This means it is no longer enough to make a product that is delicious and nutritious – it also needs to be photogenic. And not just photogenic by a food stylist – but also by the average consumer who does little more than point, shoot and select a filter.
This can be a heavy lift for food and beverage makers, but it is essential because according to the global fragrance, flavor and food ingredient company Symrise’s recently published 2019+ Top Trends in North America report notes the trend of vibrant visuals will become even more important in coming years.
In this episode of FoodNavigator-USA’s Soup-To-Nuts Podcast, Symrise Marketing and Consumer Insight Manager Dylan Thompson shares where specifically this trend is going next. He also shares how visual appeal relates to the other emerging trends, such as the explosion of floral and to a lesser but still important extent the increasing acceptance of Asian food, flavors and styles.
Consumer interest in photogenic foods and beverages isn’t necessarily new, according to Thompson, but it is becoming more refined with consumers preferring specific colors and textures. In the past, Millennial pink and sparkling rainbows captivated consumers, but in 2019 and beyond Thompson predicts that blue and purple are emerging as favorites.
In particular, he predicts that purple ube, blue butterfly pea flower, purple carrots and huckleberry.
Visual appeal isn’t just about color. It also is about texture and overall style – especially when it conveys a sense of fun or wonder or elegance, all of which flowers and herbs deliver, according to Thompson. He added that as consumers become more familiar with the visual aspect of flowers and herbs they also are starting to embrace their unique smells and flavors – creating the foundation for the floral explosion that Symrise predicts will take off in 2019 and beyond.
“More and more floral is everywhere, and they are very polarizing, but I think as consumers are maturing here in the US and becoming more and more willing to try new things and take their palate into new territories” these flavors will continue to take off, Thompson said.
Easy floral entrants include lavender, hibiscus, rose and orange blossom, he said. But he predicts in coming years other floral flavors that will come to the forefront will be distinctly more bitter, such as with dandelion, broccoli flowers and blossoming chai.
On the herb side, Thompson predicts shiso, chocolate mint, woodruff and pandan will emerge as favorites in 2019 and beyond.
As Thompson noted, many of the floral and herbal flavors that Symrise is watching fit into another major trend that the company is watching in 2019 and beyond, and that is ‘Acceptable Asian.’
“Asian again is nothing new in the US, there has been Asian food here for a long time in different ways,” but these flavors will become increasingly authentic and from new regions, Thompson said.
He attributes this renewed interest to celebrity chefs but also the blend of Asian flavors with more familiar US flavors and formats – such as the combination of soy sauce and ketchup.
Within this trend, Thompson predicts that miso, yuzu and XO sauce will become more prominent and accessible in the coming years.
This is just a small sampling of the trends that Symrise is watching and those who want to know more can reach out directly to the company for details on all 11 trends that it is predicting will emerge in the coming years.