Flavor Trends or Forecasts

Goals

To understand trends in the popularity of Spiced Chocolate or flavor forecasts within North America.

Early Findings

  • "Technomic’s 2019 Flavor Consumer Trend Report found that 40% of those aged 18–34 are visiting a wider variety of restaurants now than two years ago to find new or unique flavors."
  • "80% of all Technomic's survey respondents said that they either “actively seek out flavors to try on a regular basis” or “like trying new flavors from time to time.”

Complex Heat

  • "Spicy foods have been increasing in popularity over the past decade."
  • "Consumers across generations crave spicy flavors, but preference for spiciness can vary, with younger consumers showing more interest in very spicy sauces. Technomic’s data show that 59% of consumers aged 18–34 prefer very spicy foods."
  • There is a rise in ethnic flavors and ingredients found in beverage launches. A report by Imbibe found that there was "an average annual growth of 20% between 2013 and 2017 for spicy flavors like cardamom, ginger, Chinese Five Spice, cayenne, jalapeno, chili, and habanero."
  • "Spicy flavors from Asia and Latin America, such as Chinese Five Spice, habanero, cayenne, and cardamom, are predicted to become attractive additions to drinks."

Earthy

  • Herbs, spices, roots, and other botanical flavors are also predicted to drive the demand for earthy flavors in the coming years.
  • "Several of the fastest-growing herbs and spices, such as turmeric and cumin, are well-regarded for their anti-inflammatory properties."
  • "Technomic’s 2019 report notes that 31% of consumers say they typically crave herbal flavors, which is up from 26% in 2017."
  • Adaptogenic ingredients like ashwagandha, tulsi, ginseng, maca, reishi, and cordyceps are also growing in popularity in new food and drink introductions.
  • Turmeric grew 195% in the past four years and has become popular in different products and drinks, such as turmeric golden latte.
  • Maca is also predicted to become more popular and pairs well in chocolate applications.

Florals

  • Floral-flavored products are starting to appear in everything from cookies and ice cream to alcoholic beverages.
  • "Many floral ingredients offer health benefits while also meeting consumers’ expectations for natural and clean label products."
  • There is a rise in floral/botanical flavors such as hibiscus, rose, cherry blossom, orange blossom, and jasmine.
  • "According to Mintel’s U.S. Flavor and Ingredient Trends 2019 report, hibiscus as a flavor has grown 55% on U.S. menus from Q4 2015 to Q4 2018."
  • Cherry blossom and orange blossom are newer to the food and beverage scene. Orange blossom is appearing in a range of products both globally and in North America.

Summary

  • For the initial hour, we were mainly able to identify general flavor trends/forecasts, as trends specific to Spiced Chocolate did not appear available in a public search. We compiled the information above in a Google Slides presentation, as requested.
  • Additionally, specific trends to North America did not appear immediately available, so some of the aforementioned trends reflect global trends, but, where available, insights on North America were included.
  • Research indicates that more general flavor trends or forecasts are available. We can continue the research to identify other flavor trends or forecasts (in general). We also came across general beverage trends, which might also be of interest.
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Proposed next steps:

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