MONIN 2021 FLAVOR TRENDS
Friday, January 1st, 2021
Monin Gourmet Flavorings has identified five emerging trends which they predict will influence food and beverage menus this year and beyond:
- Functional First – From immunity and digestion to beauty and mood enhancements, consumers continue to focus on holistic wellness and multi-functionality in everything that they do. Deriving functionality and boosting their health through food and beverage is becoming second nature, as seen in the increased ‘appetite’ for clean products, plant-based ingredients and sugar/milk substitutes. Now more than ever, operators and innovators nationwide are seeking ways to add benefits beyond flavor, thereby blurring the lines of wellness with traditional food & beverage offerings. The shift toward functional beverages and alternative ingredients will continue to grow and become commonplace. Give customers what they are searching for through items that satisfy a need state (Immunity Boost, collagen, caffeine), through sugar alternatives (agave, honey, Monin Zero Calorie Natural Flavor), and with flavors that offer a perceived benefit (turmeric, ginger, lavender).
- Strength in Simplification – A broad mindset shift happened in 2020 and continues into 2021. There’s unspoken anxiety and stress that is more palpable across society, and people have started to refocus on what matters most to them. They are looking for pieces of life’s puzzle that add beauty, happiness and visual stimulation. This shared sentiment translates into a trend of minimalism and multi-functionality with a lens over premiumization. Consumers and operators (FOH & BOH), will focus on utilizing fewer but better ingredients while still delivering an A+ show-stopping experience. Take advantage of this trend by maximizing efficiency through quality mixes and ingredient simplification (Monin Margarita Mix, Natural Frappé Bases, Monin Purées), offering nostalgic flavors (butter pecan, root beer, sea salt caramel toffee), and cross-utilizing ingredients across FOH and BOH operations.
- Elevated Experience – Focusing on the consumer is a necessity. Providing uniquely tailored, personal experiences to temporarily transport them to new and interesting places will separate the ordinary from the extraordinary. Elevated experiences, interactivity, sensory elements and flavors symbolic of a vacation can help customers optimize their journey on their terms, but still with your brand in hand. Despite the circumstances of 2020, consumers are looking to live life to its fullest, while connecting with each other and the brands they are fondest of. When it comes to food and beverage, there will be an even greater focus on what tastes great, what photographs even better, and what is customized for their interests. Catch the eyes, cameras, and loyalty of your customers with brightly-colored flavors (desert pear, golden turmeric, dragon fruit, blue raspberry), and flavors that transport them to new locations (guava, lychee, tiki blend).
- Convenience & Safety – Life is busier and more complicated than ever, and customers want to optimize their time and to make their lives easier, all while staying safe. Whether staying in or dining out, they have a desire to spend more quality time with family, friends and pets and to relish in the importance of those moments. Naturally, this combined sentiment around convenience and safety has resulted in the quick-serve restaurant's heightened popularity and the notion of an optimized drive-through being catapulted into the forefront of food and beverage. Furthermore, takeout and delivery, done in a fast and safe way has evolved into a core competency that is required for success. Because of this, offering unique beverages, curbside cocktails, and delivery-only special meals should be top of mind. Cocktails on tap, prebatched beverages and enhanced technology measures will also offer safety, consistency and speed of service that are on-trend as we also see a macro-societal trend of safety and security continuing to emerge. Look for to-go beverages, pre-ordering and the use of home deliveries to continue on the upswing. Premium packaging that turns a weekend meal pickup into a delightful micro-escape will also gain even more traction and interest. Simplify beverage execution and increase safety through the use of tea and coffee concentrates (Monin Beverage Concentrates) as well as cocktail mixers (Monin HomeCrafted Cocktail Mixers).
- Maturity of the Mocktail– The mocktail has grown up and matured into a swanky socialite. The use of multi-dimensional layers of flavor coupled with added functional and experience related elements will continue to delight and convert more drinkers from high potency to low/no ABV beverages. Many overindulged at the beginning of the pandemic. Now, consumers are reducing their alcohol intake due to a multitude of societal or health factors and exploring a more sober way to enjoy happy hour. From millennials to gen alpha, the younger generations of today and tomorrow are moving away from alcohol and gravitating toward more sophisticated and adventurous flavors, served in a striking and highly photograph-able way. Elevate your low/no ABV offerings by adding layers of flavor without added sweetness (Monin Concentrated Flavors) and tantalize the tastebuds of the younger generations with less sweet, more refined flavors (orange spritz, hibiscus, and yuzu).
How are these trends identified?
The 2021 Flavor Trends were developed by an internal, full-time team of Monin Consumer Insight Specialists, Beverage Innovation Directors, Chefs and Flavor Technologists. This team is dedicated to identifying and tracking emerging trends that influence flavor preferences through analysis of both proprietary and secondary research.
In addition, they use an “eye to the street” approach which includes frequent, global market excursions and the exchange of trend information with Monin beverage developers located around the world.
Why predict trends?
As the ultimate solutions provider, Monin strives to support their partners with trend insights in order to help them identify opportunities that will resonate with their customers. The goal for Monin is to always provide our customers with successful innovation, and these trends are the starting point of the development process.
Hope you’re thirsty!