People’s tastebuds are always changing. And those looking to buy fresh ready-made and frozen meals are looking for a wider taste selection of globally inspired ingredients, cuisines and flavours to meet more adventurous palates.
Kerry’s newest 2024 A World of Future Tastes takes a deep-dive into the ingredients and trends that will shape innovation in the food and beverage sector over the year ahead and how traditional and new international flavours and spices and other ingredients are coming together to create new taste experiences for consumers.
Soumya Nair, global consumer research and insights director at Kerry, comments on the 2024 taste charts: “The global exchange and dissemination of tastes and flavors through social media and travel is still in its infancy, and globalization in food, beverage and cuisine development make this a truly exciting time to be in the industry. Although rapidly changing times can present great challenges, they also provide an unparalleled opportunity for brands to catch an emerging trend on the rise. We are seeing many unique flavor intersections in foods and beverages, and Kerry is using technologies such as Natural Language Processing, AI, social media and traditional consumer observation tools to stay ahead of the adoption curve, and to help customers navigate the emerging taste environment for products being developed in 2024.”
Some of the trends that will make an impact in the coming year and next will be an increasing emphasis on inventive crossovers of international cuisines. As an example, in the United States, one is already seeing a blending of Filipino and American dishes happening in the US, with Halo-Halo inspired cocktails, Ube burgers, and Adobo chicken sandwiches appearing on menus.
Spices will start to be added to a wider range of everyday foods, such as arbol peppers, gochugaru, and tajin seasoning. The ever-popular chocolate will get an added kick of spice, as well as honey. With generation X and now generation Z warming up to a wider range of flavour combinations, the Kerry study suggests that these two demographic groups will seek more sweet-savory pairings like bacon milkshakes, coffee infused with black garlic, and chocolate bars with wasabi.
For Canadian makers of snacks, frozen and ready made meals, Kerry found several interesting flavour and food trends. When it comes to sweets, for the past three years the flavours making their way onto Canadian’s palates included: Cookie Dough, Sea Salt, Espresso, Coffee, Carrot Cake, Birthday Cake, Marshmallow, Pineapple, Toffee, Vanilla Bean, Cookies & Cream, Green Apple, Pistachio, Pecan, Pumpkin Spice, Lime, Brownie, S’mores, Lemon Curd, and White Chocolate.
Some of the fastest growing flavours last year were an eclectic mix, including: Matcha, Ginger, Apple, Cinnamon, Brown Sugar, Watermelon, Cocoa, Brown Butter, Rhubarb, Apple Pie, Indian Kulfi, Nougat, Apricot, Passion Fruit, Praline, Cappuccino, Pear, Date, Ube, Cheese, and Dulce de Leche.
Canadians are also more adventuresome when it comes to savory flavours, being open to Truffle, Mushroom, Sichuan Chilli, Indian Butter Chicken, Turmeric, Miso, Adobo, Shiitake Mushroom, Nashville Hot, Pepper Lemon, Kimchi Al Pastor, Chimichurri, Hot Honey, Gochujang, and Mole Poblano.