GettyImages-1875157262 Liudmila Chernetska.

Source: Getty Images / Liudmila Chernetska

Real fruits such as pineapple are among the flavours predicted to be trending this year

International Taste Solutions (I.T.S.) has published a report on the food flavours tipped to be trending in the coming year, along with the market influences that are driving them.

The specialist flavours supplier based in Newbury, Berkshire, compiled research from Mintel, Innova, and Tastewise, as well as social media observations and its own experiences with customer NPD briefs, in its report entitled ‘Journey into the Future of Flavour’.

Included is some thinking on what the company calls ‘braver flavour’ choices, such as katsu curry in sweet (yes, sweet) bakery applications.

“The I.T.S. flavour trends report is an ideal way for us to share our knowledge as flavour innovators along with data from respected trends analysts to give a snapshot of what is influencing trends in food and drink, and flavours in particular,” commented I.T.S. founder Mike Bagshaw.

“We are presently dealing with current global conflicts, inflation, and climate change along with the rise in AI. The growth in digital culture means today’s consumers have access to news and views 24/7 too resulting in demand for instant gratification,” Bagshaw added.

“At that same time there is growing political division and the rise of ‘woke’ culture, particularly among the influential younger or ‘Gen Z’ generation. All this will have an impact on the kind of food and drink that is being developed by food manufacturers.”

GettyImages-1771330007 Gabriel Soler Tomasella.

Source: Getty Images / Gabriel Soler Tomasella

Creative caramels like dulce de leche are another set of flavours gaining prominence in 2024

The six key flavour trends identified in the I.T.S. report include:

Newfound Nostalgia

With customers seeking comfort in the familiar during times of uncertainty, bakers are advised to take a trip down memory lane and use flavours such as marzipan, custard, sherbet, gingerbread and even candy floss. Our Top Cake Trends 2024 report also picked up on this retro appeal for sweet treats. 

Creative Caramel

Flavours including salted caramel, blonde chocolate and dulce de leche will take the humble caramel to the next level in 2024. The popularity of caramel, which was discussed in our Flavour Trends 2023 article last year, is also linked to consumer desire for nostalgic flavours but with a new twist and influences from other food cultures.

Forever Floral

Despite being around for a while, floral and botanicals notes are to move into the mainstream for their perceived health benefits, with manufacturers including the likes of elderflower, orange blossom or hibiscus, believes I.T.S.

Keep It Real

Demand for natural flavour profiles that move away from sweeter confectionery styles has resulted in a big drive for authentic fruit flavours too. Real fruit puree flavours such as pineapple, blueberry, passion fruit, raspberry and apricot are expected to trend this year.

Barbie World

Popular culture trends such as last summer’s Barbie movie or the new Wonka film are to continue influencing flavour trends like smoky caramel, Neapolitan ice cream, and toasted popcorn. I.T.S. recommends its customers stay up to date with the latest releases and be bold with flavour combinations as a result.

Braver Flavours

NPD briefs received by I.T.S. have included katsu curry for savoury snacks, ready meals and even in traditionally sweet applications, while there’s been orders for exotic fruit flavours like mangosteen, along with smoky strawberry, and Tiger’s Blood (a combination of watermelon, strawberry, and coconut).

The full flavours trend report is available for free download via the I.T.S. website here