Leading food and beverage flavor manufacturer T. Hasegawa has identified its official 2024 Flavor of the Year: ube. 

A bright purple tuberous root hailing from the Philippines, ube has gained international recognition for its purple hue and distinctive earthy, nutty and sweet flavor profile. With its trademark violet or lavender color, ube offers a multitude of applications ranging from savory dishes such as purple mashed potatoes, gnocchi and sauces to desserts, baked goods and even beverages. Due to its growing popularity among foodies and culinary influencers on social media for providing a splash of natural color in Instagram- and TikTok-worthy dishes, experts agree that Ube is poised to take center stage as a flavor ingredient next year. 

The Flavor of the Year is just one of the many findings in the company’s 2024 Food and Beverage Flavor Trends Report. T. Hasegawa remains at the forefront of consumer trends and shares these developments and research findings throughout the food and beverage industry. 

“Studying and predicting upcoming consumer flavor trends is foundational to our industry and T. Hasegawa’s R&D team is uniquely positioned to share these findings because we work with many of the world’s leading food and beverage brands,” says Doug Resh, director of commercial marketing at T. Hasegawa USA. “Understanding where consumer trends are headed is the first step in the process of flavor development, which blends expertise and novel technologies to create better-tasting food and beverage products.” 

In addition to spotlighting Ube as Flavor of the Year, T. Hasegawa’s 2024 report reveals other up-and-coming ingredients and culinary trends, such as: 

  • Comfort foods will take center stage in 2024, providing a sense of nostalgia and familiarity as a respite from the fast-paced world.
  • Women will take the lead in food and beverage consumerism to set new standards for quality and innovation. 
  • The fusion of global and local (‘glocal’) culinary elements will bring diverse tastes closer to home, promoting cultural exploration. 
  • An icreased focus on healthy aging, which will lead to more tailored dietary choices to promote vitality and longevity. 
  • Personalized food and beverage experiences will thrive in 2024, as consumers desire to feel good and be heard and seen in their choices. 

“While specific flavors, spices and ingredients are always a key part of our trends analysis, we also look to identify broader shifts in consumer habits since they impact everything from restaurant menus and foodservice to CPG products,” Resh says. “The overarching theme is that consumers are seeking heightened culinary experiences, across every category in the industry.”