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2016 Flavor Trends Roundup

 As we’ve all experienced, the culinary climate is full of experimentation when it comes to flavoring foods. In the trends we’re seeing for 2016, next year looks to be the year to get bolder with flavors as consumers continue to seek more exotic and adventurous foods.

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According to the Packaged Facts trend report, there is an entire world of flavor adventure that’s being explored, and it continues to expand to new and unexpected places. With Sriracha now a household word, kimchi has been popping up in savory and dried snacks while hot peppers keep getting hotter and more diverse. Product developers and chefs are looking beyond Asian flavors to keep up with consumer demand for bolder flavors. To keep consumers interest and meet their demands, chefs are adding citrus to their flavor lineup along with other tangy flavors like cilantro and tomatillo.

In McCormick & Co.’s annual trend report—the Flavor Forecast—America’s love for spicy flavors will continue in 2016, but will take on an evolutionary twist with tangy accents that will open the door to more multicultural flavors. According to McCormick’s predictions, the tang will come from ingredients like limes, kumquats and cranberries as well as rice vinegar and tamarind. Distinct flavors from Southeast Asia—which include “tropical Asian” flavors from Malaysia and the Philippines—will help product developers continue to meet the ongoing demand for spicy foods.

Meeting the demands for healthier foods, simple ingredients and culinary adventure in an ever-evolving society was the overarching theme of Comax Flavors 2016 flavor trends report and the debut of four new flavor collections. In its trend report, Comax Flavors (Comax) notes that consumers will gravitate toward green vegetables and fruit with flavors, which will be the main focus of its Green Goodness collection—featuring flavors such as avocado, pear, broccoflower, green jackfruit and jalapeño honey. With Cuban cuisine expected to heat up on menus, Comax wanted to offer authentic flavors to meet the upcoming trend. As part of its Cuban Culture collection, Comax will offer flavors like Café Cubano, Mamey Mojito and Toasted Coconut Flan.

Based on the forecasted flavor trends for 2016, it looks like consumers will be able to take their taste buds on the adventure they’re looking for. Feel free to leave us a comment below about other flavor trends you’re hearing about.

 

2016 Foodservice Trends Roundup

Over the past few months we’ve gathered and analyzed the various 2016 foodservice trend reports published this time of year and one thing is for certain, some of the most prevalent foodservice trends are less about what is on the plate and more about how it gets there.
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The National Restaurant Association (NRA) recently published its 2016 “What’s Hot culinary forecast.” The NRA surveyed over 1,500 members of the American Culinary Federation to determine what items will be a “hot trend,” “yesterday’s news” or “perennial favorite” on 2016 menus. Of those surveyed, 80% rated “locally sourced meats and seafood” as a hot trend—the highest percentage across all categories. “Hyper-local sourcing” focuses on dishes and drinks made with ingredients originating onsite—for example, drinks crafted from spirits distilled in-house—and ranked in the top five trends between “locally grown produce” and “naturally processed ingredients.” It’s clear, in 2016, chefs will continue to curate menus with items developed using ingredients with recognizable, local origin stories.

The 2016 foodservice trend reports not only addressed where menu items come from, but also how they get to the consumer—a process that will continue to evolve in the coming year. Technomic’s trend report, Technomic’s Take: 2016 Food Trends, includes an item deemed “The Delivery Revolution.” Consumers are no longer regulated to the usual pizza or Chinese when they want to order in for the night. Mobile apps are providing services that deliver a wide range of cuisines from restaurants in the area.

Baum + Whiteman agrees in its 11 Hottest Food & Beverage Dining Trends, noting, “Tech-driven delivery is 2015-2016’s Big Disrupter of food retailing and food service…aimed at the ultimate consumer convenience,” a diverse menu delivered right to your door. Baum + Whiteman lists a sampling of available third-party apps offering food delivery services including Google, uberEATS, Amazon Prime Now, Grub Hub and Yelp.  Fast food and quick-service restaurants are beginning to respond to the threat from third-party apps by developing delivery services of their own—a trend predicted to gain traction in 2016.

What interesting foodservice trends have you seen forecasted for 2016? Feel free to share your thoughts and predictions in the comments below.

2016 Consumer Food Trends Roundup

With 2015 coming to an end, it’s that time to look ahead at what next year’s trends will bring. One thing is certain, consumers seeking food adventures for their taste buds is a trend that is here to stay and is a theme we’re seeing across several trend forecasts.

2016 Consumer Food TrendsIn a recent report from Packaged Facts, in 2016 we can expect to see food preparations that feature bold, spicy and ethnic flavors. When it comes to bold, it’s not just about the exotic Asian flavors—citrus has joined the bold bandwagon along with other tangy flavors like tomatillo and cilantro. In addition to foods with bold flavors, consumers are showing interest in unexpected flavor pairings like vanilla and cardamom, savory and spicy flavors with desserts and confectionary foods.

In looking at the Sterling-Rice Group’s 2016 trends list, the consumer palate will continue to evolve and demand new and adventurous foods. One beverage seeing a revival with start-up brands is Switchels—a drink made with apple cider vinegar, ginger and sweetener. Along with these next generation beverages, we’ll see a resurgence of farmed oysters to meet the demand for sustainable seafood. With millennials showing an increased interest, oyster and raw bars will have a stronger presence in major cities.

According to market researchers at Mintel, alternatives to meat and dairy will be a top consumer priority in 2016. Mintel also predicts consumer demands for ‘less processed’ foods and drinks will continue to force food manufacturers to remove artificial ingredients from their products. With consumers having a better understanding of how diets can affect their appearance and a rising interest in fitness and becoming more active, food manufacturers will be tasked with developing new dishes that have added protein and other nutrients that are vital to building muscle or even muscle repair after exercise.

In Innova Market Insights trend list for 2016, the “clean eating” trend is the overarching theme. This trend is one that has inspired a back-to-basics approach in product development. Innova ranked “organic growth for clear label” as the number one trend for 2016—clear label referring to a greater transparency and focus on simpler products with fewer artificial ingredients and additives. This trend aligns with what Innova labeled as the number four trend, “processing the natural way.” With western consumers increasingly aware of the health benefits of fermented foods, there are newer technologies that may be seen as an alternative to using preservatives in foods.

As we’ve all experienced with trends, some will be more dominant than others. But one thing is for sure, there is a definite shift in consumer behavior that will challenge many food and beverage manufacturers and foodservice operators. It will be interesting to see what will come to the forefront next year in new product innovations and what product developers will bring to the tables to meet consumer demands.

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