Diageo showcases five flavour trends to influence socialising across the summer season

Umami, Spicy, Tropical, Treating and Bloom Harvest are five flavour trends generated by Diageo’s ‘Flavour Forecast’, which has been created in collaboration with Ai Palette.

According to the AI and machine learning tool that identifies emerging trends across food and beverage by tracking global conversations across online and social media platforms, Diageo’sFlavour Forecast’ predicts that the most popular flavours will be:

  • Umami universe: often confused as a single ingredient, conversations about unique and savoury Umami flavours are on the rise. Turmeric (+79% in the UK), Gochujang (+55% in the US), and even the Parmesan Espresso Martini (+12% in the US) reflects society’s growing desire to discover novel experiences, traditions, and flavours from different cultures, a trend seen beyond food and drink with the popularity of K-Pop and ‘Squid Game’ exemplifying the popularity of Korean and other Asian cultures.
  • Spicy spark: Spicy flavours are making a bold statement around the world, with conversations rising about Jalapeno (+32% in the UK), Pepperoncini (+53% in Australia), and Chilli (+36% in the US). These trends come as 15% of global consumers are searching for greater excitement when socialising, with Latin and Tex-Mex overtaking Italian as America’s go-to food order and almost half of UK shoppers now using hot sauces in everyday meals showing that spicy flavours are supporting this desire
  • Tropical takeover: Fuelled by the joy they bring, society’s search for more adventurous and exotic experiences is causing a resurgence in tropical-based food and beverages. The likes of Tamarind (+50% in the US), Guava (+18% in the UK), and Passionfruit (+25% in Thailand) are driving this trend, with the bursts of excitement from tropical flavours becoming a necessity as consumers move on from the frustrations of lockdown and search for adventure in everyday life,
  • Treating temptation: New textures and innovative methods are transforming stereotypical ‘treating flavours’ into multi-layered experiences. Fuelled by consumers stating that enjoying life’s little pleasures has become more important (+63%), conversations about treating flavours like coffee (+12% in the UK), hazelnut (+91% globally), and nutmeg (+78% globally) are trending, with Vogue labelling the Affogato as ‘Fashion’s Favourite Dessert’ indicating that indulgent cocktails might even be taking over traditional puddings.
  • Bloom harvest: Pockets of society have become obsessed with nature; the 2024 Met Gala was themed ‘The Garden of Time’, and in the UK alone there has been a +172% increase in searches for ‘how to forage’. This obsession is driven by an increasingly eco-conscious consumer who is discussing locally sourced ingredients (+44%), with floral and natural infusions such as Elderflower (+67% in France) and Rhubarb (+36% in Canada) increasingly popular.

Mark Sandys, chief innovation officer, noted that how we socialise today is influenced by so many factors, such as different cultures, the appreciation for the outdoors, even our desire for adventure.

“These trends are shaping the drinks and the specific flavours that consumers will want to enjoy this summer, with Diageo’s ‘Flavour Forecast’ indicating that we are going to see the likes of jalapeno, guava, and floral infusions all have their moments, particularly in the world of cocktails,” Sandys said. “Using our insights and artificial intelligence, we’ve been able to track the growth of these trends and introduce new products to stay relevant to changing consumer palates, with wonderful recent examples including Smirnoff Spicy Tamarind and Johnnie Walker Umami.”

Diageo’s ‘Flavour Forecast’ combines each flavour trend with insights from the Diageo ‘Foresight System’, a digital tool first introduced within Diageo’s inaugural consumer trends report ‘Distilled’, that monitors and tracks global conversations from web sources and social media platforms.

These insights explain what broader consumer trends are causing the popularity of these flavours. For example, consumers searching for ‘Betterment Brands’ that match their personal eco-conscious values is driving interest in locally sourced Bloom Harvest ingredients, or global desires for ‘Unique Products and Experiences’ driving curiosity in diverse, Umami flavours.

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