During the pandemic, people have found themselves with more time on their hands to experiment in the kitchen, creating indulgent treats that comfort them and explore cultural heritages as they embrace regional and multicultural ingredients. However, they’re also ready to leave the kitchen and have a chef-prepared meal including an immersive, sensory experience tailored just for them. Here we’ll explore some of the up-and-coming trends, ingredients, and flavors to look out for this year within the Premium Indulgence pillar as reported by Symrise in the annual Symrise 2022 North American Top Trends Report.

Related: Overview of Symrise's 2022 North American Trends Report

Embracing Regionality

As consumers look for more regional flavors, creators and makers are delivering based on their cultural heritage. Recreational travel was and continues to be stunted as we adjust to a post-pandemic world, so people got used to the idea of traveling with their tastebuds to places they could not physically visit. Diners are looking for the story behind a native dish or ingredient to add to their eating or drinking experience, welcoming the opportunity to discover new taste and flavor profiles instead of playing it safe. Ingredients that used to be softened or relegated to the background, like amaro – the essential ingredient in classic cocktails like the Aperol Spritz, Negroni, and Americano, are now pushed to the forefront to deliver the regional taste consumers are looking for in a more in-your-face manner.

Immersive Eating with All the Senses

The idea of the “sensory” and “tailored eating” experience, paired with chef-inspired and artisanal ingredients, is destined to be the next big thing in dining out in 2022. Sensory eating is all about creating unique dining experiences that trigger all the senses by adding unique or unexpected texture to dishes, quality ingredients with a backstory, and tailored eating and drinking with highly personalized customization of menu items. What consumers want is an immersive experience that makes them feel ultra special and connected to the dishes, drinks and desserts with experiential flavors.

Expect the Unexpected

Consumers are seeking out surprises in their dining experience, so chefs are delivering that “wow factor” in unexpected ways. This is being achieved across categories, from infusing smokey flavors into mezcal cocktail or in a creamy chocolate cake, to adding fun pops of texture and satisfying crunch with puffed rice to salads and cookies. Consumers want to be kept guessing and pleasantly surprised, especially when they bite into a delicious chocolate donut only to discover the icing is made from avocado and the filling is dotted with crunchy corn chip pieces – and love it!

Putting the Premium in Indulgence

For those looking to take their indulgence to the next level, they are oftentimes expecting quality, artisanal ingredients displayed in pleasing way. The popularity of the charcuterie board has seen a meteoric rise recently and has advanced beyond a simple plate of meats and cheeses. Now, boards can feature anything from a selection of candy and sweets to varieties of hot dogs and fries. It has evolved with the needs of a public who seek out more and more creative dishes and want to break away from the norm. We’re also seeing this in things like chocolate, with ruby chocolate taking the spotlight for it’s unique color that adds to a stunning presentation  to cultured, artisanal, small-batch butters with unexpected infusions like seaweed or jalapeno. 

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 HERE 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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