Consumers are increasingly captivated by the stories behind products and brands, and flavors have a key role to play in this, making Storytelling the first of Innova Market Insights’ Top Ten Flavor Trends for 2020. Other important trends include the rise in plant-based alternatives, wellness associations, macronutrient influences and flavors supporting textural developments.
Innova Market Insights Top Five Flavor Trends for 2020 are:
Increased consumer interest in the origin of their food and beverage products is resulting in ingredient provenance proving its worth as a key element of brand storytelling. Over 40% of global consumers wanted to know the story around a brand because they wanted to learn where the ingredients were from, according to an Innova Market Insights survey. Storytelling strategies include a focus on authentic tastes, flavors and recipes, as well as uniqueness through ingredient provenance and artisan/small batch processing.
2. The Power of Plants
The use of plant ingredients and plant-based recipes is soaring across a range of food and drinks categories, with an Innova Consumer Survey finding that 3 in 5 global consumers are increasingly incorporating plant ingredients into their diets. Plant ingredients can provide a healthy and colorful touch, with the use of a multitude of vegetable flavors for a healthy halo, including on-trend purple potato as part of the purple vegetables trend.
3. Wellness Flavors
Pursuit of healthier lifestyles is not only driving the plant-based trend, but also the demand for flavors targeting more general wellness, both mental and physical. Botanical flavors are increasingly popular for relaxation, stress reduction and sleep enhancement, featuring ingredients such as lavender, CBD/cannabis and turmeric. Floral flavored drinks increasingly have mood associations, being seen as potentially relaxing or energizing.
4. Macronutrient Challenge
Consumer perceptions of macronutrients in relation to health are also evolving. There is a need to maintain taste profiles while reducing sugar, calorie and/or fat content, with sugar seen as a particular priority. Active ingredients are also impacting product flavors, with high protein options, such as cheese, seeds and nuts, as well as the association of ‘source of vitamins’ claims with fruity flavors.
5. Tapping into Texture
Consumers are increasingly recognizing the influence of texture on eating and drinking experiences, with 7 out of 10 global consumers agreeing that texture makes food and beverages a more interesting experience. Meanwhile, 6 out of 10 said that texture claims influenced their purchasing decisions. As part of this, there is growing interest in flavors that create a richer texture experience, such as honeycomb and toffee, while the industry continues to experiment with nuts in a wide variety of applications, including crunchy flavors and smooth bases.