Comfort foods are front and center in the latest Flavor Trends report from Comax Flavors.

Comax’s 2022 Flavor Trends are divided into four different flavor collections:

Pizza Pizzazz

Pizza has a special place in Americans’ diet and the category is flourishing. According to Mintel, three in four Americans have eaten pizza ordered from a restaurant in 2020, while 58% have eaten frozen pizza from a store. Furthermore, 82% of U.S. consumers say pizza is one of their favorite comfort foods. The frozen pizza category reached $6.1 billion, up 9% for the 52 weeks ending April 18, 2021, according to IRI. “Pizza is a household staple. From crusts to toppings, we are seeing innovation in the category and created the Pizza Pizzazz range,” said Catherine Armstrong, vice president of corporate communications for Comax Flavors. This savory collection can be used in a variety of applications including snacks, crackers, seasoning, coatings, and sauces.

Flavors in this group include: Margherita, Pepperoni, and Sausage

Get Grillin’

During the pandemic, home goods and home renovations skyrocketed because people were home all day, every day. Outdoor spaces were spiffed up and now grilling is no longer reserved for summer. Between April 2020 to February 2021, sales of grills and smokers increased 39%, according to the NPD Group. According to Innova Market Insights, global BBQ flavored food & beverage launches have grown an average of 19% between 2015-2019. “Now that people are grilling more, we’ve seen an increased interest in BBQ flavors that are regionally diverse ranging from sweet to smoky. To meet the growing demand, Comax Flavors created the Get Grillin’ collection,” said Armstrong. This lip-smacking range can be used in a variety of applications including animal-based protein and plant-based alternatives as well as seasonings, coatings, sauces, marinades, and snacks.

Flavors in this group include: Classic BBQ, Smoky Bourbon BBQ, and Korean BBQ

Trust Your Gut

Once on the fringe, gut and digestive health are now mainstream. Probiotics have been leading the digestive health trend and now prebiotics and postbiotics join the fray. The global probiotics market is estimated to be worth $61.1 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach $91.1 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 8.3%, according to MarketsandMarkets. Postbiotics have become the fastest growing area in terms of gut health related Google searches, with a nearly 1,300% increase in the last two years, according to Lumina Intelligence. “In response to consumers’ interest in microbiome-friendly food and beverage, Comax Flavors created the Trust Your Gut collection,” said Armstrong. This wholesome collection can be used in numerous applications such as non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, beverage syrups, plant-based, and dairy applications, baked goods and confections as well as nutrition and performance products.

Flavors in this group include: Apple Cinnamon Oat, Lavender Cola, and Peach Ginger

Sweet Decadence

Consumers have not let go of comfort foods and snackable treats. According to a One Poll and Farm Rich study, 2 in 3 Americans reverted to consuming more comfort food since the start of the pandemic, and 69% of people say they’ll continue to enjoy the same amount of comfort food that they are now post-pandemic. 26% of Americans are craving more baked goods and 28% are eating more baked goods, according to a General Mills Foodservice survey conducted by the Harris Poll. “We know sweet goods such as ice cream, donuts, and cupcakes offer nostalgia and comfort. To give consumers indulgent flavors and new experiences, Comax Flavors created the Sweet Decadence range that takes familiar flavors and twists them with unexpected textures and formats,” said Armstrong. This scrumptious line can be used in a variety of applications such as baked goods, nutrition bars, confections, syrup, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, as well as dairy and non-dairy plant-based products.

Flavors in this group include: Cannoli Donut, Salted Caramel Brownie Cupcake, and Vanilla Bean Mochi