Top five flavour trends of 2021

Innova Market Insights

Wednesday, 05 May, 2021



Top five flavour trends of 2021

Market research firm Innova Market Insights has unveiled its top flavour trends with ‘flavour mashups’ taking out top prize as the trend of the year.

Innova’s annual top 10 flavour list shows the latest trends hitting the food and beverage industry that affect consumer decisions. The first five flavour trends will be unpacked below while the other five will be showcased at a webinar on 12 May.

Flavour mashups

Innovation in hybrid flavours is gathering pace as consumers favour food and beverages that broaden the dimensions of indulgence. According to the Innova Flavour Survey 2021, one in three consumers globally agreed that interesting/exotic combinations influenced their flavour choices in food and beverages. Innovations can feature in areas such as cross-category mashups, hybrids within beverages and sweet and savoury combinations.

Modern nostalgia

While global trends get a local makeover, regional stalwarts are also being brought into modern relevance, and flavours are being reimagined with the use of exotic ingredients in familiar products. Innova found half of all consumers globally say that they put more trust into a new brand if it collaborates with one that they already know. This trend is reflected in the rise in modern twists on existing products, playing off familiar tastes with cross-category innovation.

In tune with immune

Immunity and health are top of mind for consumers, and ongoing anxiety over COVID-19 will continue to be a key focus for 2021. Immunity-boosting ingredients will play a significant role in the coming year. Innova found fruity flavours appear particularly important since one-third of consumers globally say that they would choose orchard flavours when wanting to boost their immunity. Blends of fruity flavours with exotic and indulgent ingredients are typically used to promote immune benefits.

New omnichannel eating

Foodservice is proving significant as a channel for flavour innovations. Consumers can now directly access many specialty flavours that were previously only accessible via foodservice. Some 31% of consumers globally say that they get flavour inspiration from restaurants, cafes, canteens and food stalls, increasingly bringing restaurant-style dining experiences into their own homes.

Citrus flavours reign

Citrus flavours pair well with the fast-growing use of immune health positionings and other wellbeing-related claims. The top reason for consumers choosing citrus flavours is for refreshment (44%), but immunity boosting is close behind with 40%. Different citrus flavours are also coming to the fore, with clementine the fastest-growing citrus variant for food and beverage launches over the 2016 to 2020 period.

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