Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned fragrance and taste company, has recently unveiled Ginger and Yuzu as the 2 Flavors of the Year for 2021.
This is the 9th year Firmenich has cast its vote on the hottest food/beverage flavor. 2021 also represents another significant and challenging year for the global F&B industry due to the ongoing pandemic which also alters consumers preferences and perception on winning flavors.
According to Emmanuel Butstraen, President, Taste & Beyond, “Our Firmenich Human Insights COVID surveys have revealed that people are looking for more than just great taste from their food and beverages during these times; they’re placing new-found importance on nutrition and wellbeing. This inspired us to choose 2 exciting flavors which can enhance both.”
Mikel Cirkus, Global Creative Director, Foresight & Trenz, Firmenich said, “Both ginger and yuzu have really gained global, cross-category momentum over the last 2 years and each of them, in their own right, is symbolic of the consumer’s desire for a sense of normalcy and healing.”
Firmenich’s own Flavor Knowledge Portal, built in partnership with Mintel GNPD, transforms and leverages over a decade’s worth of data across millions of records on launched products to uncover patterns and trends around food and beverage innovation activity. From this tool, we see that even before COVID, food and beverage companies have been placing larger bets on these 2 super ingredients.
Ginger is incredibly popular, growing steadily in the past 10 years with many new product launches that incorporated ginger in the past 3 years. Firmenich’s SMI™ social media analytics showed that worldwide searches for this super-root reached an all-time high in the spring of 2020, following many years of a seasonal peak in winter, underscoring its inherent warming nature.
Yuzu, while clearly is more niche and not as popular as ginger in terms of new launches, is accelerating rapidly in its innovation rate and in social media representation particularly recently. In fact, Yuzu has more than doubled in its use in innovations over the past 5 years. Today, this super-fruit is most commonly seen in beverage and confection applications, particularly in Asia. However, lately it is showing up across categories, particularly in savory meal roles, where it adds excitement and differentiation.
From the inspirational words of Jeff Schmoyer, Global Head of Human Insights, Taste & Beyond, “Ginger, with its mottled grey peel and rhizome, is indicative of ‘root toughness’. People and societies have powered through the greyest of times, and just like a root being pulled from the earth, what emerges is considerable strength. Our strengths are matched by the unfailing optimism we have for the future, embodied by our second flavor, the yuzu fruit. The yuzu is an inviting yellow and citrus-fresh symbol of renewed hope.”