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Pursuing the Intersection of Healthy and Comfort Foods will Drive 2022 Trends

The past couple of years have had consumers flocking back to the tastes and experiences of less complicated times, and 2022 is shaping up to continue that trend. Those same consumers, though, want healthier versions of their comfort-food staple — preferably with natural ingredients and clean labeling.

That’s a tall order for food and beverage manufacturers. Even so, they are rising to the moment with imagination and flair, according to a recent article in Nutritional Outlook.  

Sensient’s flavor technologists have been busy crafting unique flavors and identifying which trends to support market innovation around this trend. Consumers craving spice will enjoy products made with Yaji, while those seeking outdoor moments will enjoy the woodsy notes of Douglas Fir. Each of these, and many more, are part of Sensient’s 2021–22 Trends to Taste Collection. This custom-designed analysis researches and monitors shifts in consumer behavior with the goal of helping brands develop products better targeted to suit individual consumer needs.

The article, which dove into what to expect in 2022 food and beverage trends, sought insight from Sensient Marketing Specialist Sydney Riethman, who pointed out that the need to shelter at home and isolate during the pandemic has spurred a strong interest in all things outdoors, creating many openings for the use of Douglas Fir, for instance.

“With screen use on the rise and consumers avoiding large gatherings and missing personal connection, many of us are turning to the adventures and experiences of the outdoors to fulfill a desire for connection,” Riethman said. “This flavor has a deep connection to the forests and outdoors and resonates as a flavor that is fresh, earthy and has a very natural connotation that health- and natural-focused consumers are looking for.”

The article also pointed out that Sensient’s Douglas Fir “is versatile and can be used in everything from beverages and dips to seasonings, bakery, and confectionery.”

“Its botanical and earthy elements also pair well with fruity, citrusy, and nutty flavor elements, making it diverse and flexible to work with,” Riethman added, explaining that

Douglas Fir also provides an emotional appeal “that consumers can connect with and appreciate right now as they continue to reconnect with themselves and one another through the experiences of the outdoors.”

Want to explore further? You can read the article here, and we’re ready to talk about how to embed the latest trends into your products to strengthen that consumer connection. Contact us to learn more about the full Trends to Taste collection. Additional flavors include Angelica, June Plum, Shiso Berry and Lotus & White Fig.