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Sunday Musings: Predicting 2022 Tastes In Flavours

A little odd-sounding, you say? Well… That just seemed the best way to say it in a limited headline space – and achieve an attention-getting turn of phrase. The gist of it is, Kerry Group, a leading provider of ‘food and nutrition solutions’, has released its flavour trend predictions for 2022…

Lavender Chocolate Cups - countryhillcottage.comChocolate and lavender: Old friends due for a reunion in 2022?

Kerry provides a bounty of statistical intelligence each year, based on its sales of food ingredients and flavourings, and feedback from its food-manufacturer customers, about trends in the industry. The accumulated wisdom is anaslysed, and published in a series of reports. Kerry’s Global Taste Charts for 2022 have just been released, and there are some interesting points to ponder.

The report concludes: “[Flavours] such as Neapolitan, apple fritter, ruby chocolate, brown sugar and pistachio are emerging across food and beverage categories, introducing more complex flavour profiles into consumers’ preferred products. […] Meanwhile, with an increasing focus on gut health, immune support and emotional well-being consumers are looking for better-for-you food and beverages that make them feel they’re taking an active role in their own future health. As always, taste is leading the way, with acai, sea buckthorn, cider vinegar, cinnamon, maple and cranberry some of the flavourful ingredients […] consumers are embracing.”

Sustainability and healthiness coming to the fore

Concerns about sustainability are definitely affecting consumers’ choices, as are concerns about metabolic and cardio health. Not to mention the continuing COVID19 pandemic.

Global consumer research and insights director at Kerry, Soumya Nair, says, “The COVID-19 pandemic has affected consumers on a deeply emotional level, changing consumers’ priorities and perceptions about health and wellness. This has certainly impacted their overall food and beverage preferences, challenging innovators to create new tastes that surprise and delight consumers and drive new product development and innovation successes.”

‘Authentic’ flavours will rule

“[I]n the current travel-deprived marketplace, people want to travel through their tastebuds with authentic Asian and Indian flavours set to make a bold comeback in emerging foods and drinks. While consumers turn to familiar favourites, this year we will see an increased hunger for new experiences and thrilling new flavours.”

An element of surprise

“While consumers turn to familiar favourites, this year we will see an increased hunger for new experiences and thrilling new flavours. We will see consumers seeking an element of surprise from traditional formats, as well as comfort brands can appeal to this desire for novelty by pairing emerging and up-and-coming flavours with old classics.” The report suggests pairings such as chocolate and lavender, or beer blended with kombucha and sage.”

Oh, yah?

My take

I don’t see me – much less a majority of my fellow Canadians (or Americans or Brits, for that matter) – following the more exotic trends the Kerry Report predicts. But I do respect Kerry’s statistical science and the large database from which it has drawn its conclusions. And I agree that folks will be craving more-authentic flavours, and that consumers are more aware now than, say, 5 years ago, of the sustainability and health issues underlying all their food choices.

One thing I am adamant about: Don’t fool around with my beer!

Muse on that!

~ Maggie J.