The Megatrends Transforming Taste and Flavour Predictions

viewing Kerry 2021 Taste Charts on laptop

The 2021 Kerry Taste Charts are now available, with individual reports featuring taste and flavour predictions across six different regions. To give readers an overview of the megatrends shaping this year’s lineup, we asked eight of the researchers behind the charts to give quick takes on the year's overarching taste ad flavour themes.

In addition to reading the below, we encourage you to download the complimentary 2021 Kerry Taste Charts. These robust and exhaustively researched guides offer an essential look at the consumer taste preferences that will lead food and beverage launches in the coming year.


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Christina Furlong

“Comfort”

Christina Furlong | Consumer Insights Specialist | Naas, Ireland

The pursuit of comfort is represented across the 2021 Kerry Taste Charts. The collision of comfort and indulgence manifests in the dessert category, with chocolate and caramel rating high along with banana, which was the hero of the home baking trend. There is also an element of comfort and security in this year's picks, which is illustrated through the inclusion of botanicals, citrus fruits, berries and herbs, all of which consumers are looking to as a way to fortify their diets alongside functional ingredients. Finally, we see the impact of comfort and nostalgia in the flavours and ingredients that represent global cuisine with various curries, soups, sauces and meats represented. 




head-shots-grace

“Traditional”

Grace Ng

Market Research & Consumer Insights Analyst | Singapore

Consumers are increasingly opting for traditional, authentic and local flavours and foods. Known flavours serve as a source of reassurance in uncertain times. Beyond that, consumers are also more familiar with the proven and perceived benefits local and traditional foods can offer. At a time when consumers want to improve their health and boost their immunity, flavours which contain essential micronutrients are growing in popularity, such as kumquat and turmeric. Consumers are examining labels more closely to determine food sourcing and quality. Locally sourced seasonal ingredients are in greater demand and are perceived to be fresher and of higher quality. We will likely see traditional foods grow in popularity in the next year as consumers continue to prioritise health and wellness.




Dení Sheridan

“Adventurous”

Dení Sheridan

Data & Consumer Insights Manager | San Juan del Rio, QRO, Mexico

Despite all of the surprising events of 2020, boredom was a common sentiment expressed by consumers. People were stuck at home, eating staples and following the same routine. One way consumers were able to spice things up was by looking for different ways to explore new cultures such as through trying new foods, flavours and tastes. Collecting new experiences through global food and beverages was a safe way to satisfy the need for novelty, and we see that reflected on the diversity of flavours and ingredients in the region.

 




Roberta Viglione

“Wellbeing”

Roberta Viglione

Marketing Manager, Taste | Campinas, Brazil

The COVID-19 pandemic has boosted consumer concerns about health and wellness. Even pre-pandemic, healthy eating was on the rise, however the holistic concept of physical, mental and emotional wellbeing is even more present in consumer choices today. This interest is prominently on display in the growing popularity of ingredients and tastes which are perceived to strengthen the immune system, such as ginger, vegetables and citrus profiles. Mental wellness is also a concern influencing product selection, with ingredients suggested to playing a key role in mood regulation, as well as those that have a connection to energy, relaxation, focus and sleep, continuing to be relevant.

 




Harsh Koshti

“Multisensorial”

Harsh Kosht

Strategic Marketing Director, Taste | Singapore

Consumers across world have lived in fear for a long time. From COVID-19 to bushfires, floods and a year full of uncertainties, consumers are looking at food differently. They crave healthy food but want to also relive and reclaim life. Food remains a medium of expression and taste continues to be non-negotiable. But taste is no longer a one-liner—today, taste has to deliver on multiple dimensions, creating a melody of different tastes blended with an emphasis on happiness and satisfaction. The multisensorial trend suggests that a traditional pineapple cream biscuit with an added twist of mango will instantly become more indulgent and mysterious. A theme shining through in this year’s Kerry Taste Charts is the consumer need to celebrate food in its varied dimensions, albeit socially distanced from the comfort of home. 

 




Sian Cunningham

“Familiar”

Sian Cunningham

Senior Marketing Insights Specialist| Beloit, WI, USA

During times of uncertainty, consumers gravitate to familiar and favorite products that elicit a sense of joy and comfort. Throughout the pandemic, consumers were drawn to nostalgic and comforting flavors for this reason. Though not a new phenomenon driving consumer decision making, these familiar flavours and tastes were more prominent than in years past. We found that comfort food was on the rise this year in both home cooking and foodservice, with menus expanding to include more standards and classics. Eating and drinking familiar foods and beverages will continue to bring consumers comfort in the coming year, which explains the hearty helping of familiar and nostalgic flavours in this year’s roundup.

 




Christina Matrozou

“Transparency”

Christina Matrozou

Marketing Manager Sweet & Modulation Taste | Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2020 has been a year like no other, with consumers reconsidering everything they do for personal health as well as the wellness of the planet. This isn’t a brand new trend, however the present circumstances have accelerated intent. While sustainability may have been considered a goal the industry is working toward, there is a growing demand for action. Consumers want their favourite citrus, cocoa, vanilla and BBQ notes, however they want them in the most natural format, and a with a story of origin that makes clear natural resources were replenished, not exhausted. Products that align with the current taste trendsbut also harness the excitement and respect for a sustainable future—will be amongst the winners in the coming year.

 




Melissa Muldowney

“Ethnic”

Melissa Muldowney

Global Strategic Marketing Director, Savoury | Beloit, WI, USA

With travel still off the table for so much of the world’s population, many consumers are reverting to a simpler way to soak up a new culture—through global and ethnic cuisine. By listening to consumers in real time via Trendspotter, our tool that gathers insights from social media, we saw that people around the world were excited to expand their horizons by incorporating novel ingredients and flavours from exotic locations, including Indian masala, Korean barbecue to Mexican spice. Some products are staying true to their country of origin, while others are fusions of local and global cuisine, perhaps offering a taste of comfort as well as adventure.

To find out more about working with our experts, including market researchers, flavourists, food scientists and chefs, contact us. To see our taste and flavour predictions, download the 2021 Kerry Taste Charts.

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