2023 Flavor Trends — The Future of Flavors

As we look into our flavor crystal ball, 2023 is shaping up to be a big year. From international flare to metaverse integration, flavors in 2023 will come from all around and out of this world.

October 1, 2022

Key Trends From Gen Z to Gen Alpha

  • Authenticity: These consumers are loyal and dedicated to authentic brands.
  • Peer Pressure: This audience values their peer’s approval of new tastes and products.
  • Familiar Remixes: Prefer familiar flavors and gentle twists on timeless comfort foods.
  • Life is sweeter without sugar: No added sugar is an important claim.
  • Presentation is Key: Bright colors, fun patterns, new textures, and personalization.
  • Global responsibility and sustainability is not just a buzzword but an expectation. They are looking at packaging as well as the ingredient list for upcycled materials.
  • Experimental: from gummy sushi to snacks you can wear on your hands for easy dipping, these generations embrace interesting delivery formats and unique flavor combinations.

Future Consumer Highlight: Gen Alpha

  • Born between 2010-2024
  • Expected to be the largest generation yet. By 2024 there will be more than 2 billion of them.
  • Influenced by tech, social media, and their peers
  • They require more digital savviness, uniqueness, and more visual or experiential features

With the dreams of the future becoming possible, gaming and the internet are influencing tastes to become more fantasy-like or otherworldly.
From stardust to cosmic crush, if you can dream it, we can create it.

International Inspiration

International flavors have become more mainstream in American diets in 2022 and will continue to be a growing category.

Top Influential Countries:

  • Mexico
  • India
  • Asia

Trending Exotic Flavors

Making the Impossible Possible

  • Meat analogues are flavored plant based proteins that replicate the taste and textures of real meat.
  • Plant based diets are no longer for vegans and vegetarians but incorporated in the diets of traditional omnivores.
  • Feeding the rising global population and improving our carbon footprints is leading the push towards innovation and investment is going towards this category.

Sweet & Savory Flavors

  • Along with the demand for reduced sugar, consumers are also preferring less sweet flavor options.
  • Pickled, fermented, or smoked flavors are seeing an increase especially when paired with a familiar favorite.
  • Some of these savory flavors include Miso, Balsamic Vinegar, Beer Flavor, Black Volcanic Salt, Pickled Plum
  • Some sweet & savory combinations include Smoked Toffee, Hot Honey, Strawberry Ghost Pepper, Peach Habanero.

Trend Landscape- Limited Time Offers

In August Coca-Cola announced their new Limited Edition flavor, Dreamworld. meant to capture “technicolor tastes and surrealism of the subconscious”.
“This limited edition sparkling beverage from Coca-Cola Creations explores the realms of the surreal, the imaginary, and the otherworldly. Experience the familiar Coca-Cola taste now with a surprising and unexpected flavor from a dream world.”

Coca-Cola’s second limited edition flavor is called ‘Byte,’ inspired by gaming. Using words like “refreshingly new” yet “deliciously familiar”, coke wants you to have an experience. They even go as far as to reference the metaverse in their marketing.

One of Coca-Cola’s earlier Limited-Edition Flavors was Starlight, inspired by space. It is said to be a blend of cream soda & caramel flavors with a cotton candy smell.

Welcome to the Metaverse

The metaverse may very well be the next big thing. For those who aren’t as familiar with the Metaverse, it is a virtual reality in which avatars can interact and even transact with others in virtual worlds.

The Metaverse is creating a new digital economy of its own, where users can even buy and sell goods.

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