Social media is awash with new and innovative flavours and applications. As we head into 2022, our team have pulled together a selection of dessert trends to watch. While some ideas are timeless, consumers are looking for more versatility in their desserts. If you are looking to move with the times and provide that sweet treat over the counter, then we’ve got some insights for you.
Do you remember your favourite desserts as a child? Do you have a particular dessert that instantly warms your heart up like a warm blanket? Well, those desserts might be making a comeback in 2022 with comfort desserts such as apple crumble and trifle taking consumers down memory lane. For those wanting to think of the future with their health, nutritious and plant-based ingredients are set to have an impact on desserts in the new year.
Looking for something different? Experimental taste buds will be glad to know there’s an influx of unique ingredients and flavours arriving from different countries. Whatever your craving, there is set to be much variety in sweet treats in 2022 to help explore new flavours and fan favourites.
Consumers are on social media more
Having a social media presence is becoming ever more important for bakeries and patisseries since trends spread on social media, especially on TikTok – a video-focused social media platform. Exploding in popularity in 2018, TikTok remains to be popular with one billion monthly active users in 2021, up from 100 million users in its first year in 2016. It is also the most engaging social media app with an average session length of 10.85 minutes, beating its second-place competitor Pinterest by double with 5.6 minutes. With this amount of users and engagement, TikTok can provide great exposure for bakeries and instant access to large audiences.
Generation Z, those born after 1995, account for 32% of the population, which is more than all the other generations and their focus is on social media. Since Gen Z’ers account for the majority of the population and they’re using social media to find the latest trends and tasty treats, it would be best to showcase your weird and wonderful bakery items across social networks like TikTok. Our team are also on the pulse of social media to provide bakery businesses with inspiration on dessert trends for 2022.
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Whether it’s your grandmother’s vanilla sponge or your school dinner’s cake, when you bite into your favourite childhood dessert, you are often overcome with feelings of warmth and pleasure as you’re reminded of the past, which makes you nostalgic. Your sense of taste and smell are considered to be the strongest senses to evoke emotions, which is why consumers are heading for comforting nostalgic desserts to experience their childhood again.
Comforting nostalgic desserts such as lemon meringue pie with sweet lemon syrup will maintain popularity as it often reminds consumers of warm Spring or Summer nights as a child. Other childhood favourites such as strawberry shortcake, jelly flavours and Mississippi mud pies also provide consumers with feelings of nostalgia.
Japanese influenced flavours
Consumers are already familiar with Japanese food such as sushi, miso soup, Katsu curry and even beverages such as sake – an alcoholic drink made from fermented rice. With increased awareness of the health benefits provided by Japan’s food, and increased exposure to Japanese culture, whether it be from anime or the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Japanese food is heavily sought-after in the UK. Another reason for Japan’s popularity is the food’s aesthetics being pleasing to the eye, the mix of textures and the abundance of flavour. Now, this well-admired cuisine is set to move into desserts.
This year, Japanese rice cake mochi takes the spotlight on TikTok, proving its popularity. Yuzu and matcha are also becoming more and more familiar to taste palettes, some of which manifest in familiar beverage brands.
- Matcha: used for not only its perceived health benefits but also for its earthy flavour and vivid green colour.
- Yuzu: more citrusy than lemon, is a versatile ingredient that elevates familiar flavours. It adds a kick to cheesecakes and compliments sweeter, creamier chocolate desserts.
- Soft mochi rice paper: we anticipate this to trend across different bakery items such as pancakes and doughnuts.
Lesser-known citrus fruit Konatsu, fish-shaped waffle Taiyaki and irresistible mille crepes are being explored further by adventurous dessert businesses across the social media space.
Trending ingredients & flavours
While salted caramel arguably remains one of the most popular flavours of the last decade, consumers are experimenting with different ingredients to stimulate their tastes and pair together to get different flavours experiences. Interesting flavours to watch:
- Peanut butter
- Raspberry ripple
- Cotton candy
- Lemon curd
- Chocolate orange
- Blood orange
- Dragon fruit
- Lemon verbena
- Bay leaf
- Goats curd
- Pina colada
- Brown butter
Lighter & healthier desserts that cater to different dietary requirements
Traditionally, desserts have been known for their high-calorie content and consumers tend to feel guilty about consuming their favourite treats. However, subtle changes can bring a lighter and healthier touch to desserts in 2022 that leaves consumers feeling good about themselves when diving into their favourite desserts.
There is also a noticeable increase in food allergies worldwide from around 3% of the global population in 1960 to 7% in 2018, according to a report by the BBC. AllergyUK also outlines that around 1-10% of adults and children have a food hypersensitivity in the UK. Plant-based diets are also on the rise with recent research showing that around 1 in 5 people in the UK have eaten more vegetarian/vegan food since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. It’s important to ensure bakeries have alternatives available for consumers so they can still enjoy the desserts they love.
Free-from ranges have grown and delicious alternatives are now available for consumers sensitive or intolerant to gluten or those adopting a vegan diet. According to the Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) for Europe, 15% of dessert products so far this year are free from gluten and respectively 12.3% carry a vegan/no animal ingredients claim.
Versatile and naturally plant-based, oats continue in popularity as we start to see them used in a variety of ways from crumble toppings to oat creams as a dairy substitute. Those that have Coeliac disease can comfortably consume oats and many consumers see the health benefits that oats can provide.
Grains and seeds
Grains and seeds are seeing a rise in usage due to their nutritional value and added texture. Blending these into filings gives texture and adding them into desserts provides a twist and extra boost of goodness. EK Bakery has mixed chocolate with sesame seeds for one of its classic cakes.
Adventurous and exciting desserts
Bakery goods are becoming more interesting thanks to using unique ingredients, adding flavour combinations from different cultures, creating hyperreal items and making food memorable after eating.
Premium, unique ingredients elevate desserts beyond the everyday with desserts such as tiramisu with waffle seeds and crunchy biscuit base.
Another unique trending ingredient is the sweet vegetable ube halaya from the Philippines which adds a vivid purple colour to baked desserts and provides a thicker consistency. In this way, global hybrids are explored to bring together local and international flavours, so much so that according to Innova Insights, 1 in 3 consumers agree that interesting and exotic flavour combinations influence their choice. Benares’ Bhapa Doi has hibiscus tea jelly, orange and vanilla poached rhubarb.
Hyperreal baked desserts are set to continue due to their popularity on social media which consumers are more likely to buy in shops rather than make at home due to the technical skills required.
Looking to excite the senses, consumers are wanting to be taken on a journey through sight, smell, touch and taste such as sharing platters, swiss rolls in the shape of a champagne cork and BBQ desserts. Hybrid desserts are also coming to the fore, adding more excitement with creations such as the cronut – a cross between a croissant and a doughnut. Cutter & Squidge have created a cookie, cake and cream hybrid called biskie.
Adding savoury flavours
As consumers become more accustomed to overloaded indulgence in desserts, savoury flavour profiles are moving in to deliver new taste experiences.
Savoury cheeses are changing the usual cheesecakes with more distinct mature flavours. Meanwhile, using ingredients from the garden is continuing to grow as well, from pairing different herbs together to using mushrooms to give an earthy flavour.
Using warm spices such as five-spice or aniseed-rich star creates different flavours to classics and the umami flavour has grown in popularity as it pairs easily with other ingredients.
As consumers are becoming more health-conscious, adding vegetables to desserts are becoming more popular with sweet vegetables such as sweet potato and butternut squash providing a possible addition to desserts.
Looking for a new partner to help you stay on-trend with your dessert offering?
With a wide array of ingredients suitable for various dessert applications such as RTU Cream Fillings, which are suitable for vegans, to convenient cheesecake ingredients, ingredients to produce nostalgic favourites and Caramels to fit indulgence and health or dietary requirements, get in touch to kickstart your next winning dessert project.