Kerry, a global leader in taste and nutrition, predicts that flavors inspired by legacy recipes, across generations of tradition globally, will drive food and beverage innovation in 2023. These insights are part of the company’s annual Taste and Nutrition Charts, providing an in-depth analysis of flavors, ingredients and nutrition trends shaping innovation in the coming year.

According to Kerry’s report, taste remains the top driver when it comes to food and beverage choices. In the coming year, consumers will be motivated by simplicity, sustainability and meeting their nutrition goals. Despite this, there will be a rise in unconventional flavor pairings and trends driven by lost traditions, simplicity and comfort.

Top insights for flavor innovation in 2023:

  • There will be a resurgence in age-old cooking practices and traditional recipes as consumers place more importance on tradition and provenance. This includes ingredients such as Apple cider vinegar, ashwagandha and mushrooms.
  • Younger consumers are seeking mashups of familiar food and drinks that they grew up with combined with emerging new flavor tonalities. This trend is influenced by social media channels such as TikTok and Instagram.
  • Consumers will crave unconventional combinations of traditional ingredients and emerging taste profiles from other regions, such as cloves, Herbs de Provence, saffron, fig, ube and dill.
  • Consumers will also be seeking value in 2023 as inflation hits home. They will gravitate towards products that allow permissible indulgence, seeking simple flavors like cheddar cheese and caramel across nostalgic favorites like cookies and salty snacks.
  • In North America, a major flavor trend is being driven by regional classics such as North Carolina’s spicy barbecue and Tex Mex.

“Flavors have a powerful way to convey a story – particularly when it comes to consumer trends and preferences,” says Soumya Nair, global consumer research and insights director at Kerry. “This year we will witness the resurgence of time-honored traditions and heirloom recipes as consumers crave traditional tastes with new and emerging flavors. Comfort still reigns supreme – with peppermints, hazelnuts, chocolates, cheeses, chilies still dominating tastebuds.  Whether a nostalgic treat, a comfort dish, or a healthy alternative consumers expect a greater variety of tastes in 2023.”

“Through our in-depth research and insights from our teams across the globe, we are seeing how trends are travelling the world – with Asian flavors such as Cardamom, Japanese Miso, Gooseberry and Hawthorn, reaching Europe and North America, while popular dishes in Europe such as Moroccan Tahini and Italian Bolognaise inspiring innovation in Asia Pacific. Consumers are travelling the world through taste and we expect that interest and desire in authenticity to continue.”