The use of sweet flavors: three ways for French food brands to innovate

20-Jun-2023 - France

In France, innovation in the search for new sweet flavors has reached a plateau. While the last two years have seen the emergence of a number of new sweet tastes, the number of product launches with sweet flavors has remained the same - dominated mainly by chocolate.

Hotel Chocolat.

Sharing formats can encourage people to try new flavors by tasting them together.

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Hotel Chocolat.
image générée par ordinateur

Food brands may be looking to revitalize innovation in sweet flavors in response to real consumer interest: a majority of those curious about trying new tastes say they are looking for new treats . In difficult times, these can be seen as necessary, as they can help consumers deal with stress. Here are three ways to innovate with sweet flavors to satisfy French consumers' sweet tooth:

Encouraging discovery

To encourage discovery, food brands can: promote limited editions and seasonal flavors; encourage new flavor customizations; and prioritize innovations that can be promoted visually (e.g. via social networks).

While it is difficult for brands to satisfy the high expectations of younger generations for new flavors, they can rely on limited editions and seasonal flavors to appeal to Generation Z.

Moreover, young consumers are particularly keen on personalization. While "made-to-order" options are already popular in chocolate confectionery, brands can explore other ways of personalizing products with sweet flavors to satisfy young people's curiosity.

Brands offering sweet foods and beverages will need to look for new flavors that are out of the ordinary and lend themselves to being visually promoted on social networks. Visual appeal is key to stimulating young people to interact with new flavor launches.

Focus on intensity

To target young French people and their attraction to sugar, brands can play on the intensity of a sweet taste in a number of ways. French consumers report little interest in "low-sugar" flavors (e.g., in France, only 30% of Generation Z ice cream consumers would be interested in a less sweet product). For older age groups, brands can play with flavor intensity by blending sweetness with spicy or smoky flavors. Brands can also explore more complex flavors such as those found in desserts and cocktails. These flavors already appeal to a high proportion of the population, whatever their age.

What's more, some new flavors such as dulce de leche, white chocolate/cherry and gingerbread caramel have high potential in cookies and chocolates in France, according to Mintel Flavourscape, Mintel's new tool that uses artificial intelligence to understand how flavors are evolving in a given market.

Modernizing the classics Some sweet flavors are better established than others because of their association with health (e.g. fruit) or their nostalgic power (e.g. chocolate and vanilla). If citrus, floral or herbaceous scents are the most popular sweet flavors for French consumers, brands can seek to modernize these recipes to continue to promote consumer interest in these products.

A large majority of French consumers of all ages also admit to finding pleasure in rediscovering the flavors they grew up with. If different age groups each have their own taste preferences, food brands can promote flavors that are generally popular during childhood across several generations (e.g. chocolate).

Brands can also take advantage of young consumers' interest in "future nostalgia" to popularize nostalgic flavors with a modern twist (e.g. chocolate with coconut, or coca with yuzu).

Note: This article has been translated using a computer system without human intervention. LUMITOS offers these automatic translations to present a wider range of current news. Since this article has been translated with automatic translation, it is possible that it contains errors in vocabulary, syntax or grammar. The original article in French can be found here.

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