NEW YORK — Chocolate and vanilla may be Americans’ go-to flavors, but many are planning to experiment with others in the new year, according to new research.
A survey of 2,000 Americans looked at people’s flavor preferences and found that new trends are on the horizon, with 46 percent saying they’re interested in trying mint-chocolate-flavored items, 36 percent being open to lemongrass-flavored foods, or 34 percent wanting to try hot honey in 2022.
Some people are still behind on trying coffee (43%), green or black tea (38%), or citrus-flavored products (35%) – which were the popular flavors of 2021. Others are looking to explore internationally, showing interest in flavors like mango (36%), red bean (31%) or teaberry (30%).
More than half of respondents (58%) don’t think healthy foods taste good in the first place and nearly three-quarters (72%) say they’d eat healthier if their food tasted better. Another 76 percent would eat healthier if their food tasted like chocolate, their favorite ice cream flavor (73%), or peanut butter (67%).
Dieting hasn’t been easy for one in five Americans who admit they struggle with eating healthy (21%). Surprisingly, 65 percent would be more likely to consume healthier foods if they could drink them (like in a protein shake) instead of eating them (like in a salad).
Three in five say that leading a healthy lifestyle has been challenging because they’re always tempted to eat sweet (54%) and salty (49%) foods.
More than half of Americans have a sweet tooth when cravings hit (56%), enjoying treats like ice cream (42%) and cookies (40%). Others have trouble resisting their favorite savory foods like pizza (43%), pasta (40%), or French fries (39%).
Nearly two-thirds agree that their flavor preferences change throughout the day (63%). A similar number of people add that sometimes their preferred flavors don’t match up with the time of day, such as craving something sweet for lunch or a fruity snack before dinner (69%).
Hopping on the healthy bandwagon
Eating healthy isn’t always a struggle, especially for the 73 percent who have been surprised by a healthy food tasting better than they thought it would, such as “veggie burgers,” “plant-based mac and cheese,” or “cauliflower tater tots.”
People also have a love for fruits, taking four of five spots of most-enjoyed healthy foods, including apples (58%), bananas (57%), oranges (55%), and blueberries (52%). Savory, healthy options, including chicken (49%), beef (46%), and eggs (46%) rounded out the list.
Above all, flavor matters for 65 percent of people who prioritize the flavor of their food over its nutritional value.