Flavours that are up-and-coming and emerging are underpinned by inspiration from global cuisines and heirloom recipes, while consumers remain motivated by authenticity, comfort, and a desire to meet sustainability and nutrition goals.
Kerry has predicted that flavours inspired by heirloom recipes, across generations of tradition globally, will drive food and beverage innovation in 2023. These insights are contained in the company’s annual taste and nutrition charts, providing an in-depth analysis of flavours, ingredients and nutrition trends shaping innovation in the coming year.
Taste remains the top driver when it comes to food and beverage choices and in the coming year consumers will be motivated by simplicity, sustainability and meeting their nutrition goals. Nonetheless, there will be a rise in unconventional flavour pairings such as sriracha ginger citrusade. The spiciness of ginger and chilli heat add different dimensions to the flavour. Across Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa, we see a strong interest in provenance, functional ingredients and flavours that tell a story.
Top insights for flavour innovation in 2023
- There will be a resurgence in age old cooking practices and heirloom recipes as consumers place more importance on tradition and provenance. Ingredients such as nutmeg, ashwagandha, Indian gooseberry and ancient grains are finding a new home across snack and beverage applications.
- Indulgence will take on a new meaning, with younger consumers in particular seeking mashups of familiar food and drinks that they grew up consuming combined with emerging new flavour tonalities. This trend is augmented by the influence of social media channels such as TikTok and Instagram.
- There will be a hunger for unconventional combinations of traditional ingredients and emerging taste profiles from other regions, such as black sesame crusted meats, sriracha-spiced cocktails, green tahini, saffron and curry aioli, and a thirst for healthier beverages with functional ingredients such as ashwagandha.
- In addition, consumers will be seeking value in 2023 as inflation hits home, but they will still gravitate towards products that allow permissible indulgence, still seeking simple flavours like cheddar cheese, caramel, and fudge across nostalgic favourites like cookies and salty snacks.
Harsch Koshti, regional taste expert for Kerry Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, said: “More and more consumers are moving towards functionality and simplicity. This includes flavours that convey a halo of health, be it added functional ingredients or flavours that imply improved wellness. Health continues to be important, as seen in the rise of healthier snacking options, with less sodium and more protein-based launches. Even the Bakery segment is witnessing offerings with reduced sugar claims across key markets.”
Commenting on these taste trends, Soumya Nair, global consumer research and insights director at Kerry, said: “Flavours have a powerful way to convey a story — particularly when it comes to consumer trends and preferences. This year we will witness the resurgence of time-honoured traditions and heirloom recipes as consumers crave traditional tastes with new and emerging flavours. Comfort still reigns supreme with peppermint, hazelnut, chocolate, cheese, chilli still dominating tastebuds. Whether a nostalgic treat, a comfort dish, or a healthy alternative consumers expect a greater variety of tastes in 2023.
“Through our in-depth research and insights from our teams across the globe, we are seeing how trends are travelling the world with Asian flavours such as Cardamom, Japanese Miso, Gooseberry and Hawthorn, reaching Europe and North America; while popular dishes in Europe such as Moroccan Tahini and Italian Bolognaise inspiring innovation in Asia-Pacific. Consumers are travelling the world through taste and we expect that interest and desire in authenticity to continue.”