Taste Leaders Name Honey as Trending Flavor

Honey Variety 1

Mid-year flavor trend reports are hitting the food and beverage industry, and the news is wonderful for the ingredient we know and love best: honey.

Kerry, a global leader in discovering international trends in taste experiences, flavors and consumer preferences, recently released its 2021 US Taste Charts. The Taste Charts “represent Kerry’s annual review of the food and beverage taste landscape utilizing sales performance, consumer trends, foodservice influences and endorsements from internal culinary experts to predict tastes for the coming year.”

Kerry’s research on four key categories: sweet, beverage, savory and salty snacks. And honey was named as a trending flavor in all four categories! Also making the sweet list were chocolate and vanilla. Elavi recently released its Chocolate Goji Berry Protein Bites, which combine clover honey; an innovative chocolate protein blend made of wild-caught marine collagen, pea protein, organic cocoa, grass-fed bovine collagen and almond protein powder; and vanilla extract. There is no gluten, dairy, soy, refined sugars, grains or GMOs in these bites.

Photo Credit: Elavi
Photo Credit: Quinn

Honey’s appearance in the salty snacks category is no surprise as the ingredient is used by many innovative snack makers. Quinn’s Touch of Honey Sticks are sweetened with honey and another trending ingredient: sea salt. Further, they include apple cider vinegar, noted as an emerging salty snacks ingredient.

In the savory category, two trending ingredients, honey and habanero, appear in Brave Good Kind’s Tender Chicken Bites — Hot Honey. These savory meat snacks are all-natural, gluten-free and give consumers “the high-kick of flavor and energy, fueling your ‘can-do’ attitude.” They come in jerky form, packaged for grab-and-go purposes.

Photo Credit: Brave Good Kind
Photo Credit: Honey Gardens

In beverages, honey was named a key flavor in dairy and hot drink categories. Better-for-you ingredients and wellness have been named in top trending reports since the pandemic, so consumers can grab Honey Gardens’ Elderberry Honey Immune, which can be consumed hot or cold.

Interestingly, as functional waters are on the rise, honey was named as an Emerging ingredient in the water and cold beverage category. Kerry also expanded on the Emerging category as one that is “set to create ripples in the industry.” Cloud Water added to its lineup with Grapefruit & Mint & Basil + Immunity with Vitamin D & Zinc. Wildflower honey is infused into these cans of carbonated water with mint and basil, which also made Kerry’s water and cold list.

Photo Credit: Cloud Water

Additionally, a more recent Kerry’s Global Taste Trends report, featured in Bake Magazine, notes that honey is a part of what U.S. consumers are interested in when it comes to the “acceptable sweetness” domain. “In the constant battle between craving sweet treats and cutting down on sugar consumption, consumers are increasingly on the lookout for products that tout lower sugar, redacted sweetness and clean label sugar alternatives.”

Have you developed a trending product made with honey? We would love to hear about it! Email [email protected].