Emotional Discoveries Top Trends 2022

Blurred lines are one of the biggest emerging trends in food and beverage in 2022, and it’s happening in some unexpected categories. With consumers interested in exploring heritage and multicultural flavors, acceptance of and desire for global influences continues to grow. Ingredients from one culture are blended with cooking techniques and flavors of others, leading to increasingly blurred cuisine lines and multi-cultural experimentation. Nostalgia and comfort also continue to have a major impact as we move out of the pandemic. Here we’ll explore some of the up-and-coming trends, ingredients, and flavors to look out for this year within the Emotional Discoveries pillar as reported by Symrise in the annual Symrise 2022 North American Top Trends Report.

Introducing New Nostalgia

The desire for nostalgic foods is not a new trend by any means, but entering a post-pandemic world influences what exactly people are nostalgic for, whether it’s the comfort foods of their childhood or the more recent memory of a sandwich from a favorite deli they haven’t visited in two years. To appeal to the former and bring nostalgia into the modern age, chefs and brands are creating products and menu items, like pizza burgers or miso macaroni and cheese, that speak to the child within while satisfy the tastebuds of the adult enjoying the experience now. Many menu items are also incorporating vending machine snacks into meals for unexpected texture, flavor, and a hint of, “wait, what is that doing here and why does it pair so well?” Cereal brands especially are changing up their branding to appeal to the Millennial and Gen Z consumer with some moving away from an overly energetic "mascot" and toward more chic and contemporary aesthetics for their packaging and branding. Consumers—especially those who are a part of the Millennial and Gen Z demographics—are placing a strong emphasis on appearance when making their purchasing decisions.

Multicultural Everything

Similar to blurring lines is the idea of blurring boundaries. “Authenticity” is not necessarily what consumers are searching for when looking to experience global flavors. In fact, they embrace the idea of twisting and mixing the best of multiple cultures to create something new and interesting, leaving what’s next in the world of global flavors a delicious mystery. The idea of obliterating boundaries is exciting to consumers couped up at home during a pandemic where they were unable to travel and are less interested in labels than they are in flavor. Ingredients from one culture are blended with cooking techniques and flavors of others, leading to increasingly blurred cuisine lines and multicultural experimentation, like Afro-Caribbean and New Wave Korean.

Modern Asian

Asian flavors continue to grow and become more familiar to North American consumers, with ingredients like kokuto (Okinawa brown sugar), gochujang, bagoong, and more making a big impact on menus and becoming well-known to the average consumer. The Asian influence of savory and umami-packed flavors, like sesame, matcha, and miso, dominate within all categories from dessert to entrees to matcha lattes being ordered at corner coffee shops. Consumers are also seeking out modern Indian flavors beyond curry, with top ingredients like garam masala, tandoori, and samosa chaat in high demand.

For more information on trending flavors with insights from industry experts and an in-depth list of ingredients to seek out in 2022, contact _____ to receive the complete 2022 North American Top Flavor Trends Report. Let’s discuss how to create the future of food with these trends from 2022 and beyond!

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