Flavorman reveals top drink flavour trends for 2021

Flavours that tingle, comfort and function to dominate the new year.


Beverage development company Flavorman has announced the drink flavour trends to watch for in 2021. Driven by the long-term effects of an on-going pandemic, this year’s forecast is shaping up to be focused on flavours that drive experience in a socially distant landscape.

Flavours that tingle
Burning, cooling, or otherwise tingling their way across consumers’ tongues, drinks with flavours that stimulate sensory experiences are set to become more prominent in the coming year.

Tom Gibson, chief flavourist for Flavorman, explained: “We’ve had a considerable uptick in client requests for flavours that deliver varying degrees and styles of heat, smoke, and spice. But we’ve also seen an increase in requests for flavours with that fresh, cooling rush you’d get from chewing a stick of mint gum.”

Flavours like Ancho chile, habanero, and Indian peppercorn are expected to make their way into applications like ready-to-drink cocktails to tea and lemonade. Meanwhile, menthol-heavy pairings – such as peppermint-mocha cream and lemon-coconut eucalyptus – will contribute a cooling element to seltzers, premium coffee, juice drinks and more.

Flavours that comfort
The need for comfort has taken on a new meaning within the current social and political climate, but flavours continue to provide a soothing constant. Staples like grapefruit, lemon, and lime will continue to be popular; but there is an opportunity to elevate these familiar profiles by grounding them in specific locations of interest.

Kristen Wemer, director of beverage development at Flavorman, elaborated: “Tracing flavours to a specific region creates a transportive experience that helps differentiate an otherwise standard flavour. As the market continues to saturate with the usual essentials, consumers can expect more diversity and premiumisation varietals of familiar flavours.”

Delivering on consumer cravings for nostalgia and indulgence, 2021 will also see the return of classic favourites but in unexpected, more sophisticated forms.

“When you think about childhood flavours reimagined for premium applications, you get something like a smokey vanilla cold brew, bubble gum seltzer, or a fruit punch gin cocktail,” Wemer continued. “We’re experiencing a renaissance of these nostalgic flavours – peanut butter, orange creamsicle, grape cotton candy – in concepts like hard coffee, energy drinks and craft soda.”

Flavours that function
In 2020, Flavorman introduced the concept of functional plus – those beverages that provide consumers with a multitude of health and wellness benefits. As the world grapples with a global pandemic, consumers have found ways to take their health into their own hands.

Beverages that offer immunity, cognitive, and mood-enhancing benefits will be significant. Expect fragrant flavours like hibiscus, elderflower, and orange blossom to be combined with other berry, botanical, and citrus elements to emphasise functional ingredient blends in naturally positioned teas, enhanced waters, flavoured kombucha, and more.


This article is provided by Flavorman.