A taste trend for cultural flavours

A taste trend for cultural flavours

InFlavour will give attendees the opportunity to discover the latest in consumer trends – researchers will share their work and highlight the possibilities that those trends offer for savvy F&B brands. 

One of the shifts we’ve spotted in recent months, cropping up across various sources, is a taste trend for cultural flavours: consumers are seeking new and interesting flavours, with a growing interest in tastes that originate from other cultures. 

What does ‘cultural flavours’ actually mean?

Innovators in taste and nutrition at Kerry Group have identified ‘roots and origins’ as a 2023 taste trend – which might mean that consumers are interested in ingredients and food practices from their own cultural history, or that they’re seeking flavours from the roots and origins of other cultures (or both). 

Understanding current flavour trends is important for F&B businesses as they position their products in the market. Soumya Nair (Global Consumer Research and Insights Director at Kerry Group) told Food Business News,

“Ensuring flavour appeal positively drives brand relevance and preference. In the foodservice space, this means engaging in emerging and trending flavours to feed consumers’ desire for adventure and novelty. Our flavour insights are a derivative of our proprietary taste charts methodology that uncovers 2023’s emerging flavours.”

Consumers are also experimenting with unconventional combinations of the food and beverages they grew up with, and combining those familiar food items with flavours from other regions. Trend researchers have reported that a growing number of people are seeking new sources of heat and novel spice flavours, along with flavours from fermented food products and tropical fruits. 

Kerry Group’s research identified botanicals (think rose, hibiscus, cardamom and fennel), spices, and florals as emerging flavours for food and beverages in the foodservice sector. Mexican and Asian flavours are also gaining popularity. And unusual textures are creating more interest and surprise in food and drink items – created with textural spices or flavour combinations that create a sense of texture. 

In short: consumers are looking for adventure in their food choices. And that’s an exciting trend for F&B – pointing to a good moment in time for launching new products in some markets. 

Has the cultural flavours taste trend been identified in Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia has its own distinct cultural flavours and traditional dishes – we wrote about that here. The local food blends Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Asian flavours; with spices being key to most dishes. 

But the trend for seeking out different cultural flavours has reached Saudi Arabia. The country’s food consumption patterns are changing, with a growing preference for new taste combinations, an interest in international cuisine, and a growing focus on healthy food. 

According to a report by Food Navigator Asia, consumers in Saudi Arabia are increasingly demanding new products. And this is expedited by broader changes in the F&B industry here; with local startups and international food chains becoming important contributors to the country’s economy. 

It’s a really good time for international F&B companies and innovators to bring new ideas and new flavours to the country. Which is exactly what’s going to happen at InFlavour 2024.

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