An increased concern with both naturalness and functionality has led to attitudinal changes in what we perceive a “healthy lifestyle.” Consumers are looking for easy ways to be healthy, rest and recharge, and find holistic prevention in their food and beverage more than ever in a post-pandemic world. But it’s not just about the benefits – they’re seeking to turn “better for you” into “better tasting for you” in their sweet, savory, and beverage choices. Here we’ll explore some of the up-and-coming trends, ingredients, and flavors to look out for this year within the Healthy Lifestyle pillar as reported by Symrise in the annual Symrise 2022 North American Top Trends Report.

Mindfulness in Food and Beverage

The mindfulness trend is all about being in the moment and training the body to reach new heights of focus and wellness, so naturally, North American consumers are looking to bring this way of living into the choices of what they put into their bodies. They are seeking out food and beverages that deliver psychological and physiological improvements from ingredients with beneficial elements, like anti-inflammatory, CBD, or gut-healthy probiotics. Products with dual benefits, like detoxifying black limes and vitamin-packed moringa, are especially appealing to consumers as they look for ways to incorporate wellness rituals into their routines, without them taking up too much time. They also look to make their adult beverages work for them, choosing drinks with boosts of spirulina or purple cauliflower to provide a healthy benefit to their indulgent treat.

Sweet is Out, Bitter is In

Consumers are gravitating to food and beverage with not only added benefits, but also removal of bad-for-you ingredients, like replacing sugar with less-sweet alternatives, like citrus and botanicals, in their coffees and sodas or skipping the pepperoni and adding dandelion greens to a pizza instead. Embracing savory vs sweet flavors is at an exciting high with new ingredients pushing limits on menus with unusually paired ingredients that speak to consumers eager to experiment.

Balance, Not Restrictions

In a world where “diet” is a curse word, marketing toward the consumer who wants to improve their healthy lifestyle becomes difficult. What’s appealing to the 51% of U.S. consumers who believe counting calories is not necessary when following a healthy eating routine is the idea of the “undiet” – choosing nutrient-dense products with a high ratio of beneficial nutrients and balancing indulgence rather than setting restrictions. The trend of the rise in no/low alcohol beverages falls under this concept as well, with consumers choosing to reduce their alcohol content with drinks like kombucha or mocktails with watermelon juice and lemon to give them the pleasure of enjoying the taste of their drink without added alcohol.

Roots and Fruits

As we see that sweet flavors and excessive sugar carry less appeal now than flavor profiles highlighting bitter and citrus, roots and fruits are at the forefront of menus in 2022. Roots like angelica, orris, and rhubarb add a unique earthy bitterness to dishes, while berry flavors in drinks and desserts are seeing lesser-known specialty berries with an acidic or tannic bite, like blackcurrant and elderberries, rising in popularity on menus, especially on cocktail lists.

For more information on trending flavors with insights from industry experts and an in-depth list of ingredients to seek out in 2022, contact us 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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