Ingredients group Kerry, is predicting that flavours inspired by heirloom recipes, across generations of tradition globally, will drive food and beverage innovation in 2023.

These insights are contained in the company’s annual Taste and Nutrition Charts, providing an in-depth analysis of flavours, ingredients and nutrition trends shaping innovation in the coming year.

Its findings say taste remains the top driver when it comes to food and beverage choices and in the coming year consumers will be motivated by simplicity, sustainability and meeting nutrition goals. Nonetheless, there will be a rise in unconventional flavour pairings such as sweet profiles in savoury foods including blackcurrant and maple syrup, with a strong interest in provenance, functional ingredients and flavours that tell a story.

Top insights for flavour innovation in 2023

  • There will be a resurgence in age old cooking practices and heirloom recipes as consumers place more importance on tradition and provenance. Ingredients such as nutritional yeast, ginseng, kombucha, ashwagandha and ancient grains are finding a new home across snack and beverage applications. 
  • Indulgence will take on a new meaning, with younger consumers in particular seeking mashups of familiar food and drinks that they grow up combined with emerging new flavour tonalities. This trend is augmented by the influence of social media channels such as TikTok and Instagram. 
  • There will be a hunger for unconventional combinations of traditional ingredients and emerging taste profiles from other regions, such as Korean fried chicken, mojito beers, Japanese katsu, Greek tzatziki and a thirst for healthier beverages with functional ingredients such as ashwagandha, hibiscus and matcha.
  • In addition, consumers will be seeking value in 2023 as inflation hits home, but they will still gravitate towards products that allow permissible indulgence, still seeking simple flavours like cheddar cheese and caramel across nostalgic favourites like cookies and salty snacks.

In Europe, Kerry said it also see cross-category inspiration with dessert and alcohol flavours inspiring various non-traditional applications such as ice cream, confectionery and sports nutrition.    

Commenting on these taste trends, Soumya Nair, global consumer research and insights director at Kerry, said: “Flavours have a powerful way to convey a story – particularly when it comes to consumer trends and preferences. This year we will witness the resurgence of time-honoured traditions and heirloom recipes as consumers crave traditional tastes with new and emerging flavours. Comfort still reigns supreme – with peppermints, hazelnuts, chocolates, cheeses, chilies still dominating tastebuds.  Whether a nostalgic treat, a comfort dish or a healthy alternative, consumers expect a greater variety of tastes in 2023.”

“Through our in-depth research and insights from our teams across the globe, we are seeing how trends are travelling the world – with Asian flavours such as Cardamom, Japanese Miso, Gooseberry and Hawthorn, reaching Europe and North America, while popular dishes in Europe such as Moroccan Tahini and Italian Bolognaise inspiring innovation in Asia Pacific. Consumers are travelling the world through taste and we expect that interest and desire in authenticity to continue.”

Download the Taste and Nutrition Charts here.