Taste is a powerful influence, able to instantly evoke memories and build anticipation for new experiences. Flavours convey a story, particularly when it comes to consumer trends and preferences. This year, we will witness the resurgence of time-honoured traditions and heirloom recipes as consumers crave traditional tastes with new and emerging flavours.
Kerry’s APAC Taste & Nutrition Charts 2023 are categorised under 4 key trends:
With advances in technology around taste and texture, consumers expect food and beverage options that deliver the same taste experience and flavour intensity they enjoy, if not more so.
In the latest Kerry APAC Taste & Nutrition Charts, yuzu and coffee are identified as up and coming flavors.
Roots & Origins
Traditional practices, heirloom flavours and ingredients and recipes are experiencing a revival, with post-modern food coming full circle to authentic, wholesome experiences. Example includes noodles inspired by traditional cooking methods or recipes of the past. Asia Pacific markets, where influence comes not just from the West, but also sub-markets within these regions, are inspiring flavours globally. Asian food and cuisines in particular are getting a lot of attention, from Indian spices to Korean Doenjang, as can be seen in the charts.
Off The Reel
Social media and the emphasis on visuals have influenced food and beverage trends. For example, extravagant food and beverage creations, dressed with abundant toppings, ingredients and sprinkles attract consumers because they look great in photos and videos, but also because they carry familiar, nostalgic flavours and ingredients. Think a chocolate biscuit stick or wafer coated with green apple sprinkles infused with green apple flavour. Since Covid, TikTok has been changing the food landscape. Its accessibility and visual format provide a creative outlet for new flavour pairings and combinations, such as matcha martini, known as the prettiest green cocktail. Matcha is a key flavour identified under Sweet in Kerry’s Taste & Nutrition charts.
Joy in Simple Things
In a fast culture, the simplicity of familiar, comfort flavours continue to bring joy to consumers. According to a report by FMCG Gurus, 54% of APAC consumers said that traditional flavours have the most influence on their food and drink choices.
This year’s charts offers a comprehensive analysis of the nutritional elements influencing food and beverage. This includes nutrition and ingredient insights on trending themes and claims, as well as health ingredients consumers want. Although taste remains the primary reason behind people’s food and beverage choices, nutrition is becoming increasingly important to consumers. This is the reason why Kerry added a nutritional chart to the report for the first time this year. With the pandemic, consumers became more aware of, and proactive about their health and wellbeing. The nutrition chart therefore highlights the nutritional claims and functional needs that will be prominent for 2023.
On the other end of the spectrum, while nutrition is a focus, the pandemic stirred a desire for authentic flavours from around the world. People want to travel through their taste buds and enjoy foods they experienced during their travels.
Kerry’s Taste & Nutrition charts’ new research makes it easier for F&B brands and manufacturers to better understand claims emerging across regions as well as trends and preferences.
The insights from the taste and nutrition charts will help F&B brands fine-tune upcoming launches and craft delicious and nutritious food and beverages that deliver the flavours and ingredients consumers want. According to a spokesperson from Kerry APMEA, “You can mix and match flavours and ingredients, and create products that are unusual or innovative to excite consumers. For example, sesame is an up & coming flavour under Savoury and Sweet. You can add it to a sweet treat like brownies for a savoury twist, while black sesame can be used as coatings for breads, chicken tenders and cakes.”
Under the Ingredients chart, there is a long list classified by purpose; “Multisensorial” (ingredients that deliver a multi-sensory appeal), “Functional” (ingredients with health benefits), “Alternative” (alternative proteins, meat alternatives) and “Ethnic” (well-loved local, ethnic or regional ingredients). For a multisensory experience, one can add a dash of cinnamon to a smoothie to lift the flavour and transform its taste, even its smell and visual appeal. Then there’s lemon, a mainstream flavour in dairy and hot beverage. You can add ashwaganda (under Functional), which is known to support cognitive and heart health, to lemonade or lemon soda, making it a healthier beverage.
The huge popularity of Sriracha is an example of how a trend starts small and can become mainstream quickly. Similarly, across APAC, flavours like Speculoos and Banofee (Banana and Toffee) also have the potential to become mainstream; these flavours started appearing a few years ago and we have witnessed them growing every year.
Fermented foods are also gaining more attention as people better understand how they are linked to gut health and how the gut-brain axis is connected to positive mental health. It is no surprise that in this region’s charts, fermented foods like soya sauce is mainstream and spicy Korean jjajang is up & coming.
As a global leader in Dairy Taste, Savoury Taste, Smoke and Grill, Flavour Modulation and Natural Extracts, Kerry continues to invest in a broad range of process technologies and expertise, including flavourists, sensory scientists, analytical chemists, application scientists and manufacturing specialists. Deep understanding of taste within the Asia region is key and Kerry invests in local insight into the emotions that influence taste preferences and trends.
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Kerry Taste & Nutrition