Taste remains a key driver in consumer food purchases. According to the 2018 IFIC “Food and Health Survey,” taste was rated the No. 1 factor, with 81 percent of consumers stating taste impacts their decisions. Consumers still seek nostalgic, familiar flavors—but also flavors that appeal to their adventurous side.
“As millennials continue to drive a lot of the innovation behind new flavor launches, palates are becoming worldlier,” says Victoria Ward, senior marketing manager, IFF, Philadelphia. “Expect a continued rise in globally inspired flavors trending towards bold, exotic and gourmet.” She cites date, fig, matcha green tea and ginger flavors as trending across sweet goods. “Savory-forward flavors are also active in the category, led by salt, heat and spices mingling with traditionally sweet flavor profiles for added dimension and complexity. Salted butter cookies, sweet heat potato chips and chai spice cashews exemplify this trend.”