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Blooming botanicals, sensorial tastes and ethnic flavors tipped for success

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2019-01-17  Origin: foodingredientsfirst  Views: 21
Core Tip: Taste & Nutrition company Kerry has launched its annual taste charts for 2019, touting botanicals and ethnic flavors as key themes to watch.
Taste & Nutrition company Kerry has launched its annual taste charts for 2019, touting botanicals and ethnic flavors as key themes to watch. The initiative captures the predictions of emerging flavor trends across food and beverage markets, with a focus on five key categories: savory, snacks, sweets and hot and cold beverages. The projections leverage the expertise of Kerry’s flavorists, baristas and culinary experts, alongside consumer trends and NPD in retail and foodservice.

The 2019 charts predict that as consumers become more familiar with international tastes such as kimchi, wakame and matcha, the new wave of ethnic flavors from regions including Africa are expected to follow. As the desire to travel further and wider across the globe deepens, tastes such as gesho and moringa are beginning to emerge, highlighting the demand for tastes that remind consumers of cultural experiences.

Erika Minaguchi, Senior Marketing Executive – Beverage & Sweet Taste, explains: “Within the sweet category, we see an increasing number of savory flavors such as fennel, seaweed and smoke nuances enter into the category, which speaks to confectionery and desserts. Within the cold beverage sector, we see exotic citrus profiles becoming ripe for growth.”

Classic flavors such as orange and lemon are still leading, but interesting profiles inspired by Asian cuisines, such as yuzu, pomelo, calamansi are also showing strong growth, notes Minaguchi. “In hot beverages, a new wave of plants and botanicals are appearing, with the likes of cactus, carob and hyssop featuring in the emerging bucket.”

According to Minaguchi, chili profiles will come to the forefront of the snacking category, such as hatch and cubanelle, as consumers look for regional differentiation. “Savory is very much inspired by ethnic tastes, as tastes from Africa, the Caribbean and Asia all feature within Kerry’s  charts this year,” she explains. “We see this in regional specific profiles of flavors such as citrus – yuzu and sudachi and seaweed – konbu and wakame.”

Kerry also predicts that 2019 will show growth of botanical flavors across all categories as consumers want innovative and premium products providing emotional benefits. Floral flavors such as rosehip and pandan have healthy connotations, while also providing consumers with new and exciting taste experiences. With all of this in mind, botanicals are positioned perfectly to answer this demand, says Kerry.

“Botanical ingredients like rosehip, aloe vera and moringa are positioned well as functional ingredients, but also offer another layer of taste to products, these types of ingredients are ones to keep an eye on in terms of flavor innovation,” claims Minaguchi.

With increased consumer awareness and understanding of what botanicals are, outside of floral tastes, we also expect to see an increasing interest in herbs, spices and roots such as black pepper, cardamom and ginger, according to Minaguchi. “These profiles are associated with health connotations, consumers will see botanicals as a means of having great taste with added value,” she adds.

With sugar taxes and governmental pressures to optimize the nutritional value of a product, manufacturers often seek new flavor profiles to compensate for sugar reduction. In light of this, Minaguchi believes “there will be innovation across many categories, but beverages and sweet categories would be at the forefront here.”

“A movement towards savory and bitter tastes, even in sweet categories, can also be seen across the market, as consumer perception of sugar begins to change. Profiles such as gentian, turmeric, nutmeg and thyme have been integrated into sweet and beverage categories and this will continue to expand,” she continues. “This also plays into the consumer movement towards healthier moments of indulgence, where savory tastes provide a guilt-free experience, rather than a sweet profile.”

As well as providing an appealing taste, smoke flavors tend to offer a sensorial experience for consumers. “Smoke flavors provide a layer of premium and a perception of culinary excellence to products as it is a direct result of cooking processes. As consumers demand more authentic taste experiences, smoke offers just that,” explains Minaguchi.

African flavors and flavors inspired by the Middle East are growing across the board, as consumers look for more authentic ethnic – outside of the more familiar oriental tastes such as Japanese, Korean, Chinese flavors. “Flavors such as marjoram, Keralan and gesho also show growth – particularly in the savory categories,” she adds.

“We can expect to see the appearance of tastes that enhance the sensorial experience of eating and drinking, as well as providing great taste. In the snacks category, regional profiles of chili appear, such as ancho and cubanelle, while smoke flavors also show growth. Across the board, sensorial is continuously playing a larger role in the purchase intent of consumers, and provides an innovative and creative way to deliver taste,” notes Coralie Garcia-Perrin, Senior Marketing Manager for Taste at Kerry Europe.

“Our taste charts represent a cross-functional review of trends across the food and beverage industry; leveraging our own internal knowledge while taking inspiration from the market through the lens of foodservice, retail and social media. We are going beyond flavor to build an authentic future for taste,” she concludes.

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