As consumers continue to seek healthier, better-for-you products and plant-based foods and beverages are inundating the marketplace. The younger demographics continue to explore multicultural flavors with a current cultural affinity for Asian flavors, while the popularity of raw cookie dough remains prevalent.

Comax Flavors, Melville, N.Y., introduced the 2020 Flavor Trends report, divided into four unique flavor collections.  

Plant-powered snacks

There was a 17% increase in the growth of snacks with a health claim in launches between 2013 and 2017 and a 22% rise in those with a nutritious claim, according to a study released by Innova Market Insights, The Netherlands. And, launches with plant-based ingredients grew at a 44% CAGR during the period. Furthermore, up to 70% of consumers say they’re willing to pay a premium for food products in the natural, ethical, enhanced or “less of…” categories, according to a survey from L.E.K. Consulting, Chicago.

No proof needed

According to IWSR, London, bottled low and no alcohol beverages in the United States will grow by about 32% between 2018-2022, which is triple the category’s growth over the previous five years. This growth is evidenced by consumers’ changing behavior.

Asian influences

The younger generation continues to crave adventurous and authentic global flavors and share their discoveries on social media sites. Attracted to unique flavors, colors and textures, there has been a boom in Asian food and beverages. For instance, Asian flavors on menus at fast-casual restaurants are up nearly 30% year over year, according to a study from Foodable Network, LLC, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Furthermore, Millennials have increased menu consumption of Asian flavor-based menu items by more than 12% year over year.

So doughlicious

Eating raw cookie dough is a nostalgic act, and thanks to pasteurization and heat treatment, 2017 was the breakout year for safe, edible raw cookie dough. Regardless of age, edible cookie dough continues to excite adults and children alike.

Cookie dough is seeing a 9% year-over-year growth on restaurant menus, according to Technomic’s MenuMonitor, while the cookie category increased 2.6% to reach $8.8 billion for the 52 weeks ending March 24, 2019, according to IRI data, Chicago.