2022 Flavor Trends Predictions
Each year Comax Flavors, now a part of FFP-Taste, releases the company’s annual flavor trend predictions. This year, consumers are still weary of the pandemic and continue to seek comfort foods that run the gamut from savory to sweet. Now that consumers have invested in home improvement and spiffed up their outdoor spaces, grilling is no longer reserved for summer. Health and wellness continue to be top of mind and gut health is taking center stage. In response to consumers’ continually changing behavior, FFP-Taste introduces the 2022 Flavor Trends divided into four different flavor collections. Pizza Pizzazz caters to consumers’ love for pizza while Get Grillin’ addresses consumers’ interest in BBQ flavors. Trust Your Gut taps into consumers’ digestive health journey while Sweet Decadence spotlights consumers’ retreat to comforting sweets. Each FFP-Taste collection is comprised of a variety of food and beverage applications.
FFP-Taste creates customized flavors and customized solutions using a variety of proprietary flavor technologies to meet consumer-specific product needs. For your next on trend flavors, get in touch here.
A Look Back At Flavor Trends
As the year comes to an end, FFP-Taste wants to reflect on a few flavor trends of the past. Taking a trip down memory lane, FFP-Taste forecast Breakfast Anytime, Nostalgia Remix, and Asian Influences as three important flavor trends that impact food and beverage. Today these three trends continue to gain momentum and are going strong.
In 2015, FFP-Taste identified Breakfast Anytime as an emerging trend. This year, FFP-Taste readdressed this trend and discussed how Breakfast Foods Are Not Dead. Seven years later, the Breakfast trend continues. As categories are blurring, there are now more breakfast options than ever before. According to an online survey conducted by The Harris Poll and commissioned by General Mills Foodservice, consumers are eating more breakfast foods than normal during the pandemica:
- 79% have eaten breakfast foods for meals other than breakfast in the past year
- 59% have eaten breakfast foods for dinner
- 49% have enjoyed breakfast foods for lunch
- 20% have eaten breakfast items for dessert
According to The NPD Group, online and physical visits to restaurants during the breakfast and AM snack period increased by 7% in the year ending September 2021 compared to a year ago when visits declined by 13%b. Similarly, Technomic predicts “The Great Breakfast Boom” and suggests the daypart is poised for a big bounce back in 2022. They expect chains to employ subscription deals, multi-person bundles, product innovation and amped-up marketing to capture morning traffic and establish loyaltyc.
From sweet to savory, FFP-Taste offers a vast selection of breakfast flavors such as Blueberry Muffin, Butter In My Coffee, Caramel Cappuccino, Cereal & Milk, Chicken and Waffles, Cinnamon Bun, CoffTea, Cold Brew, Honey Banana Oatmeal, Jelly Donut, and S’mores Pancakes. Request your samples here.
In 2017, FFP-Taste examined the Nostalgia Remix trend. Nostalgia runs deep in our food and beverage choices. As consumers seek comfort foods and positive experiences, throwback flavors are gaining momentum because they take us back to childhood and fond memories. According to Mintel, 72% of U.S. consumers enjoy products that remind them of their childhoodd. “Comfort foods are any foods that bring feelings of familiarity and nostalgia. Most comfort foods tend to be considered less healthy, as they may contain higher calories, sugar or carbohydrates, but that is not always the case,” states Sarah Hickey of Dawn Foodse.
The pandemic accelerated this trend and five years later it’s going strong. Comfort food flavors run the gamut from sweet to savory. Depending on consumers’ age and geographic location, flavors and reference points vary. FFP-Taste’s Batter Up post addressed how sweet baked goods bring comfort during stressful times. On the savory side, Mac & Cheese is a popular comfort food trending, which is liked by both women and men. According to Grubhub’s Taste of 2021 Year In Review, Mac and Cheese appeared in the top ten orders and side dishes for the year. Pub Mac and Cheese was #6 for the top ten orders, up +174% while Mac and Cheese was #3 for the top side dishes, up +173%f.
Treadmill Reviews researched American consumers’ favorite comfort foods to find out what fuels their attachment to comfort dishes while exploring the nostalgic power of cuisines. According to their survey of 2,226 people, consumers appreciate the appeal of high-calorie classicsg.
- Pizza is the number one comfort food for both women and men
- Mac and Cheese is the second choice for women and fifth choice for men
- Of the respondents who called Mac and Cheese their favorite comfort food, more than three-quarters were female
- Burgers are men’s second favorite comfort food
- Ice cream is universally liked and ranked third among women and men alike
- Chocolate and Pasta/Italian complete women’s favorite comfort food as fourth and fifth choices respectively
- Mexican Food rounds out men’s favorite comfort food as the fifth choice
The most common justification for comfort food selection was “it tastes great” and respondents use “sugary,” “greasy,” and “doughy deliciousness” as descriptors.
In 2020, FFP-Taste explored Asian Influences with a focus on the younger generation. The younger demographic continues to crave adventurous and authentic global flavors and share their discoveries on Instagram as well as other social media sites. Attracted to unique flavors, colors, and textures, there has been a boom in Asian food and beverages. Consumers seek out beverages and foods with unique flavors and textures. The latest Asian-inspired beverages and foods trending are Boba, Croffle, Mochi, and Shaved Ice.
Boba are the chewy tapioca pearls most often used in tea-based drinks. Originating in Taiwan, Bubble tea is popular and features an array of colors and flavors. It has become so popular that this summer Dunkin’ introduced strawberry Popping Bubbles that could be added to any iced or frozen beverage. Even Del Monte Foods, Inc. offers Popping Boba Snacks in four flavors: Peach Strawberry Lemonade, Pear Berry Pomegranate, Sour Apple Watermelon, and Tropical Mixed Fruit Bubble Fruit. According to Pinterest’s 2022 “Batter Up” trend, Millennials, Gen X and Boomers will craft elaborate cakes to express themselves. Bubble cake ideas are up +55% as a trending search termh. Mochi is a Japanese dessert made of sweet glutinous rice flour also known as Mochigome. It also has a chewy and smooth texture. According to Tastewise, Mochi is up +41% over the last two years in consumer interest, and +47% in menu mentions. Baked items involving the ingredient are up +79% over the last two years in consumer interesti. New Jersey-based Mochinut specializes in Mochi donuts, which are self-described as “the happy union between a Japanese rice cake and American-style doughnuts.” They serve a large selection of unique donut flavors such as Banana Milk, Black Sugar, Churro, Matcha, and Ube. Croffle is portmanteau of the words Croissant and Waffle. This popular Korean dessert is made by cooking croissant dough on a waffle pan. Croffles are trending. According to Yelp’s Food & Dining Trends of 2022, Croffle is up 1,505% j. On TikTok, #crofflewaffle has garnered 3.1 million views as of December 12, 2021k. Croffle House in New York City specializes in these mash-up desserts. Shaved Ice is blocks of ice that are shaved into snow-like flakes and topped with a large selection of flavored syrups as well as fruits and red beans. The treat is popular in many Asian countries. However, it is said to originate in Japan, which is known as Kakigori. Hawaii’s version is called Shave Ice. Like Boba, Mochi and Croffles, Shaved Ice is on trend. AF&Co named Shaved Ice as the “dessert of the year.l”