Granular, Globally Relevant Consumer Behaviors Determine Bell Flavors 2023 Spark Trends


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Northbrook, IL — Bell Flavors & Fragrances, Inc. recently revealed trend inspirations via its Spark–Ignites Creativity, Inspires Senses platform. The platform tracks five global consumer Macro Trends impacting consumers today and into the near future, representing core behavioral values shared by all humans.

“Predicting the most impactful trends of the future is challenging, but the Spark platform always starts with a common denominator: the essence of what makes us all human. When we think about Micro Trends, they are the phenomena firmly impacting consumers in the here-and-now. Micro Trends shape consumer experiences based on what’s happing in the current world and can be attributed to specific actions or changes in market or consumer dynamics. We’re thrilled to share them with the industry,” says Kelli Heinz, vice-president of marketing & industry affairs.

MACRO TREND #1 – NEW HORIZONS: THE UNION OF IMAGINATION & TECHNOLOGY

From dreaming of a reality escape to embracing virtual celebrations and new ways of connecting digitally, consumers crave a new era of interconnectedness via physical and digital fusion called phygital.

The New Horizons Micro Trends include:

Extreme Fusions: Bold, new mashups can be found in co-branded meal and fragrance promotions, as well as food trucks and street food restaurants at the intersection of formerly separate cuisines, as consumers break boundaries and disrupt the mundane routines.

Sensorial Sparks: There are millions of options to craft immersive experiences and products that redefine the boundaries of perception with titillating flavors and fragrances that engage the senses and create memorable moments.

New E-RA: The previous year’s trend towards escapism gains a digital dimension, as consumers’ minds and palates gravitate towards the metaverse as a place to discover and interact with foods, beverages and consumer products.

MACRO TREND #2 – NATURE R*EVOLUTION: THE NEW DAWN OF ‘GREEN’ INNOVATION

This trend looks at the new dawn of ‘green’ innovation to safeguard the future of the planet, without sacrificing the familiar scents and taste sensations consumers continue to crave.

The Nature R*Evolution Micro Trends include:

Alternative Everything: Smart alternatives are taking center stage and consumer lifestyles continue trending towards healthier options, with vegetarian and vegan food choices in high demand and ‘flexitarian’ lifestyles as the new mainstream.

Clean Label: Brands are pressed to replace harmful ingredients and manufacturing methods with sustainable alternatives, all the while reducing carbon emissions in search of not just carbon neutrality, but climate positivity.

Value Tech: Nature made even more valuable and sustainable – with technology. Value-adding tech holds the key to enhancing the flavors, smells, and appeal of natural ingredients and finished products.

MACRO TREND #3 – A BETTER ME: A HEALTH-FORWARD LOOK AT THE BEST YOU

This trend explores a fresh approach to the best version of ‘you’ as consumers become immersed in holistic wellness and prioritize mental health, self-care and less crowded calendars.

The A Better Me Micro Trends include:

Mood Mods: As this trend evolves, consumers will continue to gravitate toward natural remedies such as ‘good mood’ essential oils and products containing botanical extracts or food-grade botanicals to change the color on that mood ring. ​

Balancing Bliss: The quest for achieving ‘health’ with a holistic focus will be intermingled with indulgent allowances as consumers turn to natural fragrances and products made with organic ingredients, while also honoring heritage cuisines and home cooked favorites.

Functional Finds: Brands will be challenged to continue incorporating functional ingredients and adaptogens into food, beverage and fragrance products while maintaining the familiar tastes, textures and sensorial experiences that consumers know and expect.

MACRO TREND #4 – 360º REWARDS: TANTALIZING CURIOSITIES AND PERMISSIBLE INDULGENCES

Consumers have been searching for silver linings and are now giving themselves the permission to embrace escapism, indulge unapologetically and spark joy in unique ways.

The 360º Rewards Micro Trends include:

Newstalgia: The twist that everyone loves. By using something new that harkens back to shared pop culture moments, brands can help unglue consumers from digital screens and dive into enjoyments of their own reality.​

Limited Edition: Limited editions are about capturing a passing moment — in exclusive ways that motivate consumers to stand in line or make purchases at fleeting moments in time. They’re looking for the next new thing of tomorrow.

Back To Basics: Traditional foods and scents provide a connection to the stories of our ancestors. Brands must take a step back and remember the good old days and what makes them special.

MACRO TREND #5 – TREE OF LIFE: UNITED BY CULTURAL ROOTS

Consumers remain passionate about paying it forward to mother earth, but now are more aware of human connections across the globe, championing diverse heritage, authentic values and sustainable products.

The Tree of Life Micro Trends include:

Future Proof: The time has come for ‘future-proofing’ business models and supply chains, as global crises and inflationary pressures add urgency and require new ways to replace and rebuild resources, guided by global regulatory standards.

Human Connection: This is the time to thrive for brands that are paying it forward, whether creating sustainable and fair trade certified businesses in emerging economies or shining a light on underprivileged communities and their traditions.

Hyper Local: While the trend towards exploration and discovery is back with a vengeance, the diversity of local communities starts to shine as consumers find the imprints of ethnic cuisines in their own communities.

Bell’s annual Spark program allows companies to stay abreast of the latest trends and market dynamics. It thereby fuels the flavor and fragrance industries with innovative ideas for new, forward-looking marketing and product development concepts that inspire consumers’ palates and invigorate brand initiatives.