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.