Indulgence in food and beverages became of great importance to consumers during the pandemic and even after this period we have seen an increase in the search for products with indulgent flavour. This is related to the ‘power’ of food to create a sense of escapism, relieve stress and anxiety and lift people’s mood.
People are always associating nostalgic and familiar flavours with good memories and brands are using this to their advantage, innovating their products with indulgent flavours and adding a modern twist with often bold and unexpected flavours.
The hybridisation trend has gained prominence in indulgent product development. We can notice brands mixing flavours and formats that we may never have imagined together, such as Victoria Sponge cheesecake or Scottish smoked salmon pizza.
This trend is also gaining traction in the drinks sector as RTD Iced Lattes and Sodas in unique flavours inspired by cakes, desserts and more, such as popcorn lattes and sodas with dessert-based syrups such as cupcake and vanilla.
According to thefoodpeople, the new trend that is growing in the US is “dirty” soda. The “dirty” refers to the fact that the soda is filled with a bunch of goodies and cream that make the soda look, well, dirty.
This new trend transports consumers back to their childhood. With the excessive flavours and colours, it is not only visually appealing, but even tastier.
New flavour horizons
Global flavours continue to grow in popularity, perhaps due to the lack of travel. New combinations and more exotic flavours from different countries give consumers the sense of adventure without the need to travel.
Brands are expanding their horizons and exploring new flavours from different parts of the world, especially those with an Asian profile that are traditionally used in savoury products and can now also be seen in sweets, such as calamansi, yuzu, pandan and Sakura.
We can also see bold combinations of sweet profile flavours with spices such as chilli, wasabi and miso in chocolates.
According to Mintel, 60% of UK consumers would be interested in trying chocolate with added vitamins/minerals. Adding better-for-you ingredients can shift the positioning of chocolate from simply indulgent to healthier without impacting mouthfeel, taste and indulgence perception.
We have seen innovations in low/no alcohol drinks using indulgent and cocktail-inspired flavours to attract consumers to this type of product. Mocktails with premium ingredients can offer consumers indulgent experiences, without the side effects of alcohol.
Innovate with Lionel Hitchen
As we have seen above, indulgent flavours, bold and unexpected combinations are gaining traction in the food and beverage market.
Our team of experts work on creating innovative flavours and creative solutions for products from different sectors. We also guide our customers with interesting combinations of the flavours in our portfolio by focusing on trends and target audiences.
We offer a dedicated range of low/no alcohol beverage flavours, which are ideal for better-for-you product applications. In addition, our HiTaste range offers authentic taste profiles from around the world, perfect for diverse applications in the food and beverage industry.
Mintel – Flavour innovations: pleasure and escapism
Thefoodpeople – drinkswatching July 2022 – Dirty sodas
Thefoodpeople – Platinum Jubilee 2022