The tastes forecast to trend in 2019
Flavors associated with health, nature, adventure and nostalgia are slated to trend in 2019. The flavors identified by developers and marketers capture trending tastes, but also the mood of the U.S. consumer.
“Food as medicine is a concept well-established and practiced in the east in countries like India and China for centuries,” said Keera Perumbala, a marketing associate for sweet and beverage flavors at Sensient Technologies, Milwaukee. “In North America, however, this is a rapidly growing trend for the past few years, as lack of trust in big pharma is driving more people to buy into it. There are many products focused on helping consumers de-stress, energize or tackle a plethora of other common symptoms of the modern life. Some botanical herbs and flavors are naturally poised to be positioned as such.”
Ms. Perumbala added that during the past decade the market has seen an increased focus on health and wellness dictating consumers’ lifestyle choices, particularly where it includes food and beverage.
“This is reflective in the increased discussion around gut health and the number of products with probiotics, rise in the popularity and use of ingredients such as turmeric, ginger and other adaptogens such as ginseng or tulsi,” she said.
The world is getting smaller
The spirit of flavor adventure will remain a trend in 2019, said Roger Lane, manager of savory flavors for Sensient Technologies.
“I think the interest in global flavors will continue into 2019 and beyond,” he said. “Consumers are simply too tuned-in to what’s happening around the world for continued exploration not to happen. Some of the more commonplace flavors and regions are certainly losing popularity, but they’re being replaced by hyper-regional versions. For example, Asian flavors have been around for ages, but we’re seeing interest in Macanese cuisine surge. It’s the perfect fusion food as it combines influences from South America, Europe and Asia.”
Mr. Lane added that while consumers love to try new flavors and explore new cuisines, they do like a touch of the classic to be included to make it a bit more familiar.
“For example, Middle Eastern cuisine is blowing up, and the flavors themselves are actually fairly familiar, but taking those flavors and combining them with something like mayonnaise or ranch makes them more accessible to consumers,” he said. “Combining these cuisines with a format familiar to consumers can also be helpful. Why not create a Korean-style burrito using ingredients found in typical Korean fare, but wrapped in a tortilla for a format everyone knows?”