Today, the advent of pop-up restaurants and food trucks, and
the spread of information via social media, afford consumers an
easy opportunity to experiment and share experiences, which
drives a rapid pace of emerging trends. In addition, marginal
trends can quickly rise to prominence if a major consumer
goods company decides to incorporate a relatively obscure
flavor profile into a conventional product such as a potato chip,
in effect driving new trends.
Currently, Warsow sees potential for Peruvian cuisine. In the
wake of Peru’s national grain, quinoa, becoming a global phenomenon, other flavor profiles offer promise. For consumers
seeking a “new heat experience,” Warsow believes aji amarillo
chilies offer an appealing novelty. Other Peruvian profiles
include chicha morada, a type of purple corn tea incorporating
cinnamon, clove and sugar, and kola champagne, a carbonated local favorite that has a flavor that is part cream soda and
McDermott, a member of IFF’s global team of chefs and
culinary experts, says, “The team is in constant communications
regarding trends in all the regions, and we frequent restaurants
both high-end and down and dirty authentic. We have resources
that are instrumental in providing ideas to the team around the
world, such as a dedicated blog, daily messages with culinary
reads, trade shows, ethnic markets and farm stands.
Looking at notable trends, McDermott has identified the
cheeses, tomatoes, etc.)
larity of grains plus vegetables
Hajdarevic’s team works with marketing staff and chefs to
identify and respond to trends.
“As a chef, I have to find all the new trends in Michelin-starred restaurants, new ingredients they’re using, and translate
that for the flavorists and marketing to find an industrial way to
explore those trends,” says Buvry.
Buvry explains that sourcing food products locally is a culinary trend that is currently making its way into the consumer
“People like to buy things that are produced locally, such
as ingredients, raw materials and vegetables,” says Hajdarevic.
“People want to know where it comes from, so transparency is
Showing customers that flavors can be produced using locally
sourced materials has been a key project in the last couple
of years, says Hajdarevic. This includes natural extracts, par-
ticularly meat, in the wake of Europe’s 2013 meat adulteration
scandals, which centered around undeclared meat such as horse
and pork. As a result, says Hajdarevic, Mane has developed a
range of meat flavors for customers with meat sourced in France
for maximum traceability.
Buvry has also witnessed an uptick in the influence of cuisines
from Peru, Brazil and Mexico, which offer consumers new
tastes, including unique pepper profiles.
In addition, says Hajdarevic, there is a big trend for flavors
that are “interactive.”
“People want something that is more exciting, dynamic” he
says. “It’s not only simple flavors. It’s a whole experience.”
“Our culinary teams collaborate with trend trackers and food
technologists, among others, globally to identify the trends and
cutting-edge flavors that will emerge in the following few years,”
says McCormick’s Patterson. “We also expand our research to
focus not only on culinary and food trends, but overall con-
sumer trends. This broad view helps us to create exciting new
flavor experiences for the consumer. For example, chefs find
inspiration by combining two industry trends to create one new,
exciting taste innovation.
Patterson says that the company’s flavor trend research
has identified the unlikely hybrid called “Greek udon noodle
salad,” which comprised Japanese udon noodles and katsu
sauce with the typical ingredients found in a Greek salad.
Other trends include retro cocktails in recipes such as a “dirty
martini steak kabob,” which makes use of dry vermouth,
mustard seed and olive juice.
“The world is craving heat in a big way,” says Patterson.
“There are hundreds of varieties of chilies grown throughout
the world, each with their own unique flavor characteristics, heat
levels and uses. Chiles from Mexico, Asia, South America, Africa
and India are leading the way. Beyond just discovering new chile
varieties, this obsession has extended into using techniques like
grilling, smoking, pickling, fermenting and candying to tease out
their flavor potential. Chilies to watch include the guajillo and
chile de arbol from Mexico, aji amarillo from Peru and the hot
Szechuan chile ( Tien Tsin) from China.
He adds, “Indian food is finally having its global moment.
Already familiar with basic curries, people around the world are
taking their appreciation for this richly spiced cuisine to the next
level, exploring more flavors in new contexts, from food trucks
to fine dining. Americans are exploring Indian flavor profiles in
approachable everyday fare such as salads and sandwiches. A
notable Northern Indian spice blend is Kashmiri masala, which
contains cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, cloves and
ginger. Similar to garam masala, Kashmiri masala is a fragrant
blend of spices from the region of Kashmir and is used to season
lamb dishes such as the classic rogan josh, chicken curries and
vegetables. Many Indian home cooks have their own unique
blend and roast the spices.”
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