in vogue in 2022. As opposed to the high-indulgence, rich, and exotic food flavors that were popular before the onset of Covid-19, we are witnessing a stable trend of clean eating and balanced flavors. The Oriental focus on balancing tastes like sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and pungent is being embraced by the West. Wellness-invoking, soothing flavors like turmeric, rock salt, ginseng, and lemongrass are being strongly opted for by the modern-day, health-conscious consumer.
Dark Chocolate and healthy chocolate variations are a trend.
Chocolate consumption has been at an all-time high throughout the pandemic-induced shutdowns in 2021 and 2022. Sweet, comforting, and brown dessert flavors have provided much-needed solace to consumers stuck at home. Since healthy consumption is also a parallel trend, the emergence of sugar-free dark chocolate, stevia-sweetened chocolate, sea-salt flavored chocolate, organic, and non-GMO chocolate is being witnessed with great flourish. Furthermore, there is a growing demand for chocolate products with cruelty-free labels and eco-friendly labels.
Fresh, fruity, and citrusy flavors dominate the breakfast aisle
Food insights depict that the focus on Vitamin C consumption during the pandemic has led to a flurry of fortified, fruit-flavored food and beverages. Particularly in the North American market, there has been a massive surge in the consumption of citrusy fruit juices, cereals, smoothies, yogurt, pancake syrup, and so on for breakfast. Apart from Vitamin C, the nutritional enhancements also include vitamin B complex and zinc for overall health and immunity.
Plant-based Flavors and Food overtake Animal-based ones
Year after year, the number of global consumers embracing vegetarianism is increasing. Thus, plant-based earthy, herbal, zesty, and fruity flavors are being preferred over those of animal-sourced ones. This plant-based foods trend has not just sparked a reduction in meat consumption but has also made vegan dairy more popular. So rich cashew and almond flavors are being preferred as compared to conventional dairy products. Food and beverage brands are successfully riding the ‘vegan wave’, which is expected to further intensify in 2022 and beyond.
Local and seasonal flavors triumph over exotic ones.
For the first time in many decades, high-end consumers prefer local and seasonal ingredients over exotic ones. Once again, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic that disrupted both global and national supply chains, consumers were forced to rely on locally sourced, fresh, and seasonal produce for most of 2020 and 2021. To their delight, it was a far more wholesome and nutritious experience as opposed to relying on imported, exotic ingredients. Therefore, a long-lasting effect of the pandemic has been the average consumer’s newfound inclination towards fresh, locally-grown ingredients and flavors.
The flavor trends 2022 list is certainly diverse, intriguing, and noteworthy. What is most relieving for food and beverage start-ups today is that data science has made it very convenient to rely on food and beverage innovation & trend predictions. Data analyst teams are ably guiding brands to capitalize on the right flavor trend at the right time. With the right opportunity and data-led insights, you can profitably cater to the latest consumer tastes with finesse.