The trends 2021 includes the desire of experience, which has also found the way into the world of cuisine. 54 percent of consumers say they have an affinity for new and unusual flavours. More than half also consider themselves “adventurous” by trying out new foods and drinks. This applies to product development: originality is the key. Because at flavours, colours and texture, the wow factor is now required!
Social media was a turbo for the visual representation of unusual tastes: The long-lasting hype of posting dishes and drinks on Facebook, Instagram and Co. in ever more unusual variants as "food porn" has become a hobby for many over the past few years for others it has even become a profession. Influencers and food bloggers often produce content on a highly professional level. And in order not to drown in the flood of images and to attract the attention of fans and followers, more and more unusual and unconventional product and image ideas are on the agenda.
Diversity obviously stimulates, because the desire for the new has meanwhile become an argument for more than half of the consumers in their purchase decision. 54 percent of global consumers consider themselves adventurous when trying out food and drinks. Likewise, 54 percent said they like new and unusual flavours. In the Corona year 2020 in particular, 62 percent of consumers said that they like to live out moments of pleasure while paying little or no attention to the simultaneous intake of nutrients. 53 percent of consumers find new and novel textures appealing and 61 percent said they had used food and beverages more experimentally in the past five years.
The catering industry is also involved in the “taste experience” on all communication channels. The posting of appetizing pictures has long since ceased to be reserved for star gastronomy. People who attract attention “get a like” - and since the lockdowns at the latest, surveys show that more and more private households that previously only cooked for their own use have been infected by DIY fever and the spread of social media. The desire to generate unusual creations and to inspire others with it will continue to be carried by the Covid-19 pandemic under the Artsy & DIY trend. This development is changing the demand for certain products: striking colours and textures attract attention and increase the demand for food and beverage components such as syrups, juices and mixed drinks that are suitable for exciting taste combinations both visually and in terms of taste. The motto: the more original the better! The colours range from pastel to gaudy and textures can be foamy or creamy. It is important that the overall package is right: the visual stimulus must be followed by a convincing taste.
Culinary experiences can also be achieved through pairing & fusion. In this way, dishes with perfectly matched drinks can merge into a single taste symphony. This now goes far beyond the established selection of wine or other alcoholic beverages. Instead, premium tea creations or mocktails from fruity to tart find their place alongside exquisite dishes, which are just as carefully tailored by star chefs to the respective menu course as the wine is classically by a sommelier. Pairing & fusion also means making products available to consumers that support momentum such as relaxation or the experience of an activity such as gaming or sports. The food or drink itself no longer stands for a pure taste experience, but often as part of a comprehensive experience in a specific context.
Special taste experiences are also an important part of the subtrend “Taste King, Texture Queen”: Consumers are specifically looking for products that they can take with them on a journey through sensory and that evoke emotions or memories related to certain experiences. On the one hand, consumers can use so-called "Taste Vacations" to partially satisfy their longing for travel destinations that are currently inaccessible, and on the other hand they can enjoyable escape from everyday life and treat themselves to a break on the culinary route. In addition to taste and colour, texture is playing an increasingly important role, as it also adds a sensory dimension to drinks and thus offers a greater consumer experience. RTD premium cocktails and drinks, which with their exotic ingredients and flavours arouse associations with certain travel destinations, make "taste vacations" possible in times of Covid-19 and holidays at home. Flavours such as guava or combinations such as mango-chili-lime can take you to Latin America or yuzu, calamansi, tamarind, cardamom delightfully serve the wanderlust for Asian countries. Flavour and juice components from bergamot, fig, orange blossom and blood orange make dreams of holidays in Mediterranean countries come true on a sensual level.
Contrary to the ever new, unusual and exciting taste experiences, Nostalgia 2.0 develops the increased desire for the known, the familiar, which serves the need for comfort. The use of nostalgic flavours that are reminiscent of favourite products from childhood or seasonal customs in the family - fresh lemonade or homemade syrup - offer a moment of retreat from everyday life. But even in nostalgia, consumers are looking for a special experience, so that the enrichment of known product types with new ingredients or new products with nostalgic flavours lead to nostalgic product concepts in a new guise.
Just as consumers of the adventure society are always looking for new challenges and adventures in their personal lives, comprehensive and new taste experiences are also arriving in the food and beverage sector. It is important to find a successful overall concept of flavours, colour and texture that brings the coveted wow factor. At the same time, products with a nostalgic touch are popular again: They are a reminder of the “good old days” and the original and bring back childhood memories. In times of exit and travel restrictions due to Covid-19, products with a taste reminiscent of travel experiences are also very popular this year!
Source: AGRANA 2021 Consumer Trends, Euromonitor, FMCG Gurus, Food Report 2021 - Hanni Rützler, Mintel