Market & Trends

Kerry Reveals 2022 Top Taste Trends in Plant-Based

According to Kerry, one of the world’s leading taste and nutrition companies, taste trends for 2022 are underpinned by proactive health and sustainable nutrition priorities, but also a desire to explore traditional tastes and new formats.

Trends that were accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic have developed and will become more sophisticated this year, with consumers seeking new tastes paired with familiar formats and flavours. The insights are contained in Kerry’s Global Taste Charts for 2022, which highlights the flavours and ingredients that are set to inspire food and beverage innovators across the globe.


“Consumers travelling the world through their tastebuds”

“A desire for authentic flavours is driven by an interest in long-term wellness and overall health following the COVID-19 pandemic, while cravings for more novel flavours such as numerous varieties of chocolate/cocoa, cheese, smoke and named chilli such as ghost pepper and jalepeno are being led by consumers seeking surprise and fun from their food and beverages. Restrictions around movement have also led to consumers travelling the world through their tastebuds, which is highlighted in Kerry’s new cuisine chart and underlined by cuisine-specific entries across savoury charts including Mexican, Thai and Korean,” states Kerry.

Chilli, mushroom, and cheese flavours as key in 2022

Since 2015, plant-based meat alternatives experienced a steady growth in market launches and consumer acceptance. According to Kerry’s Global Taste Charts, nutrition and sustainability remain strong drivers of choice. However, the role of taste is undeniable, particularly in comparison to conventional animal-based proteins.

In 2022, flavours and ingredients will play a central role in product innovation, from comfort to authentic international inspirations. According to the data, big flavour movements in plant-based meats include chilli, mushroom, and cheese, with a total of 76 new products launched calling out these flavours in 2021.

Meati Foods
©Meati Foods

Kerry reports that the total flavour callouts in product launches increased from 120 in 2015 to 147 in 2021, with significant flavour introductions in 2021, including Mediterranean, Italian, Basil, Mexican and Cheese types.

Commenting on taste trends, Soumya Nair, Global Consumer Research and Insights Director at Kerry, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has affected consumers on a deeply emotional level, changing consumers priorities and perceptions about health and wellness. This has certainly impacted their overall food and beverage preferences, challenging innovators to create new tastes that will drive their new product development and renovation successes.”

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