Two out of three U.S. consumers “love to discover new flavors,” while the same proportion say that “going out for dinner inspires their home cooking,” according to a survey released by Innova Market Insights, The Netherlands. Adventurous, daring and re-imagined flavors are emerging to entice trend-conscious consumers, who enjoy an element of the unexpected on their palates.
Flavor remains the No. 1 factor of importance when buying food and beverages. Millennials and Gen Z in particular drive the trend of novel, creative, impactful foods with funky colors, shapes and flavors that are exciting to share through social media.
Globalization has also sparked the curiosity of consumers to discover new food and beverages, with research indicating that three in 10 U.S. consumers “love to discover flavors of other cultures.”
Ethnic flavors proliferate, with 65% growth in food and beverage launches with an ethnic flavor. Mediterranean and Far Eastern flavors are seeing the biggest growth in launch activity, with meat, fish, eggs, sauces and seasonings the leading categories.
To drive deeper connections with the adventurous consumer, brands satisfy curiosity through exotic world flavors, new food experiences and telling the story behind the product. Consumers are increasingly engaged by interactive devices such as voting for favorite flavors, submitting their own flavor ideas and sharing flavor experiences with friends and/or online.
Brands also engage with consumers by telling the unique stories behind them, including greater transparency about the source and nature of their ingredients, recipes and processing. There is also rising use of limited editions to create a temporary buzz around brands, via novel and exciting flavors, shapes and concepts.