Asian-inspired flavors and ingredients unexpectedly help fill void as consumers shun sugar & sweets

In Symrise’s 2022 North American Top Trends report, which is based on interviews with leading food journalists, food service professionals and consumer research insights, the flavor and fragrance company found an increased concern about naturalness and functionality was driving attitudinal changes in how consumers perceive a’ healthy lifestyle,’ which in turn was influencing the foods and beverages they were adding and dropping from their diets.

According to Symrise senior marketing and consumer insights specialist Evan Unger, this is playing out primarily in two ways – first, with consumers looking for more nutrient-dense options, and second with consumers increasingly turning away not just from sugar – but sweet flavors more broadly. – and embracing bitter and sour flavors.

Asian flavors, foods and beverages, play well on both fronts.

For example, Unger said Symrise is tracking a reduction in sweeter flavor profiles, which are increasingly being replaced by citrus or bitter flavors such as those used by emerging Japanese sparkling water brand Kimino, which offers yuzu, ume, ringo and mikan flavored options, and Moshi Yuzo, which offers ready to drink beverages with yuzu, red shiso and apple and white peach.

Likewise, kombucha, which originated in China but has broad global adoption now, is being substituted as both a less sweet and more nutrient dense alternative to traditional soda in ice cream floats at Frice Cream in Miami. It also is replacing more conventional cocktail mixers, like fruit juice, that might be higher in sugar and calories, Unger notes.

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