T. Hasegawa Report: 2022 Food and Beverage Flavor Trends

The report highlights flavor trends, including exciting snack flavors, functional beverages, twists on traditional flavors and more.
The report highlights flavor trends, including exciting snack flavors, functional beverages, twists on traditional flavors and more.

T. Hasegawa USA has recently released a report on the top five food and beverage ingredient trends for 2022.

Related: T. Hasegawa USA Savory Flavor Chemist Louise Bone to Retire

Highlights include:

Top Five Food/Beverage Ingredient Trends for 2022

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Hydration
  • Energy-boosting
  • Mental health
  • Taste-over-function

Top Overall Consumer Food/Beverage Trends of 2022

  • Bioavailability of nutrients
  • Upcycling
  • Gut health
  • Clean label alternatives
  • Co-branding
  • Escapism flavors
  • Plant forward
  • Mexican comfort food
  • Classics with a twist

Highlights – 2022 Food/Beverage Trends

  • “Permissible indulgence” in the form of desserts and confections which offer a new twist on traditional favorites. Unique flavors are still the key driver in the dessert category, with 67% of consumers in a recent study citing flavor as a key attribute for sweet baked goods, and 72% citing flavor as important for ice cream and frozen treats. Tropical fruit flavors like pineapple, mango and guava are also growing in popularity.
  • Adventurous and exciting flavors are driving product innovation in snack foods. One growing trend is the rise of charcuterie board flavors, such as prosciutto, mortadella, soppressata, calabrese and others.
  • Consumers tap into their nostalgia for international travel through snacking. More than 28% of consumers in a recent poll said they would like to try snacks that are popular in other countries or regions (including Latin America, Asia and the Middle East). Some of the trending international flavors for 2022 include goji berry, curry, guajillo chili, kimchi, baobab, maca and many others.
  • Broadening interest in Latin American cuisine. While 61% of U.S. consumers feel that Latin American foods have a variety of flavors, consumer experience is largely limited to Mexican cuisine, which opens the door for foods from other Latin American countries.
  • Adding excitement to proteins and meat alternatives through complex flavor. More than 57% of consumers are looking for unique flavors to make everyday proteins exciting, with spicy flavors like harissa, chimichurri and Cajun are growing as a popular option for plant-based meat alternatives.
  • Prepared meals are helping consumers explore new flavors in the kitchen. More than 65% of U.S. adults say a prepared meal is a great way to try international cuisine, such as Ethiopian, Indian, Thai or Korean.
  • Flavor and function are driving beverage innovation. Layering in features like compelling flavors, carbonation and functionality with ingredient improvements will help drive consumer beverage purchases.
  • Sophisticated cocktail-inspired flavors are adding excitement to the non-alcoholic beverage category. Flavors like burnt lemon, charred lemon zest, lemongrass and Meyer lemon are growing in popularity.
  • The impressive growth of hibiscus as a beverage flavor. Over the last three years, hibiscus has grown 24% in menu incidence as a flavor and 65% as an ingredient.
  • Sports nutrition beverages are branching out into bold new flavors. The sports nutrition beverage category is seeing a rise in fruity flavors such as rainbow sherbet, blood orange yuzu, sour gummy, rocket pop, salted watermelon and more.

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