Kerry has released its annual Taste Charts for 2021, uncovering flavors and ingredients that are set to inspire innovation and taste excellence across the food and beverage landscape.
A trend towards familiar and nostalgic tastes, which resurged during the pandemic, is anticipated to continue over the coming year as people seek comfort from their food and beverages. Consumers are gravitating toward comforting and familiar tastes, with classic desserts such as banana split, apple pie and custard are featured as flavors in different categories – including those in the “sweet” and “beverage” categories.
In Europe, restrictions on movement in 2020 have led to consumers travelling the world with their taste buds. This is reflected in the Taste Charts, with a rise in Korean, Indian, Thai, Greek and Spanish cuisine, as well as exotic notes like Calamansi and Acerola. Trends around health and wellbeing continue to gather pace and interest among consumers, while sustainable sourcing is also growing in importance.
“2020 has been a year like no other. During the lockdown period, consumers stayed connected online and continued to share the food that excited them, augmenting the need for playful textures and exciting flavors,” says Christina Matrozou, marketing manager for Taste in Europe and Russia. “Fermentation emerged across several product categories, with vinegar and pickled becoming a top trend and flavor note. The traditional citrus, vanilla, chocolate and BBQ flavors will remain relevant in 2021, but consumers expect these tastes through flavors that are more sustainable or have provenance claims. Meanwhile, botanicals such as lavender, turmeric and basil can meet consumer needs across food and beverage products that support the quest for holistic wellbeing.”
Through a consumer-focused, on-trend lens, the Taste Charts utilizes consumer purchase patterns, retail product performance, foodservice influences, and endorsements from the company’s internal culinary, beverage, and mixology experts to predict tastes for the coming year.