Kerry Predicts Global Taste and Flavors

Kerry has announced the launching of its annual reports predicting the taste trends in different regions of the globe.

The predictions date back a decade and consider flavors and ingredients that are here to stay (mainstream and key), as well as flavors and ingredients set to create ripples in the industry (up & coming and emerging).


In Europe,  the experts from Kerry mention functional ingredients such as aloe vera, spinach, baobab, turmeric, maringa, wheatgrass, guarana, hemp and garlic, while the “alternative” ingredient subsection talks about unusual ingredients such as cactus pear, green tea, carob, leaves, edamame, bitter melon, dulse or buddha’s hand. For visual, Europeans will prefer marshmallow, candy floss, calendula flowers or gingerbread, while in the “sensorial” sub-category, the report speaks about basil, cayenne pepper or pink peppercorn.

In the USA, the 2020 taste charts mention ingredients such as maca, turmeric, algae, CBD, ginger, and chlorella for the functional subsection. As alternatives, dates, jackfruits, monkfruit, agave and coconut flour are among Americans’ preferences, while butterfly pea flower, matcha, rose petals, spirulina and ruby chocolate are on the “visual” list. Cold foam, cheetos, plant protein, soufflé, boba pearls, lotus seeds and sprinkles are mentioned in the “sensorial” subcategory.

The APAC report has a different structure with three subsections for ingredients and mentions beetroot, matcha, black sesame, blue algae, pomegranate or chia seeds among the “visual” trends.

Asian pear, kimchi, cherry blossom, chestnut, goji berry or rock sugar are seen as “ethnic ingredients” and avocado, beta-glucan, oats, chickpeas, coconut, quinoa, rice bran, ginger, wildflower honey are “functional ingredients”.


The sweet tastes considered mainstream in Europe are almond, coconut, apple, hazelnut, butter, lemon, caramel, nougat, cherry, raspberry, chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. “Key” tastes include apricot, mint, cookie, nut, blueberry, cinnamon, while “up & coming” tastes are alcohol, plum, banana, smoke, coffee, spice, elderflower, tea, herb and yuzu. In the “emerging” subcategory are included alcohol, lemon curd, chocolate (dulcey, ruby), salt (Himalayan, sea), sesame/tahini, etc.

The USA 2020 taste charts don’t look very different compared with Europe, with chocolate, butters, vanilla, strawberry, blueberry, honey, raspberry, caramel and fudge in the mainstream sub-category. “Key” tastes are seen – almond, hazelnut, apple, cookies & cream, cherry, salted caramel, lemon, dark chocolate, etc. Among “up & coming” tastes, Kerry mentions coffee, matcha, pecan, hibiscus, brown sugar, alcohol, plum, dulce de leche and pear, while graham cracker, mocha coffee, breakfast cereal, brown butter and cold brew coffee are “emerging”.

In the APAC countries, mainstream sweet tastes are almond, banana, mango, caramel, mild, chocolate, strawberry, coconut and vanilla, while “key” are apple, lemon, azuki red beam, matcha, blueberry, nut, cream, hazelnut or honey.

“Up&coming” tastes in the APAC include almond, hakkaido, avocado, manuka honey, black sesame, cinnamon, rose, durian, hemp seed and tiramisu, while the “emerging” sub-category includes acai, kiwi, brown sugar, macadamia, ginger, salted caramel, etc.

Kerry illustrates the popularity of coconut, rising as a result of the proliferation of coconut as a flavor, as well as an ingredient. It has also experienced growth via coconut milk, coconut water and coconut oil since 2008. In 2013, it appeared on Kerry’s charts as a “key” taste in sweet and within “up & coming” in beverage and culinary. Coconut has steadily grown to become a mainstay taste influencer on the charts, with a renewed interest among consumers following the boom of the ketogenic diet.

Salty Snacks

In Europe, the salty snacks category includes mainstream tastes such as barbecue, nut, cheese, cheddar, onion, pepper, paprika, coconut or smoke.

“Key” taste are apple, raisin, spice, caramel, sweet chilly, hazelnut, while “up&coming” are aioli, chili, mandarin, date, peach, dill, pineapple, etc. The “emerging” trends in Europe are alcohol, peppercorn, cereal, praline, cheese, seaweed, guacamole, hamburger or kebab.

According to the report, the mainstream tastes in the USA include cheese, sea salt, jalapeno, barbecue, butter, onion, sour cream, ranch and honey, while “key” are seen tastes such as lime, wasabi, caramel, teriyaki, garlic, chipotle pepper, bacon, cinnamon, etc. Brown sugar, sweet onion, truffle, cookies & cream, Himalayan pink salt, lemon, maple, cilantro and other herbs, sesame, beer are included in the “up& coming” trends, while “emerging” are considered harissa, chicken, piri piri, kimchi, seaweed, Korean BBQ, ginger, jerk, chive, vanilla, apple cider vinegar, etc.

In the APAC region, barbecue, pork, beef, roasted, cheese, salt, chicken, seaweed, fish and spicy are the mainstream tastes in the salty snacks category. Almond, masala, butter, meat, calamari, onion, prawn, five spices, garlic, tomato, vegetables etc. are seen as “key” trends, while balado, mixed cheese, charcoal, nut, crab, salted egg, tom yum, wasabi, kale, etc are “up & coming”. On the other hand, bird’s eye chili, miso, Bolognese, oyster mushroom, cheeseburger, peach, chive, coconut, edamame or maple are among “emerging” trends.

The company explains it is on a constant quest to discover and translate the best taste experiences from nature’s high-quality ingredients. “Utilizing our unique expertise as a food and beverage company with a built-in flavor house, Kerry has the ability to research, analyze and accurately forecast industry trends and convert those insights into authentic taste and nutrition solutions for our customers. Our taste predictions have helped brands launch the right products at the right time for more than a decade,” Kerry says.

Kerry’s Taste Charts methodology has evolved, the company explains – analyzing point of sale data, product launches, and menu penetration as primary sources of data to consider the world of flavors in retail as well as foodservice; in addition to internal insights and industry reports.

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