“Consumers are eager for more flavor-forward dining experiences that deliver on taste, value and entertainment. Bold innovations with unfamiliar flavors, ingredients, and cuisines will stand out, especially as diners seek more excitement and engagement from their dining experiences in the current inflationary environment.”

– Varchasvi, Analyst, US Foodservice and Mintel Menu Insights

This Report looks at the following areas:

  • Flavor innovation trends
  • Factors that encourage new flavor trial
  • Flavors that are most popular with consumers, across menu sections
  • Innovative concepts consumers are interested in

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • This Report looks at the following areas
        • Definition
          • Market context
          • Executive Summary

              • Top takeaways
                • Market overview
                  • Figure 1: Category outlook, 2023-27
                • Opportunities and challenges
                  • Balance familiar and new
                    • Figure 2: Flavor trial motivators, 2023
                  • Excitement and novelty will resonate with adventurous diners
                    • Figure 3: Cuisine interest, 2023
                  • Flavor innovation and experiential dining will drive on-premise traffic
                    • Figure 4: Flavor trial attitudes, 2023
                • Market Factors

                  • Delivering on value isn’t about low prices
                    • Figure 5: Consumer Price Index for food at home and away from home, November 2021-22
                    • Figure 6: Disposable personal income change from previous period, 2010-22
                  • Foodservice labor challenges significantly impact consumer experience
                    • Figure 7: Employee quits and hires, accommodation and foodservices sector, November 2021-2022
                • Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

                  • Flavor innovation trends
                    • Menu highlights
                      • Chicken wars are still on, and the weapon of choice is spice
                        • Nostalgia stakes a claim in snacking
                          • Beverages are brighter and cozier with the seasons
                            • TikTok’s “Chaos Cooking” trend shakes up authenticity
                              • Meeting expanded needs for value requires a focus on experience
                              • The Foodservice Consumer – Fast Facts

                                • Flavor Trial Motivators

                                  • Help consumers make informed decisions
                                    • Figure 8: Flavor trial motivators, 2023
                                  • Older consumers read the fine print, while younger consumers scroll on social
                                    • Figure 9: Flavor trial motivators, by age, 2023
                                • Flavor Profile Interest

                                  • Favor bold over basic
                                    • Figure 10: Flavor profile interest, 2023
                                  • Spicy and savory flavors have mass appeal
                                    • Figure 11: Flavor profile interest, by age, 2023
                                • Menu Interest

                                  • LTOs are best suited for unique flavor combos
                                    • Figure 12: Menu interest, 2023
                                  • Regional cuisine sets the baseline for flavor exploration
                                    • Figure 13: Menu interest, by flavor segmentation, 2023
                                  • Younger consumers value novelty
                                    • Figure 14: Menu interest, by age, 2023
                                • Interest in Flavors on the Menu

                                  • Flavors across Menu Items
                                    • Appetizers/snacks and non-alcoholic beverages are ideal playgrounds for flavor innovation
                                      • Figure 15: Interest in flavors on the menu, 2023
                                      • Figure 16: Interest in flavors on the menu – Part 2, 2022
                                    • Familiar yet exciting flavors win with consumers
                                      • Figure 17: Interest in flavors on the menu, Net – Any listed menu items, 2023
                                    • Bring heat to all parts of the menu in 2023
                                      • Figure 18: Interest in flavors on the menu – Part 1, NET – Spicy flavors 2022
                                      • Figure 19: TURF Analysis – Interest in flavors on the menu, 2023
                                    • Top Flavors by Menu Item
                                      • Subtle spice for appetizers and snacks
                                        • Figure 20: Interest in flavors on the menu – Appetizers/snacks, 2023
                                      • Sauces and condiments add flair to main entrées
                                        • Figure 21: Interest in flavors on the menu – Main entrées, 2023
                                      • Seasonal flavors face competition in desserts
                                        • Figure 22: Interest in flavors on the menu – Desserts, 2023
                                      • Breakfast benefits from sweet & spicy
                                        • Figure 23: Interest in flavors on the menu – Breakfast foods, 2023
                                      • Mocktail interest in non-alcoholic beverages
                                        • Figure 24: Interest in flavors on the menu – Non-alcoholic beverages, 2023
                                      • Warming flavors take the edge off of alcoholic beverages
                                        • Figure 25: Interest in flavors on the menu – Alcoholic beverages, 2023
                                    • Flavor Trial Attitudes

                                      • Consumers are prioritizing new experiences
                                        • Figure 26: Flavor trial attitudes, 2023
                                      • Information is key to encouraging new flavor trial among older consumers
                                        • Figure 27: Flavor trial attitudes, by age, 2023
                                    • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                      • Data sources
                                        • Consumer survey data
                                          • Abbreviations and terms
                                            • Abbreviations
                                            • Appendix – TURF Analysis

                                                • Figure 28: Table – TURF Analysis – Interest in flavor by menu item, 2022
                                              • Methodology
                                              • Appendix – Flavor Segmentation

                                                • Flavor and Ingredient Segmentation Methodology

                                                About the report

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