Beck Flavors announces the 2023 flavor forecast –
consumer preferences centered around adventure, self-care and versatility.
Entering 2023, people are more connected than ever before. Social media has brought widespread exposure to worldly cultures through community pages, hashtags, and videos, making the internet a more diverse and inclusive place. In turn, Gen Z has grown to incorporate and expect culturally diverse flavors and cooking concepts in their meals and snacks. These shifts in consumer trends are reflected in the 2023 Flavors of the Year.
Our marketing and R&D teams joined forces to forecast the emerging flavors of 2023 by analyzing preferences, mega trends, and buyer behaviors in 2022. After an extensive audit of flavor trends, winners were chosen in the fruit, botanical, indulgent and innovation categories.
Consumers are looking for unique experiences with their snacks, candy and beverages. They want something memorable, and in this case, memorable flavors don’t have to come from exotic places. That’s why Carnival Grape is our fruit flavor of the year.
A certain flavor or aroma can take consumers back to a treasured childhood memory or feeling of the past. There are some flavors that explode with exuberance, taking them to places far off and magical. A burst of sweet carnival-appropriate flavor, with plenty of that classic grape flavor. With many unique grape varieties offering up a sweet treat to the health-conscious consumer, there is sure a variety to WOW your taste buds.
Grape is at the forefront of a resurgence of gums, sports drinks and sparkling waters. Research indicates a 36% increase in grape-flavored gums in the United States since November 2021. Although grape is a familiar flavor, it lays a unique groundwork for other complex “flavor scape” experiences. Some brands are even using grape flavor as a part of abstract flavors like “springtime” and even a “journey to space”.
Perception is reality for many consumers, and nowhere is that more prevalent in flavors than in the botanical category. Consumers are on the lookout for ways they can boost their immune health, or at least feel a fresh boost in their daily food and beverage choices. Strong botanical aromas offer benefits like decreased anxiety and improved sleep, while giving consumers a jolt of freshness.
That’s why Garden Mint is our botanical flavor of the year, a fresh and rejuvenating flavor centered around mindfulness. Garden Mint offers those fresh benefits while also delivering a sweet twist that helps it pair nicely with fruits and other flavors. It also provides a unique freshness that’s difficult to replicate, and a brightness that stimulates the senses.
Even in a time of financial stress, consumers are still willing to spring for decadence. They find comfort in decadent flavors that make them feel like they’re treating themselves. In fact, since the COVID-19 pandemic, the amount of people who regularly eat indulgent foods is up 20%. Flavors can be that little escape, that taste of the luxurious without having to pay for it.
It’s becoming more apparent that when consumers treat themselves they want something worth-white. While indulgence is often viewed negatively, the self-care benefits of occasional indulgence are significant. Making an indulgent choice can improve emotional and mental well-being, and it can also create an important social connection with others. That’s why with sweetness, citrus and self-care taken into consideration, we chose Orange Glazed Cinnamon Roll as our indulgent flavor.
The innovative flavor is often the most exciting and unexpected of the flavors because it helps consumers become familiar with the unfamiliar.
Innovative trends are a paradox, because they need to have a buzz around them without being too widespread. The point of an innovative flavor is that it’s a new experience for consumers. And studies show that younger consumers are willing to go on new flavor adventures. Only 31% of US adults aged 18-25 ‘tend to stick to food they know they will like’, vs 40% of Millennials and 52% of Baby Boomers. Younger consumers are also more globally minded and want to experience new things from around the world.
This year’s innovative flavor is Spicy Tamarind, a bold and intrepid fruit that incorporates a global, unique flavor, while pairing nicely with sweet flavors to create dynamic profiles. The flavor of the tamarind fruit ranges from sweet and sour to tangy and tart, and can be tastefully combined with sweet flavors like pineapple or caramel. With a touch of heat from chili peppers, the flavors will transform into a taste that’s unforgettable.
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To support the 2023 Flavor of the Year, we also released a series of infographics that break down reasoning behind the flavor selections, trends that support the winning choices, and potential flavor pairings that can work very well with the winning flavors across various applications.