Taste and nutrition company Kerry has released its 2020 European taste charts, which represent the company’s annual review of the F&B landscape utilizing consumer trends, foodservice influences and internal culinary and mixology expertise to predict tastes for the coming year. Kerry’s latest predictions forecast that 2020 will bring further specificity to the origin of flavors and ingredients as consumers continue to seek tastes that delight, surprise and excite them.
In Europe, although ethnic cuisines such as Thai or Japanese have grown to a point of proliferation in the market, a refreshed idea of the tastes associated with these regions has developed as consumers become more adventurous, developing and expanding their palette, notes Kerry.
Sweet chili and soy sauce are no longer flavors that consumers look to for authenticity of Asian food. Instead, specific profiles such as palm sugar and sweet basil now deliver the nostalgia of Thailand, with tamari, nori and miso allowing them to recreate the Japanese taste experience.
“The lines between categories are continuously blurring, and we see alcohol flavors such as tequila and Cointreau in Sweet categories, and bakery-inspired flavors such as brownie and red velvet in dairy beverages,” explains Leigh Anne Vaughan, Global Strategic Marketing Director for Taste at Kerry.
“There is endless room for innovation in this space as manufacturers draw inspiration rethinking how mainstream flavors are applied in new categories. We’re more frequently seeing this across the Charts, where familiar flavors are being seen in the Up & Coming and Emerging pillars – it makes for really exciting product development,” adds Vaughan.
Going beyond flavor
The aim of Kerry’s taste charts is to provide the industry and its customers with a proprietary view into the flavors and ingredients shaping the taste market across sweet, beverage, savory and snacks. The company says it is on a constant quest to discover and translate the best taste experiences from nature’s high-quality ingredients.
Customers can leverage Kerry’s expertise in food and beverage including its taste knowledge and portfolio, to create differentiated products with the tastes consumers desire, that go beyond flavor.
Kerry’s predictions consider flavors and ingredients that are here to stay, as well as flavors and ingredients set to make waves in the industry.
In the Sweet category, apricot, blueberry, chili, cinnamon, grapefruit, marzipan, nut, stracciatella, toffee and yogurt are some of the key trending ingredients. Up and coming tastes include alcoholic flavors such as gin, margarita and rum and banana, elderflower, spices such as cardamom and peppercorn, and herbs including basil, lavender and rosemary. Emerging tastes here include lemon curd, Mizo, Szechuan and quark.
In the Europe Taste Chart 2020 Savory category biryani, beetroot, cheese (Herder and Goat’s Cheese), chimichurri, chutney, cumin, Kimchi, sage, miso and nduja are among the up and coming tastes. While ancho pepper, buckwheat, game, turnip and venison are also emerging tastes.
In Beverages (dairy and hot), spirulina, spice, rosemary and rhubarb are tipped as up and coming, while blood orange, caraway, cucumber, fenugreek, gingko, marjoram and papaya are all flavor notes that are emerging.
Kerry’s taste charts come as consumers are on a large-scale, broad journey of discovery, moving out of their comfort zones to explore new food and beverage experiences, with flavor playing a major part in this. The search for something new, different and exciting is also driving flavor developments in food and beverages. Adventurous and reimagined options are sought by trend-conscious consumers, who also enjoy an element of surprise on their plates and palates.
This theme is also illustrated by the fact that six out of ten US and UK respondents in an Innova Market Insights survey agreed with a statement that they love to discover flavors of other cultures, although there is also ongoing activity in products of more local origin, with local ingredients and local recipes.
Adapting to this trend, brands are also increasingly launching mystery flavors, as well as reinventing classics with novel twists, alongside developing new and more unusual flavors and combinations. This year will surely see some very interesting NPD across all food and beverage categories.