2021 Flavor Trends – The year of social wellness
Consumers are shifting their focus towards their health and immunity now more than ever with social media leading the way.
With 2020 behind us, we have found new ways of connecting with our friends, family, and coworkers—and with that we have seen dramatic shifts in consumer behavior and the trends that follow. Immunity has stolen the spotlight as we continue to improve our overall health into 2021. We are seeing an increase in “better-for-you” alternatives, such as botanical cocktails and mocktails. As social media continues to lead the trends, we are coming together in new creative ways and creating meaningful collaborations. From Insta-worthy drinks to celebrity inspired flavors, innovation in flavors and new products are not slowing down any time soon.
1. Immunity Never Tasted Better
Drawing from traditional medicine and ayurvedic influences, the introduction of flavorful ingredients like turmeric, ginger, lemon and honey into new product formulations give them an extra immune boost. Elderberry and Vitamin C based products were in high demand and continue to win shelf space in our medicine cabinets.
2. Social Distanced Drinks with Pure Class
With so many hard seltzers and alcoholic spritzers now to choose from we are seeing classic flavors with an exotic twist. Think pear, grapefruit, mandarin, pomegranate, and cranberry with a botanical twist of ginger, lemongrass, hibiscus, elderflower, or lavender.
Many consumers are moving to a low alcohol or non-alcohol lifestyle, but lucky for them there are now some great zero-proof alternatives. From refreshing flavored sparkling waters (like lemon cucumber and lime mint) to craft artisan mocktails that use many of the same great tasting ingredients sans the alcohol.
3. BYOB: Be Your Own Barista
As everyone has their stay-at-home lifestyle now down to a science, it makes it harder to meet up for a social cup of coffee. Self-quarantine has forced many people to create their favorite hot beverages at home and discovering their inner barista. With a huge increase in the variety of coffee products making their way to the shelves, some popular flavors trends include: Cinnamon Dolce, Hazelnut, Toffee, White Chocolate Mocha, Salted Caramel, Cinnamon Roll, Toasted Coconut, Vanilla Honeycomb.
4. Insta-worthy Drinks
Dalgona Coffee. The popularity of some pretty Insta-worthy drinks has surfaced, including Dalgona Coffee. Dalgona Coffee (AKA whipped coffee) gained its popularity via TikTok and quickly became the #1 googled recipe. The drink is just 3 ingredients in equal proportions, instant coffee powder, sugar (or granulated sugar substitute), and hot water. You can make the drink easily at home by whipping it until it becomes incredibly fluffy and then adding it to a glass of hot or cold milk of your choice. While Dalgona Coffee isn’t the most complex formulation, there is a big surge in leveling up your daily coffee experience with the addition of ingredients like protein, collagen, adaptogens, mushrooms, and more.
Butterfly Pea Flower Tea. Another Insta-worthy drink that has gained viral popularity is Butterfly Pea Flower Tea. Butterfly pea flower comes from Southeast Asia and is a brilliant blue color with a slightly sweet taste. This ingredient offers a color changing effect when exposed to citric acid. With the squeeze of a lime or lemon, the blue hue transforms to a vibrant violet color.
Butterfly Pea Flower is now making appearances in teas, cocktails, ice creams, baked goods and more to create a picture-perfect experience. As this trend is making its way off the internet and into market, bold and exciting flavors such as: Plum, Lychee, Asian Pear, and Passionfruit are perfectly paired with this new sensation.
5. Creating Famous Flavors
Celebrity inspired flavors is the next level of collaboration taking place. Several companies are developing flavors around key celebrities and influencers. January 1st, 2021 Liquid I.V. launched their collaboration with international DJ, Kygo. Kygo’s flavor of choice was Pina Colada because he felt it matched the overall upbeat mood of his music. Liquid I.V. also collaborated with DJ Steve Aoki earlier in 2020 to launch his signature Strawberry Cake flavor.