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When predicting trends in the food and beverage industry, paying attention to consumer wants, needs, and behavour is key. Regina Maiseviciute-Haydon from Mintel, an expert on this topic, leads us through four trends that look set to drive food and beverage flavour innovation.
The pandemic has re-shaped how consumers approach both physical and mental health. This has led to flavours and ingredients associated with wellness being very sought after as consumers are focused on boosting energy or relaxing to improve their mood. Particularly pertinent are ingredients, such as citrus, that support the immune system.
Another trend shaped by the experience of the pandemic is the pursuit of pleasure and escapism. This paves the way to create memorable brand experiences through indulgent and unusual flavour combinations, or through limited edition products. Since moderation is important with indulgent products, we are seeing the emergence of a new trend that marries indulgence and wellbeing called ‘mindful indulgence’.
Crafting brand experiences is a huge area of opportunity when considering flavour trends. Experiences not only help with consumer satisfaction, but they can also provide marketing opportunities through user-generated content. A popular trend is to engage all the senses. Introducing flavours from other countries or cultures that may be unfamiliar to consumers is a great way to engage the senses, but it is important to remember consumer demand for transparency and most importantly, authenticity.
Finally, a powerful driver of flavour is the comfort of the familiar. Many brands have successfully tapped into the nostalgia of flavours and ingredients to provide consumers with products that are comforting during uncertain times. To maintain interest, adding an unexpected twist to familiar flavours proves popular, and extending to other groups beyond millennials opens up many opportunities.
We are at an exciting moment in the arena of flavour trends and innovations. The pandemic has had a huge influence on consumer behaviour which has driven certain trends forward. For a full picture of the possibilities in this area, watch the informative and inspiring webinar with Regina Maiseviciute-Haydon.