The Flavor of the Year for 2022 was inspired by the Pantone® Color of the Year 2022 and the current trend of flavor creations. Fragrance and taste company Firmenich has named Magical Botanical as this year’s flavor of the year to push forth enhanced well-being and creativity.
It’s the first time that a blend of natural elements was announced as Flavor of the Year. Containing a combination of natural culinary herbs that are easily traceable, this flavour is purported to provide healing and immunity-supporting benefits when integrated in food and beverage products.
“This is our 10th Flavor of the Year, something our customers have really come to look forward to,” said Emmanuel Butstraen, President of Firmenich’s Taste & Beyond division. “To help serve the consumer-driven diet transformation with food & beverages that are better for people and planet, we aimed to develop a creation which embodies this transformation. We tapped into the extraordinary talent and creativity of Firmenich Flavorists across the world to create something entirely new, inspired by the transformative and healing notions of botanicals.”
“Like Pantone Very Peri™, Firmenich’s Flavor of the Year aims to capture the emerging themes we’re seeing in the world around us, by translating new trends and consumer emotions into positive sensory experiences,” said Mikel Cirkus, Global Creative Director, Taste & Beyond. “For 2022, we have tuned in to the global transformation and heightened focus on wellbeing. Over the last 18 months, our collective experience of radical uncertainty has sparked a great transformation. From this, our perspectives, priorities and expectations are changing. Still unsure of what the altered landscape holds, people are none the less embracing its possibilities with hope. We created our Magical Botanical collection to reflect this societal transformation and the new consumer needs it is creating, as people nurture their own creativity, hopes and personal wellbeing.”
“Growth in products that announce botanical on front of pack has been exceptional, with over 1,300 launches expected this year and accelerating growth of 29% CAGR since 2017,” said Firmenich Global Head of Human Insights, Jeff Schmoyer. “What is particularly noteworthy is that brands are calling out botanicals across an exceptionally wide array of categories. Hot drinks, alcoholic drinks, and baked goods are the most common applications, and we also see substantial numbers of brands talking about botanicals on pack in applications from sauces and snacks to juices, dairy and nutritional drinks. However, now even confectionery and desserts are making new forays into using botanical blends as flavor and as ingredients, as a way to connect with consumers’ desire for natural, healthy transformations to their diets. In sensory terms, this is driving growth in the use of flavor notes that we classify as flowery, herbal, and tea tonalities within our AromaSphere™ flavor description system, across these same categories.”
Schmoyer added, “While we’ve seen a slight slowdown in the launch of multiway blends during Covid as manufacturers focused on single hero ingredients with benefits (such as our 2021 Flavor of the Year, ginger), there are clear indicators that consumers themselves have become considerably more creative at home in the kitchen, and are hungry for more interesting and complex flavors outside the home as well.”