Floral, ‘fantasy’ flavors among top 2024 flavor trends

New data from Innova Market Insights identifies five key flavor trends for 2024. Learn more from the food- and beverage-focused research firm below.

Rachel French, Contributing writer

March 6, 2024

3 Min Read
blue iced tea from clitoria flowers

At a Glance

  • Consumers are increasingly seeking innovative and unique flavor experiences in their food and beverage products.
  • Local and familiar flavors are important to consumers, but they’re also curious about new cuisines and adventurous flavors.
  • The report highlights the importance for product developers to stay on top of flavor trends to meet consumer demands.

Flavors trends are constantly shifting according to larger consumer and market trends, tasking product developers with keeping tabs on the latest trends, while also providing opportunities to meet the market’s demands for innovative flavors.

Here are five top flavor trends for 2024 identified by Innova Market Insights.

Floral fascination

Compared to other botanical flavor categories tracked by Innova, floral flavors in food and beverage launches are growing at the fastest rate with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.4%, compared to herb flavors (7.1% CAGR) and spice flavors (5.6% CAGR).

Plus, Innova data shows 1 in 3 global consumers reported they have sought out more floral flavors in their food and beverages over the last year. The fastest-growing floral flavors from 2018 to 2023 include chamomile (33% CAGR), peach blossom (23% CAGR) and honeysuckle (19% CAGR).

The trend, according to Lu Ann Williams, director of global insights at Innova Market Insights, is largely driven by the larger wellness and sustainability megatrends. Williams shared the trends in a recent Innova Market Insights webinar.

Indulge in imagination

“Fantasy” flavors took the No. 2 spot on Innova’s flavor trends list. Over the past three years, fantasy flavors in food and beverage launches have seen a CAGR of 23%, Innova’s data shows. The fastest-growing fantasy flavors include rainbow (141%), cosmic (20%) and dream (18%).

rainbow pancakes

While hard to define, Williams described fantasy flavors as “unusual” and evoking “a bit of fantasy.” Arctic, avalanche, beach, cosmic and blue energy are some other examples of these unique flavors tracked by Innova.

“These used to be a lot rarer and … not saying that they’re mainstream, but this is definitely an area to watch,” Williams said.

Vintage vibes and modern bites

This trend, described by Innova as “rediscovering the comfort in familiar classic flavors with new twist,” is underlined by an 18% growth of food and beverage launches with a nostalgic claim in the past three years, per the data.

“This is one of those trends [that] really combines with what we’ve seen in our top 10 trends over the past few years — that consumers are looking for some of those nostalgic flavors, but they want it to be more modern,” Williams explained.

One product example Innova cited is Vizzy’s Orange Cream Pop hard seltzer, launched in May 2023, which takes a nostalgic flavor and turns it into a “boozy popsicle.”

Local delights

Products that feature local, regional flavors can capture the interest of consumers who are seeking adventurous flavors, as well as those who are seeking familiar flavors. More than half of consumers (54%) said familiar flavors most impact their food and beverage selections, while 43% said they are increasingly seeking out cuisines from other countries.

Examples of flavors that align with the “Local delights” trend cited by Innova include pumpkin spice, a familiar seasonal favorite, and adobo, a comfort food from the Philippines.

Savor the contrast

Innova’s fifth trend capitalizes on consumer interest in unusual flavor combinations. According to the company’s data, almost half (49%) of global consumers looked for intense/bold flavors over the past year.

An example cited by Innova is Skittles Yellow Mustard-flavored candies, launched in collaboration with French’s. Sweet and salty, as well as sweet and spicy, flavor combinations also align with this trend.

About the Author(s)

Rachel French

Contributing writer

Rachel French joined Informa’s Health & Nutrition Network in 2013. Her career in the natural products industry started with a food and beverage focus before transitioning into her role as managing editor of Natural Products Insider, where she covered the dietary supplement industry. French left Informa Markets in 2019, but continues to freelance for both FBI and NPI.

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