Kerry cites cultural roots as the leading driver of taste trends in 2023

The roots and origins of the 2023 flavor trends identified by the Kerry Group are likely to appeal to both nostalgic and adventurous consumers, says Soumya Nair, Global Head of Business Insights, Kerry.

This trend may mean consumers are seeking ingredients and cooking practices that are long-forgotten traditions of their cultural past, or it may mean consumers are seeking flavors with roots and origins in other cultures, he said in a Jan. 31 webinar.

“The human desire to travel through one’s own taste buds is really strong and we see roots and origins becoming an important trend,” Ms Nair said.

Kerry listed seven trends in her annual taste and nutrition chart. They were the ultimate taste, the purpose-driven taste, the joy in the simple, the health tip, the off-the-roll and the roots and origins that mix and mingle.

According to Kerry, the “Roots and Origins” trend represents a resurgence of traditional cooking practices and recipes as consumers place more importance on tradition and provenance. Ingredients like apple cider vinegar, ashwagandha, and mushrooms appear in food and beverage supplements.

According to Ms Nair, customers in Thailand may be looking for old traditional recipes with fish sauce, while customers in the UK may be looking for recipes with Worcestershire sauce. Adventurous consumers in Australia have taken an interest in harissa and gochujang, which are not traditional Australian flavours.

“You see delicacies from all over the world,” Ms Nair said.

In a trend of increasing taste, consumers expect healthy, nutritious and sustainable alternatives to provide the same taste experience and flavor intensity as mainstream foods and beverages. Purpose-driven taste means that consumers are driven by sustainability consciousness.

Consumers are looking for joy in simple flavors in a recession because they want nostalgia, comfort and familiarity. The concept of health refers to functional forward flavors that convey an aura of health.

Social media has influenced food and beverage trends. New recipes, food and beverage creations with rich toppings and toppings like glazes and sprinkles have sparked consumer interest.

Mix and match includes familiar foods and drinks and unconventional flavor pairings. According to Kerry, younger consumers are especially looking for blends of the foods and drinks they grew up with, along with new flavors. Ms. Nair gave examples of fruitcake-flavored Mountain Dew and Ghost Pepper Latte.

Kerry divided flavors into four stages of perception. Mainstream represents the top 10 flavors of the past five years. The next 15 flavors over the last five years were the second phase. The future, the third phase, was the fastest growing 20 flavor in the last three years. Emergent flavors, the last phase, were the fastest growing flavors last year.

Flavors can be in different phases depending on the world region. Kerry cited Romano and blue cheese as up-and-coming flavors in the United States. In Mexico, queso cheddar is an up-and-coming flavor. Other upcoming cheese flavors include Parmigiano Reggiano and Pecorino in Australia, Emmental and Gouda in Europe, and Mozzarella in the Asia-Pacific region.

“Something as simple as cheese looks different in different regions,” Ms Nair said.

He says sriracha will continue to be used and expand into different categories.

“2011 was when sriracha went from being just a condiment to being on the menu around the world,” he said. “Experimental chefs tried it as an ingredient.”

Non-adventurous mainstream customers may be willing to try sriracha and cilantro or sriracha and nacho cheese, Ms. Nair said. Adventurous consumers may be interested in sriracha with pineapple or horseradish. Sriracha is used as a seasoning for popcorn, shrimp, and chicken.

“God, sriracha is not just a condiment anymore,” Ms. Nair said. “This red and green bottle is very special.”