In the fast-paced food and drink market trends are ever changing. Favourites can become passé before many have even jumped on the bandwagon, so it pays to take a forward-looking approach and stay ahead of the game. Here’s a look at the flavour trends set to rule the next twelve months.

Natural is the new normal

Across flavour profiles, the use of natural flavourings is expected to become near universal in 2019, reflecting the ever-increasing demand from consumers for products that reflect their healthy lifestyles. Whether classic flavours like vanilla and chocolate or more exotic flavours such as those integral to the year’s biggest trends detailed below, manufacturers must seek to switch any artificially-derived flavours to naturally sourced alternatives. Cornelius Principal Nielsen Massey offers a wide range of natural flavours and extracts for all food and drink applications, from bakery to beverage, including almond, rose, lemon and peppermint. 

In addition to natural flavours, 2019 will also see a wide-ranging reduction in sugar as further consumers look to reduce or even eliminate the sweet stuff from their diets. In particular, the traditionally high-sugar bakery products we’re used to will likely move away from their indulgent past, either adapting the same recipes with less sugar or using fruit flavours to create natural sweetness. 

Beautiful botanicals 

Tapping into the trend for naturals, there will be growing consumer interest in naturally inspired flavours such as botanicals and florals. Though we saw a hint of this in 2018, with rose flavoured gin and tonics, for example, 2019 will see these flavour profiles explode into the wider market. Pastries and cakes are likely to be the first targets, followed by the wider dessert sector before making their way to all other corners of the supermarket.  

In tandem, unusual citrus fruits are likely to gain momentum as they pair well with many common botanicals. Yuzu, for example, is likely to gain popularity in both sweet and savoury items, with its sharp acidic flavour and heady blossom working well in stir-fry sauces, salad dressings and even in cocktails. Flavours such as Yuzu both excite consumers by offering something new and, given their natural origin, again tap into the widespread demand for products with health benefits, or at least liven up a healthy diet.  

The rise of world cuisine

Given the advent of social media and the ease with which consumers can see dishes from all over the world, it’s no wonder that they’re increasingly curious about internationally-inspired flavours. This leaves brands more room to experiment with their products and flavour choices, as shoppers are far more likely to be receptive than ever before. 

With street food outlets still on the rise, consumers are more regularly able to try a wide range of cuisines first-hand, meaning brands must be absolutely bang on in choosing the right ingredients for products inspired by specific regions. In 2019 foods from Japan, Korea and the Middle East are likely to gain in popularity, as shoppers look to branch out from more readily available fare such as Indian or Chinese. 

Perhaps surprisingly, the trending dessert for 2019 originates much closer to home in France; the éclair is set to burst onto the scene like the cupcake and doughnut before it, ready to revolutionise bakery aisles everywhere. Expect to see interesting flavours and, perhaps more importantly, bright colours to catch the attention of the social media generation. Chr. Hansen offers one of the widest natural colour ranges available on the market, distributed by Cornelius in the UK, perfect for bakery brands looking to tap into this vibrant trend.