Q2 2022

2022’s hot new flavors

Taste and flavor preferences change frequently, partly because food and beverage brands launch exciting new flavors, but also because customers invent their own combinations in the name of curiosity or as a workaround to accommodate dietary needs.

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Most engaged months

Articles about flavors had the most engagement in the first three months of the year, with articles from each month producing more than 1M engagements.
January had the most engagement, with more than 1.6M interactions. It was a month punctuated by several product launches. The biggest announcement from the month had to do with a Little Debbie ice cream collaboration toward the end of the month. Cookies were also popular, with Oreo’s 110th birthday and confetti cake flavor and Keebler’s Fudge Stripes debuting.

Articles from February and March saw more than 1.2M engagements each. Dr Pepper’s Berries & Cream, Coca-Cola’s space-inspired Starlight flavor, and Dorito’s Cool Ranch Jalapeño and Spicy Nacho flavors caused a few spikes throughout February.

Ice creams largely contributed to the public interest rises in March, including broader availability of Kraft and Van Leeuwen’s macaroni and cheese and Dairy Queen’s purple fruity blast. We would be remiss not to mention Pepsi debuting its maple-flavored cola with IHOP as well.

April’s numbers dipped below 1M engagements and it doesn’t look like May’s numbers will surpass that amount either based on current trajectory. Flavor launches from those months included Kit Kat’s blueberry muffin bar and Mountain Dew’s Purple Thunder berry plum soda.

Engagement with each month’s stories about “flavors”

Top articles: 2022’s Hot New Flavors

Seven of the top 10 articles about flavors have been recipes, most of them sourcing interest from Pinterest Pins.

The remaining three articles focus on product launches, which reference four brands. Kraft, which was noted for expanding its Mac and Cheese-flavored ice cream in Walmarts across the United States, also references the ice cream maker Van Leeuwen in the article and product images. The other two brand mentions are Kit Kat for its blueberry muffin bar and Little Debbie for ice cream collaborations. Each of these partnerships will be explored more in our “cheesy” flavors spotlights later in the report. 

It is also worth noting that A Family Feast and The Mediterranean Dish, which published three top articles all focused on Mediterranean flavors in pasta salad, mujadara, and feta dip, are both affiliated with CafeMedia. A Gonna Want Seconds article, which was a beef and tomato macaroni soup recipe that ranked 5th, also has ties to CafeMedia.

Conversely, a few publishers managed to produce individual articles about flavors that were popular but not enough overall engagement to rank as a top 10 publisher. These were from Healthy Recipes Blog and Creme de la Crumb, which both published chicken recipes.

Most engaged stories about “flavors”

Publisher Headline Engagements
afamilyfeast.com Mediterranean Pasta Salad 72,859
themediterraneandish.com Authentic Mujadara (Lentils and Rice with Crispy Onions) 56,441
southernthing.com Kraft Mac and Cheese-flavored ice cream to be sold at Walmarts nationwide 55,175
themediterraneandish.com 5-Minute Mediterranean Feta Dip Recipe 48,373
gonnawantseconds.com Beef and Tomato Macaroni Soup 45,023
bestproducts.com The New Kit Kat Blueberry Muffin Bar Makes Candy Acceptable for Breakfast 37,736
healthyrecipesblogs.com Chicken Enchilada Casserole 31,605
lecremedelacrumb.com Sweet and Sour Chicken 28,015
diyjoy.com No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake Recipe 27,937
southernthing.com Little Debbie is introducing even more ice cream flavors 27,484

Vanilla & chocolate brands

The top two brand stories favor vanilla as the flavor that generated more engagements when only considering the impact of individual articles.

Engagements to the top five brand articles about chocolate have much closer engagements, however, with less than a 10k difference in engagements between the articles that ranked 1st and 5th. Meanwhile, the 1st and 5th-ranked vanilla stories had a difference exceeding 25k.

Among the vanilla flavors, beverages seemed to sweep the list. The top vanilla stories focused on two Dr Pepper products returning to shelves: Vanilla Float and Berries & Cream. There were also vanilla flavor notes highlighted in articles about Captain Morgan and Baileys launches.

Confectionary brands were mentioned in four of the top five articles about chocolate and brands. They included Butterfinger, Pascall, Cadbury, and M&Ms. The top article, which bucked this trend, focused on a DIY recipe for a white chocolate cocoa drink inspired by a Star Wars character.

Top 5 brand stories about vanilla

Publisher Headline Engagements
theimpulsivebuy.com BACK ON SHELVES: Dr Pepper Vanilla Float (2022) - The Impulsive Buy 32,633
bestproducts.com Dr Pepper Berries & Cream Soda Is Back to Bring the Blueberry, Raspberry, and Vanilla Flavor 20,630
tasteofhome.com Captain Morgan JUST Released a Cherry Vanilla Rum—and Your Rum and Cokes Are Going to Taste SO Much Better 13,878
theimpulsivebuy.com SPOTTED: Honey Vanilla Cheerios Cereal - The Impulsive Buy 8,573
kitchenfunwithmy3sons.com Baileys Red Velvet Jello Shots - Valentine's Day just got a whole lot more Fun. 6,156

Top 5 brand stories about chocolate

Publisher Headline Engagements
savingdollarsandsense.com Star Wars Storm Trooper White Chocolate Cocoa 23,196
laurenslatest.com Butterfinger Nutter Butter Cheesecake Bars 19,209
zmonline.com Pascall has released Feijoa Lumps and you can buy them from TODAY! 17,708
metro.co.uk Cadbury launches competition to find ‘half-and-half Creme Eggs’ 16,209
bestproducts.com M&M’s Is Ready for Easter Candy With Its New Honey Graham Milk Chocolate Pieces 14,375

Cheesy Facebook posts

The majority of the top Facebook posts about cheesy flavors derive from the GialloZafferano Loves Italy Page.

The recipes often feature different cheeses but several tend to star mozzarella. Perhaps watching how semi-soft cheeses transform when heat is applied is satisfying to viewers, but no matter the reason, seven of the top 10 posts are attributed to GialloZafferno Loves Italy’s video demonstrations of simple recipes.
Four of the top cheese posts generated more than 100k engagements each.

The videos that accompany the posts are less than a minute long and the numbers of likes, shares, and comments indicate that viewers seem to love the how-to style food tutorials.

Top Facebook posts about cheesy flavors

XL croquette facebook post

GialloZafferano Loves Italy

253.9k Facebook interactions

Beef and Cheese Facebook post

GialloZafferano Loves Italy

138.7kk Facebook interactions

Stuffed bread Facebook post

GialloZafferano Loves Italy

119.5k Facebook interactions

Pickle Instagram posts

There was less engagement with Instagram posts about pickles than observed on Facebook but the subjects of the posts were more prone to feature brands.

Posts about Trader Joe’s dill pickle mustard and Disney selling pickle corn dogs covered in cheddar cheese dust each had more than 10k likes and comments. The Disney post, which comes from the unaffiliated fan account Disney Food Blog, included a carousel of pictures about foods available in the parks. The caption for the pickle corn dog revealed that the powdered cheese coating was a twist on the usual offering, and it was sold during the Halfway to Halloween event in April.

Cheese and pickle combinations were also apparent with Disney’s snack mentioned above and also with the top post from Food Network on how to make fried pickles stuffed with havarti cheese.

Top Instagram posts about pickle flavors

Food Network - Pickles

Food Network

19.6k Instagram likes and comments

Trader Joes Dill Pickle mustard

Trader Joe’s List

16.3k Instagram likes + comments

chart of public interest

Disney Food Blog

10.4k Instagram likes + comments


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