Tastes that offer novelty, over-the-top indulgence and targeted health benefits are set to drive consumer preference in 2022, according to taste and nutrition company Kerry.
Trends that were accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic have developed and will become more sophisticated in 2022, with consumers seeking new tastes paired with familiar formats and flavours leading to interesting combinations such as beer blended with kombucha and sage or chocolate milkshakes with lavender.
The insights are contained in Kerry’s Global Taste Charts for 2022, which uncovers the flavours and ingredients that are set to inspire food and beverage innovators across North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa in 2022.
In APAC, speculoos − among APAC’s top 20 fastest growing Sweet flavours within the last year and usually seen in bakery − is now emerging across categories in spreads, ice cream and beverages, while unique lemon myrtle citrus is Up & Coming in Beverages (dairy and hot).
Restrictions around movement have also led to consumers travelling the world through their tastebuds, with provenance-based flavours like Sicilian Lemon emerging in Beverages (water and cold) and Japanese Hojicha tea in Up & Coming under Sweet.
BBQ is a leading taste in APAC as consumers seek nostalgic yet experiential flavours, with Korean Bulgogi popular in both salty and savoury snacks. Lechon, satay, yakitori and beechwood smoke are also dominant flavours in savoury snacks in the region. An exciting new concept is smoke in beverages, mostly seen in upscale cafes and bars.
Meanwhile, with an increasing focus on gut health, immune support and emotional wellbeing, consumers are looking for better-for-you food and beverages that make them feel like they are taking an active role in their future health – but also taste great. Local examples of emerging functional ingredients include turmeric leaf and moringa, known for their antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory properties. Oats continue to be a top functional ingredient and almond milk is an emerging alternative ingredient.
Sustainability is another important driver and consumers now seeking ingredients that are responsibly sourced and back by provenance.