As we move from the noughties to the teenies, I thought it would be interesting to review the latest taste trends. Recessionary pressures have caused consumers to seek comfort in the familiar, so we can expect more nostalgic launches to follow Monster Munch, Wispa and Arctic Roll. But what new flavours can we expect to see on the market this year?
The recession has made consumers more price-conscious, but they are also into strong flavours such as pâté and robust cheeses, which give more flavour per buck. The recurring theme of health and wellness has also led to several new themes: superfruit flavours, clean-label products and satiating flavours.
We can also expect special flavours for the over-60s. Although pensioners have diminished taste and smell and need stronger flavours, they are not keen on spicy foods, so we could see the return of nostalgic flavours such as lavender, fennel and dandelion and burdock. However, travel is also common so we can expect an increase in North African, Middle Eastern, Southeast Asian and Hispanic flavours. Exotic fruit flavours such as pomelo, baobab and the Amazonian fruit cupuaçu are also emerging. Wasabi was one of the most popular trends in the US over the last decade and we have seen signs of its emergence in Europe.
The rise of chilli will continue we have seen Xtreme Chilli Pringles and chilli cheese spread launches. Our market intelligence manager Chris Brockman also predicts more unusual flavour combinations: heating, cooling, sour and tangy flavours. Meanwhile, recent US launches have included smoked bacon peanut brittle and bacon flavour chocolates in a bid to make confectionery more appealing to the macho male sector!
In 2010, we will see youngsters demanding more exciting and adventurous flavours while the old crave familiarity. I wonder how the two will develop?
''Dr Paul Berryman Chief executive Leatherhead Food Research www.leatherheadfood.com''