Summer Flavor Trends
Well, the year 2020 has already brought many surprises. While we can’t predict much of what’s in store as far as daily life goes, we do know one thing. Flavors will still be here and an important part of daily life. In a time with so much uncertainty, bold, bright flavors can provide a sense of normalcy and consistency. This year, we are predicting a rise in a few unique flavors for summer flavor trends that would be useful to keep in mind as you work to meet consumer demand in business.
As far as consumer behaviors go, we’re seeing a trend similar to our current global climate. Technomic’s 2019 Flavor Consumer Trend Report found that 40% of 18–34 year olds are branching out to find new or unique flavors. In their findings, 80% of all 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” (Technomic 2019). This summer is a great time to add variety to your flavors. People are looking for something new to provide entertainment in a time that can otherwise be somewhat mundane from day-to-day. New flavors will provide a reinvigorated interest in your brand.
Shannon Cushen, marketing director at Fuchs North America, said “Consumers, specifically millennials and Gen Z, get bored incredibly easy these days. They are always seeking out new and different flavors and taste sensations.”
Top summer flavor trends we’re seeing right now are florals, earthy, hot, and tangy. Let’s dive into each of these more.
Snacks, beverages, and bakery industries are leading the way in floral flavors. According to IFT.org, in Q3 2017 and Q3 2018, there were 4,495 product introductions globally using floral flavors. We’re seeing an upswing in classical flavors like lavender and rose, as well as newer flavors like hibiscus, rose, cherry blossom, orange blossom, and jasmine. In addition to their health benefits, florals can bring a beautiful visual element to foods and beverages. In the day and age of Instagram and visual appeal being as important as taste, consumers eat with their eyes as much as they do their stomachs. Product taste is what makes the consumer return, but the visuals play an important role in persuading them to even select that product in the first place. Brands should absolutely explore how to play up floral flavors and visual appeal.
With the rise in health-conscious consumers, any flavors that hint at earthy, natural flavors will be a popular summer flavor trend. Think herbs, spices, roots, and other botanical flavors. Several of the fastest-growing herbs and spices, such as turmeric and cumin add a rich flavor to products. Turmeric is now appearing in a multitude of products and recipes—from lattes to savory roasted carrots with turmeric and cumin. Even golden milk is gaining popularity because of it’s rich golden color and bold flavor.
When it comes to heat, consumers want a more complex variety than they’ve seen before. This hyper-specificity comes from the desire to learn more fully about what they are eating and consuming.
Japanese flavors are gaining popularity, and one flavor is going to be hitting the Western world in a big way- yuzu. Yuzu is a tart Japanese citrus fruit that tastes like a cross between a lime and a grapefruit. It’s a unique combination of familiar flavors which gives consumers the confidence to branch out and trying something new. Already popular in fine dining, beverages and confections abroad, yuzu is starting to pop up in savory applications and snacks. As yuzu starts to appear on more U.S. menus, experts predict it will begin filtering down to mainstream products like marinades and dressings or alcoholic beverages.
As you look to adapt to upcoming summer flavor trends, we have a few suggestions on how to implement these new flavors. “Much like all trends, we see that people are more comfortable trying new flavors in one of two ways,” explains Cyndie Lipka, master flavorist at Prinova USA, a Nagase Group Company. “One is if they are supported with other flavors that they enjoy, as a flavor combination. The second is to realize or associate it as something close to what they already know and love.”
Because of the low cost of snacks, it is a great place to introduce new flavors. If consumers want to try something new, snacks are low-cost, low-risk financially. And if they like what they try, they’re more willing to branch out and try more new flavors.
We’re looking forward to seeing how you incorporate new flavors into your products. Our vast flavor library and our knowledgable flavor chemists are great resources as you look to expand your flavor profiles.