Unexpected tactile experiences in food and beverage will be a new realm for manufacturers to explore in 2018. “As with color, more companies have the opportunity to add texture via natural ingredients, such as the pulp of fruit or vegetables, the tingle of spicy peppers, or carbonation resulting from fermentation as with kombucha,” writes Zegler. This trend can manifest through chewy or crunchy elements in beverages or popping candy or other surprises in baked goods, aiming for a novel experience for the consumer to share.
Chewy elements in beverages will be unsurprising to consumers with any familiarity with the tapioca in bubble tea, for example, but the push to create a memorable and shareable tactility in food is perhaps a response to the virtual nature of today’s food experience. Virtual reality and Google glass, restaurants that hand out Instagram so that diners can better document their experiences and other non-tactile sharing of dining is leading food products to new and unforeseen areas.