The last 2 years had led us to experience a range of emotions. And while COVID-19 still dawdles, the emotions continue. However, we still seek what makes us feel better­­­­­­­­­­ – food and beverages included. If you have found yourself stressed out and reaching for a sweet drink or a salty snack, you are not alone. Let’s face it, sweet drinks are comforting and we will continue seeking that comfort in 2022. However, our choices have changed drastically.

Now more than ever, we desire to nourish ourselves and feel healthy, choosing foods and drinks that compliment health and wellness. Because of the trend of “self-care”, there is a special focus on certain flavors that have rose to the top.

In 2022, we still see favorites like strawberry, cherry, melon, watermelon, apple and grape because while these flavors were a staple for comfort, now they are associated with health and nostalgia too.

Drinks that have a subtle note of flavor are taking center stage and this can be confirmed by looking at the seltzer boom – which will eventually saturate and that means, that beverage companies will be looking for bolder flavors. We expect a high demand for single note flavors this year.

In the premium sector, citrus flavors have been a cornerstone but now we see another trend rising. Consumers are now looking for botanical flavors with floral and earthier profiles like:

  • Rosemary
  • Hibiscus
  • Elderflower
  • Turmeric
  • Anise

For the consumer of 2022, the most important thing is transparency and simplicity. Flavors like orange and black cherry are making a comeback, classic flavors like peppermint, maple and grape might get a new twist. Consumers need a sense of adventure and comfort and therefore there are some inventive examples like:

  • Brandied Banana
  • Chili chocolate
  • Blood orange
  • Cotton Candy
  • Mix Berries

For beverage makers, we have got one advice, keep it simple and don’t be afraid to spice it up.

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