Special edition: Flavour trends 2022

Why caramel is one of the top flavours of 2022

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Pic: GettyImages
Pic: GettyImages

Related tags Flavour Caramel

Caramel hits the sweet spot in the flavour stakes for a number of reasons, primarily because it is loved across consumer generations, with a number of NPDs using it to bring a premium feel while bringing comfort through nostalgia.

According to Barry Callebaut’s Volume II Ruby Encyclopedia, which showcases unlimited combinations of flavours, textures and colours, consumers are more and more demanding and are looking for a superior experience in their food and drinks.

The latest research reveals caramel is an ingredient or flavour used in 8% of the new product launches in confectionery in EMEA since 2015, in 10% of the sports nutrition NPD, and 9% of NPD in desserts & Ice cream.

The new report reveals that 71% of Western European consumers want to try new and exciting chocolate confectionery or chocolate candy experiences and 46% of Western Europe Millennials consumers agree that chocolate confectionery or chocolate candy products that have multiple colours and are visually interesting are more premium.

The caramel trend ticks many boxes for a number of reasons:

1. Brings indulgence

Caramel is all about indulgence and it satisfies everybody's sweet tooth. It can also help to add multi-sensoriality as consumers are looking for an intense sensorial delight. From soft to gooey and crunchy textures, different shades of golden and characteristic tastes, caramel has a lot to offer.

2. Gives a premium feeling

Caramel gives every creation a premium appeal thanks to an upgraded taste profile, unique instagrammable golden colour and multiple ingredient combinations possible.

3. Fits every application

From a filled praline with a gooey centre to more biscuity applications and even in drinks, caramel always finds its place, the report authors write. Consumers also love to use it in their own creations as home baking is on the rise due to more time spent at home. There is a wide array of ingredients that pair well with caramel, including all sorts of nuts, chocolate and cocoa nibs.

4. Loved across generations

Caramel is comforting and is a flavour that bonds multiple generations. It is perfect for family/friends gathering for a sharing moment. It enhances the togetherness with its appeal across ages. 70% of global Millennials love products that mix flavours like sweet with salt.

5. Brings comfort through nostalgia

Caramel is a favourite flavour for consumers who look to unwind during me-time. In times of uncertainty, consumers want to be reassured and hence look for flavours they are familiar with. Caramel is a time-tested flavour that brings a feeling of nostalgia. This flavour has been around for years and is going to stay, experts agree.

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