Flavour trends for 2020

Asian twists and plant-based snacks feature in Comax Flavors’ 2020 flavour trends collection.

27 November 2019

Fermented/pickled, plant-based and Indian – the three predicted flavour trends for 2019 from Comax Flavors, a leading food and drink tech company focusing on global flavour innovations. And, looking back, it wasn’t a bad trilogy of predictions, what with plant-based going from strength to strength over the last twelve months as well as the increase in gut-health releases and Indian street food in retail.

This week, we’re back to the Comax crystal ball for their top three predicted flavour trends for 2020, with a return to Asia, a plant-based category mix and an old favourite in sweet treats all set to come in hot throughout the next year.

East meets West

The rise of the adventurous consumer has coincided with an increase in global flavours on menus and throughout the retail sector over the past few years. According to Foodable Research Labs, items with Asian flavours on fast-casual menus are up nearly 30% year on year, with orders of these items from millennials increasing 12% year on year.   

Comax Flavors forecasts a continuation of the Asian trend in both food and drink, creating a collection of Asian flavours including Japanese pancake, ube vanilla and milk tea.

Japanese, incidentally, was widely agreed to be the standout cuisine going into next year on our recent 2020 food trend predictions report.

Plant, health, snack

Plant based, if you didn’t know already, isn’t likely to go anywhere anytime soon. We’ve covered everything from vegan junk food to plant-based seafood over the past year, with snacking arguably its closest trend challenger.

The average adult now eats more snacks than meals on a given day, according to Mondelez’ The State of Snacking 2019 report, with 61% of the 6,068 adults surveyed worldwide saying that they “can’t imagine their life without snacks.”

Comax Flavors have put both plant-based and snacking together in their new plant-based flavours collection, which includes maple bacon ranch, honey sriracha and lemon truffle. Healthier eating, another major trend of late, is also cited by the flavours giant with Hartman Group’s The Future of Snacking Study saying that 80% of consumers are willing to pay more for snacks with health attributes.

Doughy delights

According to Technomic’s MenuMonitor, cookie dough is enjoying a 9% year on year growth on restaurant menus while the cookie category increased 2.6% to reach almost £7bn for the 52 weeks ending March 24th 2019 (IRI).

Raw cookie dough came to prominence around 2017 with the development of new pasteurisation and heating treatments, with the nostalgic flavours of childhood highlighted by Comax for next year.

In preparation of their prediction, Comax have released a collection of cookie dough-based flavours, including birthday cake, cold brew coffee, and s’mores.

Speaking of nostalgia, French bakery company Brioche Pasquier predicted this week that several old classics such as apple pies, lemon tarts and Paris-Brest (a choux pastry dessert with praline cream) will have modern makeovers in 2020, with less butter and sugar, with the likes of custard and mille-feuille also on the agenda.

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