A Flavorful Approach to Product Innovation

Emerald Nwanne

Innovation in the wellness industry is all about providing functional benefits that meet the evolving needs of consumers. With more people seeking natural and holistic solutions to enhance their well-being, there has been a surge in demand for wellness products that incorporate trending flavors. 

By leveraging consumer social listening tools, wellness brands can identify emerging flavor trends and create innovative wellness products that meet consumer demand. This blog post will explore the flavors that are seeing growth on social media, the wellness products currently using those flavors, and the flavors that could see success in the future.


Flavor Trends on Social Media

Social media has become an important platform for tracking emerging flavor trends. Based on our consumer social listening analytics, we have identified citron, grapefruit and jasmine as flavors that have seen significant growth in social media mentions over the past year.


Citron, a tart and sour fruit in the lemon family, has become popular among citrus lovers looking for more exotic flavor profiles. The flavor profile has seen a 43% increase in the number of social media mentions over the last three months.


GrapefruitGrapefruit, another citrus-forward flavor, is also trending potentially due to its high antioxidant content and energy-boosting benefits.


With an overwhelmingly positive consumer sentiment and 14% growth rate, jasmine is a soft and floral flavor profile typically found in teas or light desserts. As people increasingly seek out new and exciting tastes, exotic and unusual flavors are becoming more popular. These exotic fruit flavors, like jasmine, are perceived to have health benefits like immune system health, relaxation and more.


Products Incorporating Trending Flavors

The wellness industry has been quick to incorporate these trending flavors into their products. For example, citron has been used in teas, supplements, cannabis gummies and energy drinks. While some popular tea brands have been selling citron-flavored teas for years in international markets, the flavor profile is still fairly new in the US wellness space.

Grapefruit has been featured in pre-workout drinks, supplements, and snacks, including grapefruit slices, energy drinks and bars. 



Jasmine is a popular flavor for drinks specifically. We see sparkling drinks with jasmine teas and CBD drinks flavored with a mix of earthy flavors including jasmine. Tea’s Tea Organic is a drink company brewing a jasmine iced tea drink. The brand offers other organic brewed twists on classic teas like their unsweetened oolong iced tea and lemongrass teas. 


There’s also Jun Kombucha’s Jasmine Rose Ashwaganda CBD drink. With cannabinoids, adaptogens, and jasmine rose tea in one kombucha, Jun Kombucha represents the intersection of several product-driven wellness trends. It is all-natural and sweetened with raw honey, and it costs a lot more than the other two options. A 12-pack case costs $65 on its website. 


Priced in between those two options are Hoptonic’s Sparkling Jasmine Green Tea+. With just a hint of hops and 28mg of caffeine per can, these products are positioned as alcohol substitutes for those that love a little hopply flavor. For a 12-pack, a customer will pay $36.


Nai's Peach Mango Jasmine Iced Tea

CBD Jasmine Rose Ashwaganda Drink

Hoptonic Sparkling Jasmine Green Tea


Other flavors that are becoming increasingly popular include adaptogens such as eucalyptus, which is traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to stimulate the immune system and reduce stress and anxiety. Eucalyptus is typically used as a fragrance oil and has been added to many skincare products over the years. The recent growth in consumer social media mentions indicates a resurgence in interest in eucalyptus-scented products.


Other trending flavors include sesame, chili, and cayenne, all following the trend of tropical and exotic flavors moving into the mainstream.  Flavors with a smaller share of voice that are gaining popularity include popcorn and cheddar flavor. While there is not yet enough data on these flavors to dig into their growth, this may follow an increase in nostalgia-related purchasing as millennials enter middle age.


Exploring Future Flavors

The flavor wheel can be a helpful tool for discovering new, appealing flavors that could see success in the future. 

For the wine and coffee world, the flavor wheel can be used in a tasting setting to better inform the taster of the notes they’re enjoying. They say it allows for a more mindful experience with taste when the flavor notes are named. The flavor wheel also serves as a visual representation of similarly tasting flavors.


Borrowing this concept, we’ve applied the wheel to flavor innovation. Brightfield Group’s social listening capabilities show us what flavors are trending online for specific consumer packaged goods (CPG) categories. However, if a flavor’s popularity is already cresting, it may be too late to take part in the trend. Using the flavor wheel, we can uncover similarly tasting flavors that may also appeal to consumers enjoying a given flavor trend.


flavor wheel


If passion fruit is cresting in sports drinks, then lychee may be the next popular flavor among the passion fruit-loving crowd. The wheel provides innovators a way to think outside the single trend and create products similarly appealing. 


Looking to the last 12 months of social listening data, cocoa, and ginger have both seen increased conversations throughout the year. 


Innovate with Consumer Data

Innovation is essential for staying competitive in the wellness industry, and leveraging consumer analytics data is critical for identifying emerging flavor trends. By creating wellness products that incorporate trending flavors, consumer packaged goods brands can meet the needs of consumers seeking functional benefits from natural ingredients. Social listening plus CPG consumer insights provide answers to specific questions, like what flavor trends are cresting with Gen Z, or what flavors are trending with athletes. 


To stay relevant with consumers, brands need to be aware of upcoming flavor trends and create products that people will want. With the help of social listening for CPG, the possibilities for innovation in the wellness industry are endless.



Published: 3/21/2023