What flavours are set for sweet success in 2022? Since taste is the number one criterion in buying bakery products, which will remain the same, we explore top sweet flavours set to delight consumers this year.  While some deliver twists on existing adored flavours, others push the imagination for heightened taste experiences and we pick out a few bakers already integrating these into their offering.

Chocolate Adventure

According to Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD), chocolate is the number one most popular flavour used in launches of cake, pastry and sweet goods, both in the UK (12% of launches) and Europe  as a whole (14% of launches).

In addition to consumers’ unyielding desire for familiar chocolate formats, they are seeking new, fun and interesting variations of this staple flavour. Opportunities for outlets to push the boundaries include ruby chocolate, chocolate orange, chocolate caramel, chilli chocolate and chai spiced chocolate.

Three drivers for its consumption was identified from research by Barry Callebaut¹:

#1 Treat myself

54% of global consumers said they eat chocolate to treat themselves. This shows consumers see chocolate as an all around pleasure.

#2 Satisfy craving

The reason that 54% of global consumers indicated for eating chocolate was to satisfy a craving. Chocolate can also be an energy-fuelling food.

#3 To indulge

For 52% of global consumers, they eat chocolate to indulge. Chocolate is the ultimate mood-boosting food.

Let’s take a look at who’s pushing the boundaries of chocolate in sweet bakery goods:

Explore our range of chocolatey twists

As well as a delicious Chockex Premium Ruby produced by our Swedish colleagues and an alternative to regular chocolate which can be used for coating, dipping and much more, 2021 saw the launch of Chocolate Millionaires Caramel PF. Our latest chocolatey twist on traditional Millionaires Caramel sees the collision of two big flavours and is suitable for a wide range of sweet bakery applications, from much-loved Millionaires slice, to layer cakes, doughnuts and other mouth-watering applications.

We always ask ourselves: why stop there? Thanks to our expertise in caramel production, we’re able to design an endless array of caramels to suit customer taste, nutritional and application requirements. Get in touch to discuss bespoke caramel innovations.

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Global Inspiration

As outlined in our article on Global flavours for your local bakery, consumers are becoming more interested in global ethnic cuisines, exploring new combinations and taking themselves on a journey through the food they eat. Flavours popular in Asia provide an interesting inclusion to sweet goods such as yuzu, matcha, wasabi, ginger, cacao, mochi and halva.

Another well-travelled flavour is that of the increasingly popular spiced shortcrust biscuit, which the Dutch hold as originating in the Netherlands in the 17th century, speculoos. A familiar flavour which has most-associated with the Biscoff® brand, speculoos finds a worthy home in and on a wide range of sweet treats including cakes, cheesecakes, muffins and more.

In today’s social media-driven world, a baked good’s insta-worthy appeal is of paramount importance. In fact, did you know that 57% of European consumers are Instagram users²? Global influence lends itself well to the creation of eye-catching social media images. The quality of these images are of upmost important too – to assist you we’ve pulled together some top tips on taking those Insta-worthy snaps.

Showcase global flavours in your bakery

Speculoos is a flavour the Bakels team have developed into a deliciously smooth spread and, suitable for vegans, the ready-to-use ingredient give bakers great opportunities to showcase a whole host of creations across their social channels.

Global influence can manifest in savoury categories too. Scandinavian breads such as rye present opportunity to take consumers on a journey of that region. Harnessing the popularity of local cuisines adds a unique proposition and takes consumers on this flavour journey. Take Chakalaka for instance, a Southern African relish made from tomatoes, onions, and spices and a flavour which can be showcased in bread products, as demonstrated by our colleagues in South Africa with their Chakalaka Bread Full Mix.

Coffee Crazy

Coffee has evolved from a simple everyday drink into a way of life. In busy towns and cities, there is rarely a street corner absent of a trendy coffee shop with skilled baristas, making a whole host of coffee varieties with locally roasted speciality beans.

As referenced by Whole Foods, coffee continues to move “beyond the mug,” across beverage borders into various food categories like bars, granolas and smoothies. Fuelled by consumers’ excitement for coffeehouse innovations such as caramel macchiatos and chai lattes, they are coming to expect the same from their baked goods and desserts.

Paired with nuts such as almonds, walnuts and pecans delivers a tasty traditional combination and adds texture benefits. Why not even combine with fruits to inspire adventurous younger consumers open to trying new taste experiences.

Cake recipes using coffee as a flavour

Up there with the likes of Salted Caramel as a leading flavour component, coffee has room to accelerate in popularity in the bakery space. Whether it’s used in Coffee, Pecan and Salted Caramel Poke Cake Slice, Raspberry Coffee Cake, or Vegan Coffee and Walnut Loaf Cake, the possibilities are endless for bakeries to cafes to expand their coffee offering.

Hybrid Mashups

Innovation in hybrid flavours is gathering pace as consumers favour food and beverages that redefine the dimensions of indulgence, creating opportunity to differentiate. Creative mashups include chocolate sourdough, hot cross ice cream buns and brookies, which as well as combine familiar products, deliver a flavour experience. According to Mintel³, nearly half (49%) of UK dessert consumers find hybrid desserts appealing, elevating the fun and playful aspect.

The theme stretches further afield too – Innova research finds that 48% of European consumers are interested in trying new sensory experiences (aromas, tastes, textures, colours and sensations), which hybrid innovations certainly deliver.

Here’s just a few examples of Insta users making hybrid products:

Bakels hybrid mashups to spark your imagination

At Bakels, our applications team love experimenting with different ideas to push the boundaries of traditional products to deliver interesting flavour combinations. Our latest Easter Recipe Series showcases Hot Cross S’mores and Hot Cross Doughnut Bites, combining the familiar hot cross appearance with the flavour expectations of other popular bakery products.

What’s your latest hybrid creation for point-of-difference flavour fusions? We would love to hear from you, message us or tag us in your latest social media posts @britishbakels.

Punchy Flavours

Consumers’ expectation for flavour experiences are more intense than ever, paving the way for new and interesting citrus flavours in sweet applications.

According to Innova, the top reason for consumers choosing citrus flavours is for refreshment (44%), so these must deliver a fresh punch! Inspired by the Global Inspiration trend already discussed, citrus flavours are taking off as people embrace a sense of adventure, exploration and as a way to travel via their taste buds. Consumers are becoming more comfortable with adapting their palates and are seeking ingredients and flavours common in restaurant settings.

Citrus flavour opportunities include lemon, (blood) orange, clementine, mandarin and lime and for those looking to tap into even more rare citrus fruits, yuzu (found throughout Asia), finger limes and kaffir limes that can transport them to places they have unable to visit in recent times.

Here’s a few examples of Instagram creations using punchy flavours:

Explore our range of punchy flavours

These punchy flavours offer an element of surprise and delight in sweet bakery applications. As well as a range of RTU Cream Fillings available in Orange, Lemon, Raspberry, Caramel and Vanilla and perfect for convenient applications like doughnuts and muffins, a range of Fruit Fillings provide flavour and texture benefits to a whole host of sweet bakery goods. Strawberry (70%), Dark Cherry (70%), Fruits of Forest (60%), Raspberry (50%) and Blueberry (50%) varieties work deliciously in between cake layers, inside muffins and on top of tarts to transform any sweet bakery counter.

Bakels have capabilities to develop many more tantalising bespoke fillings punchy enough to delight the nation’s taste buds.

Modern Nostalgia

Who remembers frantically tearing open their football stickers, smashing open their chocolate egg to discover the free toy, or emptying the cereal box to find the free toy inside? These are the moments that not only stick in our memories from years gone by, but remind us all of the simpler times.

The same goes for familiar and comforting flavours, including chocolate brownies, cherry Bakewell tarts, trifles and ice fingers. This move has manifested in searches on retailer Waitrose’s website, who saw searches for baked Alaska rise by 200 per cent in a single month, as well as surges in searches for jelly, Black Forest Gateau, Artic rolls and chocolate roulade, all driven by millennials wanting to recapture the taste of their childhoods. The theme has also taken over restaurant menus and bakery shelves, with a wide array of businesses joining the trend.

Millennials whipping up the dishes at home took to social media to show off their creations, with now more than 64,000 posts (21st January 2022) using #bakedalaska on Instagram for example.

The pandemic has sparked a move from consumers to these nostalgic comforts, but now evolving into something which balances their favourite elements of old-favourites with a modern twist showcased in unexpected applications. Nostalgic flavours which lend themselves to multiple modern applications include salted caramel, birthday cake, fudge, butterscotch and cotton candy.

Explore our recipes with nostalgic flavours

Our library of recipes showcases a mix of new and old favourites. This includes many nostalgic flavours you will recognise: from Eton Mess Doughnuts, to Lemon Meringue Shooters and Black Forest Stack, there’s an exciting selection to choose from, all of which made using our convenient ingredients which are suitable for small and large bakery businesses.

Keen to take your customers on a new flavour adventure? Our team are equipped to develop and test flavours to suit your customer and application requirements. Get in touch today to see what’s possible!

Data: 1: Barry Callebaut proprietary consumer survey fielded digitally in August 2021 using Qualtrics in Brazil, China, France, UK and US; n=2100. 2: Foresight Factory. 3: Mintel, 2020.