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Unusual hybrids, authentic ethnic cuisine drive 2019 flavor trends

Ethnic flavors trending in 2019
The search for something new, different and exciting is leading flavor developments in food and beverage, supported by an ongoing interest in natural, clean label and healthier options.

Innova Market Insights recently released its top flavor trends for 2019 most likely to impact the food and beverage development over the coming year and beyond.

New discoveries: Consumers are on a journey of discovery, moving out of their comfort zones to explore new food experiences, with flavor playing a major part in that. This is illustrated by the fact that two out of three U.S. respondents in an Innova Market Insights survey agreed with a statement that they love to discover new flavors.

Sensational concepts: Brands are leaning toward more remarkable and unusual flavor hybrids, as well as stronger taste experiences (hot, sweet, savory, etc.), while sour options also are surging in popularity.

Sophisticated touch: Established flavors perceived to be dull are being reinvented, often in much more complex and sophisticated combinations. Globally, an aging population is driving the demand for more adult-oriented options, with traditional coffee flavor, for example, increasingly giving way to more upmarket, added-value and on-trend options, such as Cold Brew Caramel Latte, in a whole range of food and beverage products.

Cultural celebration: Southeast Asian, East Asian, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors are more in evidence in traditional and familiar Western snacks, beverages, and ready-to-eat (RTE) meals. This demand for authentic-style ethnic alternatives focuses not just on flavor, but also recipes and even product/ingredients origins/provenance.

Fifth dimension: Western awareness of umami remains low, but the rising demand for exotic flavors and convenient home cooking is driving growth of launches with an umami claim. Conversely, umami is well-established and understood in the East, but the recent focus on mindful food choices and the demand for clean and healthy products has driven the use of ingredients with a natural source of umami taste.

The other top trends identified by Innova Market Insights include Bitter is Back, Botanicals Branch Out, Fruitful Favorites, Functionally Flavorful, and Flavor Connections.

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