Consumers often choose natural and healthy products, which offer an indulgent sensory experience, particularly in beverages. For French flavor group Aromatech, the beverage sector is open to innovation with new, bold and exciting flavors. According to Ségolène Partamian, Aromatech’s Marketing & Communication Manager, the four main trends that stand out are “discovery, natural, alternatives and traceability.”
“The consumer will search more for a sensory experience, a trip, an emotion and a novelty that goes through the taste, the concept and the packaging,” she tells FoodIngredientsFirst. “Through our flavors, we seek to bring the consumer a real promise, reassuring and surprising.”
Detox beverages that contain natural spices, flavors or ingredients are currently trending among many of today’s consumers. “Spicy notes like ginger, exotic fruits like yuzu or mamey, international trends or well-known local products like tigers’ blood, for example, are very trendy in the US,” Partamian explains.
As for flavor combinations, Partamian notes that lemon and lavender, rosemary and caramel, yuzu and mint, pear and fennel and raspberry and pink peppercorn combinations will gain traction this year.
“In the coffee space, festive dessert flavors will have to compete with fruit and coffee flavors, as well as variations combined with soothing spice flavors,” she says. “Dessert trends won’t replace fruits, but instead they will gain their own following.”
For the broader beverage space, fresh and natural tastes will be top of mind, with NPD also being driven by vegetable and fruit combinations. “Functional fruits and vegetables will gain further traction, and new citrus fruits and berries will also be one to watch this summer season.”
Vegetables to watch out for include pumpkin, beetroot, asparagus, carrot, kohlrabi, cucumber and cauliflower, according to Partamian.
A good understanding of the beverage market comes first and foremost from the knowledge of its consumers, she notes. “Innovation must always be ahead of the needs that evolve daily and quickly,” Partamian continues. “It is essential for us to see far and understand what the consumer will need in one, three or five years.”
“Our role is to be supporting to our customers. We present the current and future trends and we guide them in their product development by creating, for them, innovative concepts perfectly adapted to their market. R&D and marketing collaboration is crucial,” she notes. “Innovation has no borders for Aromatech.”
The return to naturalness is very pronounced and health-conscious consumers are attracted to the environmental dimensions of a product, according to Partamian. “Home-made manufacturing is often associated with environmentally friendly manufacturing procedures. The return to artisanal assures safety and purity in both the product’s container and content. Therefore, we often find innovation in packaging, marketing concept and taste.”
In this space, Partamian also notes that plant-based products, healthy snacking, vegan, organic and natural products are thriving. “We have a leading position and a strong expertise in organic for 20 years. Our certified organic flavors with new EU regulation show that we already work according to new requirements, so we are committed to retaining our position and to sharing our knowledge with new companies.”
“It does depend on the country, but we see more and more requests for natural and organic flavors,” she adds. “Consumers are also seeking more from traceability claims. They not only need to know the origin of an ingredient, but also everything about the product and its production process. It’s not only about clean labels anymore, but it also goes much more beyond that.”
In the flavors space, Partamian muses that florals, herbs and spice flavors will all be popular this coming summer. “Natural and organic flavors will take center stages, as well as flavors adapted to plant-based products and detox flavors,” she says.
In savory flavors, vegetarian meat flavors could be poised for popularity, Partamian notes, as well as international flavors that spark curiosity and adventure for many consumers.
“People want flavors whose health appeal is perfectly in line with the growing customer interest in healthy products. Also, people are looking for sensorial and new experiences. They are looking for international tastes, especially exotic notes,” she explains. “The need to travel, discover and remember experiences will drive these flavor trends in this space,” Partamian adds.
The industry can also expect applications on a wide-ranging spectrum to benefit from these flavor trends, including beverages, dairy, bakery, confectionery, savory and plant-based products, she concludes.