Unleashing Successful Products with the Kerry Flavor Profiling System

Anticipating a Year of Culinary Delights: Unveiling the 2024 Kerry Taste Charts

The excitement is palpable in both Kerry offices and throughout the food and beverage industry as we eagerly embrace the annual release of the Kerry Taste Charts. This yearly ritual of analyzing and forecasting location-based taste trends has become an indispensable tool across various functions at Kerry, ranging from marketing and procurement to culinary, research and development, and food science.

Reflecting on the impact of the 2023 Taste Charts, John Kelly, Kerry’s strategy director for beverage marketing in Europe, notes, ‘Every beverage customer presentation in 2023 featured taste charts, showcasing the enduring interest our customers have in the realm of taste perspectives.’

The recently unveiled 2024 Kerry Taste Charts now stand as a crucial reference point for food and beverage brands at all stages of product development and portfolio evaluation. Kelly remarks, ‘Brands we collaborate with have diverse objectives, from introducing new offerings to validating the relevance and demand for existing flavors. Some are exploring a mix of out-of-the-box and edgy flavors for limited-time offerings. Ultimately, it all boils down to taste.’

Recognizing that taste is paramount in the consumer’s choice of food and beverage products, the industry places a strong emphasis on flavor. Kelly emphasizes, ‘If a product doesn’t taste good or offers unappealing flavors, it risks going unsold.’

Not every food and beverage brand possesses a robust consumer insights team to monitor evolving taste preferences. Even those that do may focus on specific locations or applications. Kelly underscores the value Kerry brings with the taste charts, providing beverage customers with a targeted view of trends within their category while offering an overarching perspective of the entire food and beverages market.

For instance, a beverage company might overlook the rising popularity of spicy chilies in food, unaware that consumers are developing a taste for this novel flavor. Similarly, being attuned to global trends allows companies to recognize the influence of certain types of citrus in different parts of the world.

Kelly highlights the importance of keeping an eye on general trends, such as the emergence of more savory flavors in the beverage category. This awareness proves beneficial in influencing innovation and development within the industry.

‘The Taste Charts release in January sets us up well for the year,’ Kelly explains. ‘It provides actionable insights for our commercial teams to engage with customers and stimulates ideas for our RD&A teams. Even in the absence of a specific brief, we can proactively collaborate with customers or focus on a particular category.’

The objective of the Taste Charts is not solely to introduce brand new flavor suggestions. Sales and launch data, coupled with consumer insights, contribute to creating comprehensive overviews of the entire taste spectrum. While the Up & Coming and Emerging categories may feature novel taste offerings, the more established Mainstream and Key flavors often showcase smaller shifts and common, readily available offerings from year to year.

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