Natural, bold, spicy, and childhood favorites are the flavor trends Americans appear to prefer for 2024. They are popping up in food, beverages, icy treats, and desserts. Florals, botanicals, fruits, reduced sugar, herbs, and nostalgic flavors will likely be dominant. Let’s see what the public can expect in the new year.
People are being driven nowadays by their desire to feel good. They want flavors that help support their goals for physical, emotional, and planetary health. Consumers are also moving away from sweet, sugary flavors in favor of more bold, spicy, and bitter options with health benefits.
Florals Are Blooming
According to Food Technology Magazine, botanicals like jasmine, rose, lavender, hibiscus, and eucalyptus are on the rise. The growth is due to America’s interest in health and wellness. People want to feel good about what they are eating and drinking, and get some benefits too.
Hibiscus, rich in antioxidants, is growing in popularity. It’s showing up in frozen wine pops, flavored water, and sodas. Florals and fruits are also being paired, such as orange blossom with salted caramel, or lavender with blackberry. Along with hibiscus, lavender is another up-and-coming flavor associated with better moods and relaxation. Cherry blossom, elderflower, honey blossom, and rose are also being found in beverages.
Bold, Unsweet Flavors
Consumers are giving up sweetness for bold flavors. Folks are seeking exotic and earthy flavors that have functional properties. Medicinal plants and herbs are becoming more common. “Swicy” flavors are also on the rise. Think sweet and bitter; sour and umami; and spicy and sour, instead of sweet and spicy.
Pursuit of Wellness
People are also seeking earthy flavors and good-for-you spices. These include ginger, lemongrass, and turmeric, believed by many to support anti-inflammatory and digestive function.
Bitter flavors are also becoming more prominent. They are considered worldly and indicate a sophisticated palate. Also, as we age, our taste buds die off and we can tolerate them better.
Research indicates folks associate berries, summer fruits, nuts, and tropical fruits with healthy living. Authentic and genuine fruit flavors are hot at the moment. Juicy and sweet berry combinations are very popular. These include black raspberry, goji-strawberry, and acai-cherry blends.
Consumers are also showing more interest in international cuisine since pandemic restrictions ended. This so-called “third culture” cuisine mixes new dishes and flavor combinations inspired by more than one culture. Italy, Spain, Asia, and South America are inspiring this trend. They are contributing an array of sweet, fruit, and dessert flavors such as tiramisu, Sicilian lemon, churros dipped in chocolate, and passion fruit.
Childhood Food Favorites
People appear to be craving classic food from their childhood. This is resulting in updated versions of comfort foods we enjoyed as kids. Childhood flavors expected to be prominent in 2024 products include Rocket Pop, rainbow sherbet, s’mores, dipped waffle cone, peanut butter and jelly, and doughnuts.
Flavor Pairing Trends
According to Edlong, 2024 will likely be a year of pairing complex flavors in new and unexpected ways. Dr. Bernd Koehler, Global VP of Research and Development, believes we will see “perfect pairings”, such as wine with fruit and cheese for instance, being combined into a unique new product. Chicken and waffle flavored ice cream is already appearing in the marketplace.
Craving a Sweet Ice Cream Treat?
If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth, or need help with your party planning needs, Norwood Ice Cream can help. We are a small ice cream shop located in Eldersburg, Maryland. Each unique ice cream flavor is handcrafted in small batches right in our store. We cater weddings, parties, special celebrations, corporate events, and more. Visit our website or call us at 410-875-7238 for more information.