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Report: Earthy, Natural Flavors Driving Consumer Tastes

According to a new report by FONA International, a company dedicated to creating and producing flavors for many of the largest food, beverage, and nutritional companies in the world, earthy and more natural flavors are beginning to increase in demand and are working their way into more at-home meals.

The report noted that today’s wellness-focused consumers are looking for ingredients that check all the boxes for them: perceived naturalness, nutrition, sustainability. Here are some of the ingredients that are continuing to grow in popularity with food-focused home cooks, according to the report.

Hemp Seed: According to FONA, hemp seed contains amino acids, protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Combine that with the nutty flavor of the food and it makes for an easy addition to certain foods like nuts/trail mix/dried fruit. It is also growing in shelf-stable plant milks, cold cereals and wellness bars/gels segments, as well as frozen desserts, refrigerated meat alternatives and both functional beverages and RTD tea and coffee.

Moringa: Native to South Asia, foods with moringa have continued to increase through the last few years, with snacks and juices the frontrunners. FONA noted that consumer sentiment on the ingredient is increasingly positive, with mentions of the ingredient are up 120% since 2015, and the food enjoys sentiment that is positive 78% of the time.

Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha has shown clear growth in recent years, in both consumer awareness and product offerings, noted FONA, however, it seems that its greatest asset is the loyal fan base it has cultivated. The company, though, said that Ashwagandha comes with inherent taste challenges that may require taste modification and custom flavor work to overcome.

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