5 flavour trends to know this summer

11 June 2024, 07:00 AM
  • What tastes are consumers craving as the weather heats up?
5 flavour trends to know this summer

Shoppers are a fickle bunch. What they love (and loathe) can change on a dime. But you can be certain there’s always something in the background driving their decisions.

A celebrity divulging the ‘secret ingredient’ that will add that je ne sais quoi to their cooking. That TikTok fad (we’re looking at you oven-baked feta pasta and dalgona coffee). And science. The Glucose Goddess, for example, has been responsible for soaring interest in apple cider vinegar, while Professor Tim Spector’s insight into the microbiome, and the importance of fostering good gut health, has made a whole generation look at legumes in a new light.

Knowing what to stock, then, is an ongoing battle. Alongside the essentials, what is it that’s making shoppers tick? What’s going to light up their senses and give them a shot of dopamine as they’re wandering the aisles?

Drinks manufacturer Diageo’s latest report – Flavour Forecast – suggests there are five areas to hit up this summer, all of them leaning into what is (besides Christmas) one of the most sociable times of the year.

Chief innovation officer, Mark Sandys, says, “How we socialise today is influenced by so many factors, such as different cultures, the appreciation for the outdoors, even our desire for adventure. These trends are shaping the drinks and the specific flavours that consumers will want to enjoy this summer, with Diageo’s ‘Flavour Forecast’ indicating that we are going to see the likes of jalapeno, guava, and floral infusions all have their moments, particularly in the world of cocktails. Using our insights and artificial intelligence, we’ve been able to track the growth of these trends and introduce new products to stay relevant to changing consumer palates.”

Produced in collaboration with Ai Palette, combining its data with intelligence from the Diageo Foresight System (a tool that monitors and tracks global conversations from web sources and social media platforms), the forecast points to Umami, Spice, Tropical, Treating, and Bloom Harvest, as the flavours to watch (and invest in) over the coming months.


According to the Flavour Forecast, our appetite for everything umami is growing – to the point that search and conversation about very unusual propositions such as the Parmesan Espresso Martini, has increased by 12%.

Conversations about turmeric as an ingredient are up 79% in the UK, the data says, while interest in Korean barbecue and street food has increased interest in ingredients such as gochujang by 55%. Also seeing spikes are seaweed (53%) and tahini (45%).


Spicy, bold flavours are attracting attention across the world, as consumers investigate the entire spectrum of heat, from mild grilling chillies, to fiery hot sauces that set their tongues alight. Conversations about jalapenos are up 32% in the UK, with habanero, aji and Amarillo chillies also having their day, with at-home experimentation in Mexican, Latin and Tex-Mex food particularly driving the trend.

The data in favour of spice tallies with a recent report from Waitrose which revealed 44% of shoppers now use hot sauces with everyday meals.


Shoppers are bored with the banal, and want more adventure and exoticism in their kitchens, says the report, which shows consumers are talking about ingredients such as tamarind and guava more frequently. Interest in guava, it says, is up 18% in the UK alone, where the fruit is being enjoyed in juices, dried as a snack, and in totally tropical cocktails.


It’s been well reported that during, and since, Covid we’ve all seeking out little ‘treat moments’. Moments of solace where we might practice meditation, slow down for the ritual of a cup of tea and a biscuit, or satisfy our sweet tooth with a really nice bar of chocolate.

Diageo’s report suggests consumers are scratching their treating itch by reaching for flavours that include coffee (social conversations up 12%), hazelnut (up 91%) and nutmeg (up 78%). There is, the Flavour Forecast says, also a growing trend for cocktails (especially those crafted with coffee) to replace dessert in dining settings.

Bloom Harvest

Online conversations about foraging are up 172% in the UK, driven, the report says, by eco-conscious consumers, who are frequently engaging with brands and products that are locally sourced, ethical, and minimally impact the environment.

Trending flavours include elderflower, rhubarb and hibiscus, all of which are being used much more frequently by manufacturers in the soft drinks and spirits sectors.

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