As the world navigates through economic uncertainty, Flavorchem, a global flavor and ingredient supplier, has released its 4th annual Flavor & Trend Forecast with its curated predictions for 2023. 

Consumer desire to raise and uplift sensory experiences through food and drink will propel impactful innovations in the year ahead. With heightened inflation amid a global supply chain crisis, consumers must adapt their eating and spending patterns to new realities.

According to IRI’s 2022 State of Snacking Survey, 64% of consumers indulge themselves often when snacking. The increase in everyday snacking occasions and consumers pursuit of indulgent moments will propel confectionery innovation forward in the year ahead. Confectionery trends in 2023 will center around premium indulgence and sensory experiences. Trends are pointing to premiumization as consumers seek out treats that include novel ingredients, decadent flavors, and unique formats while brands will continue to innovate around multi-sensory features to elevate the taste experience.

Brands will take an experimental approach to innovation by offering "new experiences" not just with taste, but also with texture. Indulgent coatings, candy toppings, and inclusions, along with multi-textural experiences all fall under this "premium" umbrella.

  • Confectionery is particularly powerful at connecting consumers to happy childhood memories as nostalgia reigns in this space. According to Mintel, 72% of U.S. consumers enjoy things that remind them of their childhood as brands reinvent nostalgic flavors like s’mores, pumpkin, and caramel that tap into consumer’s pre-existing emotional connections.
  • Datassential revealed that brands are releasing more limited time offers (LTOs) this year than last year, with 54% calling these menu items a central part of their business. LTOs spur buzz, drive sales, and have the opportunity to expand upon well-known flavors, as these flavors are often tied to comfort, indulgence, and nostalgia. From emerging flavors to classic favorites, Flavorchem's top confectionery seasonal flavor picks for 2023 include:
    • Spring: Lemon Pistachio, Matcha Green Tea, Meyer Lemon, Pomelo Paloma, Raspberry Hibiscus, Ube
    • Summer: Chocolate Churro, Root Beer Float, S’mores, Pina Colada, Peach Cobbler, Fruity Cereal Milk
    • Fall: Blackberry, Maple Pumpkin Chai, Cranberry Orange, Sea Salt Caramel, Spiced Apple Cider
    • Winter: Irish Crème, Mint Chocolate Chip, Peppermint Mocha, Pomegranate, Snickerdoodle 
  • Exotic fruit flavors such as dragon fruit, pineapple guava, and watermelon calamansi along with indulgent flavors like cookie butter, dulce de leche, salted honey, and cinnamon French toast round out Flavorchem's list of confectionery flavor trends for 2023.

Click here to request the full copy of Flavorchem’s 2023 Flavor & Trend Forecast or email to learn more about the Elevate Collection.