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The Flavour Factor – Innovation Remains Vital as Three-quarters of Consumers ‘Love to Discover New Flavours’

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The Flavour Factor – Innovation Remains Vital as Three-quarters of Consumers ‘Love to Discover New Flavours’

The Flavour Factor – Innovation Remains Vital as Three-quarters of Consumers ‘Love to Discover New Flavours’
February 20
11:51 2020
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Flavour is, on average, the single most important factor in consumers’ food and drink choices. Interest in novelty and variety is also high, says a new report from Innova Market Insights revealing that three-quarters of global consumers ‘love to discover new flavours’. It is therefore little wonder that innovators continue to experiment and innovate with taste profiles and to use flavour as a valuable marketing tool.

Such is flavour’s importance in food and drink development that many of Innova’s Top 10 Trends for 2020 are having a clear bearing on its evolution. For example, more detailed flavour descriptors and an emphasis on provenance reflect the #1 trend ‘Storytelling: Winning With Words’ theme, while growing diversity in the produce and botanicals used in flavourings is part of the #2 trend ‘The Plant-Based Revolution’.

‘Hello Hybrids’ is another major theme, with more and more flavours familiar in one category crossing over into others. Also edition and seasonal flavours can help to invigorate brands and are a good way to test new tastes on the public (‘Brand Unlimited’).

Generationally, Millennials are the most adventurous in their attitudes to flavour, while Boomers are the most conventional. Perhaps surprisingly, Gen Zs are also less interested in mixing it up when it comes to taste.

“When asked if they like new, mixed or seasonal flavours, Gen Z agreement was generally at least 10 percentage points lower than that of Millennials,” says Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights. “But there is still an element of boldness when it comes to genuine novelty, with 45% of Gen Zs agreeing that ‘the crazier the flavour, the better’, a much higher percentage than is found among the over 45s and over 55s.”

Looking ahead, flavour innovation will remain an essential part of food and drink NPD and key themes will include the diversification of authentic international flavours, further exploitation of the wider plant world, ‘permissible indulgence’ in the health and wellness arena and ongoing hybridization.

Meanwhile, sustainability and the sourcing of flavours, including the raw materials that go into them, will also become a more important issue and could well impact on future consumer choice as well as industry practice.


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