Kerry predicts LATAM taste trends for 2020

By Asia Sherman

- Last updated on GMT

©GettyImages / serezniy
©GettyImages / serezniy

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This year, consumers in Latin America will look to healthy, nostalgic, and indulgent flavors in all food and beverage categories, says taste and nutrition company Kerry.

The 2020 LATAM Kerry Taste Charts​ - broken down into Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, the Andean region, and the Southern Cone - use sales performance, consumer trends, foodservice influences, and internal culinary and mixology experience to predict the top flavors and ingredients in the taste market across sweet, savory, salty snack, and beverage categories.

“Consumers expect hyper-authenticity and health, with taste experiences that inspire awe and conversation,” ​says Roberta Viglione, taste-marketing manager at Kerry LATAM.

The appeal of mainstream and key flavors, such as orange, sea salt and butter, along with the emerging and trending spicy flavors of Indian turmeric, Korean BBQ and Mexican hot pepper, are magnetizing consumers."

A taste for functionality

In Latin America, Kerry predicts that consumers will continue to explore functional foods (that have a potentially positive effect on health beyond basic nutrition). These include salty snacks with turmeric, paprika, rosemary, and other herbal hints.

Also reflecting a demand for healthier ingredients, botanicals like hibiscus, ginger, lemongrass, ginseng, and cardamom are being introduced in beverages, says the company.

Mexico and Central America and the Caribbean show an emerging taste for Matcha green tea powder and the Southern Cone for drinks infused with elderflower, Jamaican pepper and moringa.

Indulging in nostalgic and unexpected flavors

Kerry also predicts that consumers in 2020 will increasingly focus on the origin of flavors and ingredients. In Latin America, there is a growing interest in regional flavors and gourmet options like ancho chili, jalapeño, guacamole, Mediterranean, and smoky hints in the salty and savory categories.

"The thirst for unexpected taste experiences and inspired by their origin continues to boost consumer interest,"​ Viglione explains. “Visible in the innovation of new products in cold and water-based drinks, the origin has driven citrus flavors of the new era, from traditional citrus profiles to Chinese and Asian flavors such as lemon yuzu, calamansi, and clementine.”

The Andean region shows the greatest taste for more unusual new beverage flavors, including dragon fruit, eucalyptus, fennel and yuzu alongside trending regional ingredients like acai, camu camu, and gooseberry.

Kerry also found that the lines between categories are blurring with flavors conventional to some categories emerging in new ones.

There continues to be crossover in the sweet and beverage categories from alcohol- infused desserts to cheesecake and tiramisu-flavored hot beverages. Meanwhile, salty snacks are incorporating white chocolate, mango, cherry and sweet cranberry flavors in Mexico and a taste for mulberry, cinnamon, and cookies ‘n cream in the Andean region.

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