Consumers, particularly millennials, tend to be adventurous when seeking food experiences and want bold and interesting flavors, said Mintel Director of Innovation and Insights Lynn Dornblaser. Soursop, harissa, coffee and tea are among the flavors that could be on trend in the future, she said.
Bitter flavors have been gaining popularity in foodservice, and the trend is moving into packaged foods as more brands turn to ingredients such as bitter greens and matcha tea powder, according to Mintel. The trend could help consumers cut salt from their diet. "Bitter flavors offer a big mouthfeel and may provide enough flavor boost that consumers no longer need a salty taste as well," said Mintel analyst Marcia Mogelonsky.
Fortifying milk and other dairy products could help boost sales in the category, according to Mintel. Research shows that 27% of dairy consumers would try milk with added vitamins and about 25% would try milk with extra calcium.
Despite issues of flavor and expense, the use of monk fruit as a zero-calorie natural sweetener has tripled in five years, said Mintel analyst Laura Jones. She also said growth is held back by regulations, since it is not yet approved in Europe.