Flavor trends are changing, just like the landscape of our working environment. Conducting business from the home office is the new normal, which means eating habits are also changing. Picking up a quick meal or treat is becoming increasingly popular, especially for those who simply want a reason to get some fresh air and take a break from the laptop.

How COVID Changed Taste Trends

The COVID-19 consumer market is continually changing as food and flavor preferences adjust according to lifestyle modifications. The pandemic not only compels customers to make lifestyle changes, but it’s also making them seek traditional comfort foods to fortify themselves to face uncertain times ahead.

Market researchers remain on the lookout for changes in consumer behavior concerning flavor trends. According to Hartman Group’s Functional Food & Beverage and Supplements 2020 report, nearly 90% of respondents affected by the pandemic saw disruption in their household. Thereby causing a large number of Americans to seek out good-tasting food and beverage products while also satisfying their emotional needs with comfort foods. Participants said they had more time to eat and found themselves snacking more often out of boredom.

In times of crisis, the use of convenience products becomes an expression of longing and relief. Topping the list of favorites are potato chips, ice cream, chocolate, candy, pizza, macaroni and cheese, and pasta.

How Millennials and Gen Z are Shaping Flavor Trends

Millennials and Gen Zers are shaping flavor trends worldwide, which reflects their buying habits. Seeking sweet treats like shakes, smoothies, and ice cream, this fast-growing group of trendsetters is already making a huge impact on how we produce, package, market, and serve food.

Protecting the Environment

According to the Deloitte Global Millennial Surveys 2020, most Millennials and Generation Z have changed their behavior in favor of the environment as well. They make more significant recycling efforts. Half of Millennials even changed their consumer behavior to protect the environment and increasingly buy organic or locally produced food.

Greater Willingness to Pay

Newer generations expect high-quality food, and they’re also willing to pay more for it. Words like “organic” and “natural” play a major role and convey the feeling of being health-conscious and responsible. Sixty-eight percent of Millennials say they are more willing to pay for organic food. The Organic Trade Association states that 52% of organic consumers are Millennials.

Small and Regional

Furthermore, the younger generation trusts small and local businesses like cafes, restaurants, and ice cream shops. Thirty-five percent of Millennials and Gen Zers say they trust smaller brands because they associate them with premium quality. At the same time, only 18% of those over 55 say they put their trust in small brands.

Social Media

Millennials and Gen Z set flavor trends with the flick of a thumb. They share their activities on social media, taking photos or even videos of their meal before eating it. That means free marketing for those restaurants and brands that have caught on with young people.

What Are These Flavor Trends Doing?

Even McDonald’s has had to adapt to each new generation’s preferences. In 1940, the fast-food conglomerate introduced burgers, fries, and soft-serve ice cream to the delight of the Greatest Generation and their children. Sundaes appeared on the menu in 1978 to throngs of Baby Boomers, and by 1997, Gen Xers and Millennials were enjoying McFlurries with lunch on the go.

Millennials are critical and demanding consumers who are more willing to pay for premium brands and products and have higher expectations of authenticity, transparency, and responsibility when choosing ingredients.

The influence of the emerging Generation Z continues to expand as they get older and further establish themselves in society. The food industry must adapt to meet these requirements.

More Pep in Traditional Ice Creams

While traditional flavors like vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry are likely to always be at the top of sales volumes, consumers seem more willing to step out of their comfort zone and try new, unique flavors. For example, unusual variations are ways to make even chocolate ice cream more exciting. This shows that consumers are increasingly keen to experiment when choosing their ice cream flavors.

International Inspiration

Younger consumers, in particular, are showing great interest in products from different cultures and regions of the world. In a June 2019 report by Innova Market Insights, 60% of consumers in the US said they love discovering flavors from other cultures.

One example is the Toasted Rice Ice Cream from Noonas, a Korean-American ice cream brand specializing in more specific flavors. Unusual combinations such as California figs glazed with balsamic vinegar in mascarpone ice cream are also increasingly in demand. These international influences play a crucial role in local ice cream trends.

Unfamiliar delivery forms from other cultures, such as ice cream in a waffle shaped like a taco, attract the customer’s attention. For example, according to the National Restaurant Association, the trendiest snack of 2019 was Thai-style rolled ice cream. The still liquid ice cream base is spread on a deep-frozen stainless-steel plate with spatulas, cooled down quickly, and then finished with various toppings at the customer’s request. Once the right consistency is reached, the ice cream is scraped off the cool steel in rolls and served as a roll in an ice cream sundae.

Implement Flavor Trends to Increase Sales

Whether you own a restaurant or ice cream shop, Taylor Freezer of Michigan can help you increase your profits by implementing everchanging flavor trends into your menu. Flavor combinations and a variety of toppings makes for unlimited combinations.

You’ll never make a wrong decision by incorporating Broaster products into your kitchen. Having our ready-to-cook foods available will save you time and money. Not only that, they also satisfy your customers’ need for comfort food, trendy tastes, and irresistible flavors.

Find out how you can become a licensed trademark operator. Get in touch with us today at 734-219-9969!

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