Bell Validates Global Spark Trends at the 2023 IFT FIRST: Annual Event & Expo

Bell Flavors & Fragrances Validates Global Spark Trends at the 2023 IFT FIRST: Annual Event & Expo 


Global Flavors and Fragrances Company Confirms 2023 Trend Forecasts at the World’s Leading Food Industry Showcase in Chicago, IL from July 16-19  

NORTHBROOK, Illinois – August 3, 2023

Bell Flavors & Fragrances, Inc. (Bell) confirmed key trend predictions and forecasts at the 2023 Institute of Food Technologists’ (IFT) FIRST: Annual Event & Expo from July 16-19 inside McCormick Place in Chicago, IL.  

 Attracting 17,000 international visitors and 1,100 exhibitors, the annual convention, hosted by the Institute of Food Technology (IFT), once again proved its value as the place for trendspotting and networking in the global food industry. 

What’s more, the products and technologies on display at McCormick Place confirmed key forecasts from Bell’s global Spark – Ignites Creativity, Inspires Senses® program. Specifically, IFT FIRST showcased innovative methods to enhance natural ingredients and resources ( ‘Nature R*Evolution’), support healthy lifestyles and longevity (‘A Better Me’) and spark joy with impactful flavor experiences (‘360-Degree Rewards’). 

Every year, Bell Flavors & Fragrances invests considerable resources to capture the most important dynamics impacting consumers across the globe. It was reassuring to witness key trends from this year’s forecast confirmed by technologies and innovations displayed at the 2023 IFT FIRST: Annual Event & Expo.” – Kelli Heinz, Vice President of Marketing and Industry Affairs


“IFT FIRST confirmed our central Spark Trends predictions for 2023 and beyond. We see it as a true testament to the accuracy of the global Spark Trends platform and the immense value we provide every single year to Bell customers. Bell returns from IFT FIRST inspired and encouraged by the level of innovation and forward-looking research to support the future of the global food system, with our Spark Trends program leading the way.” – David Banks, Senior Director of Marketing


Key observations from attending IFT FIRST 2023 include the following predictions featuring three Spark Macro Trends: 

As the central theme of IFT FIRST 2023, the show evaluated solutions to current challenges in the food supply asking, “Innovation in a Time of Crisis: Can We Future-Proof the Food System?” In the process, unmodified ingredients and technologies for enhancing nature provide much-needed answers. 

Seeing the Trend at IFT FIRST 2023: Nature R*Evolution figured prominently in a vast variety of alternative protein products, using the latest tech for masking, neutralization, and mouthfeel enhancement alongside natural flavors. Also trending, extenders and replacers provided powerful solutions to challenges in global supply chains, most importantly, honey and citrus varieties. Plus, a new slew of natural sweetness enhancers and upcycled byproducts (e.g., coffee fruit) squeeze more value out of strained food supplies.   

Speaking of enhancing value, the quest for healthier lifestyles presented the number one leading consumer trend at IFT FIRST 2023. True to Bell’s Spark Macro Trend, ‘A Better Me,’ consumers demand functional benefits and tangible health improvements from their food. The trend that took the proverbial cake at IFT FIRST? Sugar reduction! 

Seeing the Trend at IFT FIRST 2023: The health-focused trends resonate with the mission of IFT FIRST, which is short for “Food Improved by Research, Science, and Technology.” Featured functional ingredients and technologies sought to boost of alertness, immunity, and sleep via mushrooms and probiotics. Collagen for healthy aging and low-carb starches for weight management were also in the spotlight. 

The industry demands serious answers to serious challenges, but flavor is still the number one factor influencing purchase decisions. In line with our Spark Trend for ‘360° Rewards’, consumers increasingly use delicious foods to treat themselves with delight and experience culinary escapes. Based on research presented at IFT FIRST, most consumers want familiar flavors with a slightly new twist. According to Bell’s Micro Trend, ‘Newstalgia’, right now is the time to score big with beloved classics, as 59% of U.S. chocolate consumers enjoy familiar flavors in new product releases (Mintel, 2023). 

Seeing the Trend at IFT FIRST 2023: The show featured familiar flavors and recipes with their volume turned up to the max. Whether it was extra-stuffed chocolate cookies, explosive umami snack mixes, double-glazed meatballs, BLT-flavored potato chips, and extra hot pepper sauces – companies are serving comfort foods without stepping beyond the comfort zone. 

Want to learn more about the Spark Trends platform from Bell Flavors & Fragrances? Click here to dive into this year’s Macro Trends impacting consumers in the here and now. 

About Bell Flavors & Fragrances:

Bell Flavors & Fragrances, Inc. is a leading supplier of flavors, fragrances, botanical extracts and ingredient specialties to the food and beverage industry, as well as the household care and personal care industries, offering over 100 years of exceptional customer service and experience. Bell has 11 manufacturing plants worldwide including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Germany, India, Singapore, and China, with sales offices in more than 60 countries. Bell’s global presence allows flexibility in the world marketplace while constantly responding to emerging industry trends with solutions that bring added value and business opportunities to our customers.

About Bell’s Spark – Ignites Creativity, Inspires Senses® Trends Program: 

Bell’s Spark Trends platform tracks five key consumer Macro Trends impacting consumers today and in the future. These Macro Trends, collectively identified by Bell’s global marketing teams, represent the core behavioral values shared by all humans. 

Bell Flavors & Fragrances – Get in touch with taste.®

About the Institute of Food Technologists:

“Since 1939, the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) has been a forum for passionate science of food professionals and technologists to collaborate, learn, and contribute all with the goal of inspiring and transforming collective scientific knowledge into innovative solutions for the benefit of all people around the world. IFT envisions a world where science and innovation are universally accepted as essential to safe, nutritious, and sustainable food supply for everyone. As a scientific community grounded in purpose, which includes scientists, technologists, manufacturers, policy makers, marketers, and more, IFT feeds the minds that feed the world.”