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2016 Top Food Trends Roundup

The end of the year is the time for annual food trend predictions for all of us in the food ingredient industry. We look at research to find out what new flavors will be seasoning our food. We pour over market trends to find out the new directions foodservice will be heading. And we study trend reports to gain insight into what consumers are going to want in the coming year.

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At Anderson Partners Food Ingredient Marketing, our team of ingredient marketing experts has been studying the latest in consumer food trends, flavor trends and foodservice trends. The team’s new series of blog posts on indepth, our food marketing blog, rounds up the major trends forecast in each of these key areas.

Liz Bloyd reports on 2016 Consumer Food Trends in her roundup blog post. Consumers are seeking adventures for their taste buds and it’s a trend that is common to several leading trend forecasts. The roundup report includes summaries and links to major trend reports from Packaged Facts, Sterling-Rice Group, Mintel and Innova Market Insights. Innova ranks “Clean Label” as the number one trend for 2016.

For 2016 Foodservice Trends, food marketing analyst Elizabeth Murphy’s roundup reports on the National Restaurant Associations’ survey of over 1,500 members of the American Culinary Federation to determine the hot trends for 2016 menus. The roundup also includes links to foodservice forecasts from Technomic’s trend report Technomics Take: 2016 Food Trends as well as Baum + Whiteman’s 11 Hottest Food & Beverage Dining Trends.

In his roundup report on 2016 Flavor Trends, Dan Swoboda looks at leading flavor trend forecasts from Packaged Facts, Comax Flavors and, of course, the annual Flavor Forecast from McCormick & Company—the granddaddy of all flavor forecasts. McCormick predicts that America’s love for spicy flavors will continue with tangy accents that will open up the door to more multicultural flavors. Next year looks to be the year to get even bolder with flavors as consumers continue to seek more exotic and adventurous foods.

From consumer food trends, to foodservice menu trends, to flavor forecasts, there is a lot to look forward to in 2016. I have a feeling it’s going to be another delicious year.

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.

 

2015 Flavor Trends Roundup

According to the Innovation on the Menu: Flavor Trends report published by market research firm, Mintel, 62% of millennials and 56% of U.S. adults identify as adventurous eaters, with 82% of consumers stating they were willing to try new flavors. This interest in the bold and unexpected permeates a variety of 2015 flavor-trend predictions with forecasts focusing on pungent flavors that provide a strong taste for consumers. An assortment of spicy Middle Eastern and Asian flavors can be seen throughout, along with an increasing focus on sour, smoky and bitter notes.

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The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) backs its Top 5 2015 Flavor Trends predictions with extensive data from a variety of sources and provides “drivers” behind each trend. Sweet + Heat is chosen from consumers’ love of spicy flavors and a growing interest in heat mixed with sweet ingredients—think chili peppers with berries and citrus fruits. IFT notes that manufacturers are already pursuing this trend with Kalsec introducing Tangy Sweet Ginger, Spicy Orange, Herbal Jalapeño and Sweet-Roasted Chipotle at the 2014 IFT Food Expo. IFT includes spice’s ability to play to consumers’ view of a product’s authenticity, as well as studies showing that spice might have a positive effect on the metabolism as drivers of this trend. IFT predicts sour, bitter and tangy flavors with a focus on fermented foods will also be big in 2015, noting kimchi as a strong influence on consumers growing interest in fermented products. Like Sweet + Heat, IFT includes “authenticity and health and wellness” as a driver of this trend. IFT rounds out its forecast with umami, smoke and oak, and Middle Eastern and North African flavors.

Last year, The McCormick® Flavor Forecast®  predicted chilies, Indian, Mexican and Brazilian flavors would satisfy consumer cravings for heat in 2014 and it seems in 2015, consumers will still crave heat but now from regions like the Middle East and Asia. Like IFT, McCormick’s trend categories included umami, smoke and all around spicy ethnic flavors.  Consumers looking for tang will turn to products that feature Sour + Salt. Those craving umami will turn to vegetables that include the “fifth taste”—mushrooms, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and nori. Smoked spices will provide depth to drinks and condiments, while fruit and vegetable juices and purees mixed with herbs and spices will add flavor to soup and sauce applications. On the dessert front, cookies will get a sophisticated makeover flavoring brûlées, tarts and bars.

Comax Flavors picked four flavor category trends for its Flavor Trends for 2015 press release: Melting Pot, In a Nutshell, Coffee House and Breakfast Anytime. With Melting Pot, you’ll find flavors with Hispanic and Asian influences. In a Nutshell focuses on nuts bringing new flavor to sweet applications like bourbon caramel pistachio and savory applications like pecan chipotle. Coffee House focuses on consumers increased demand for coffee and the opportunity for coffee mixed with unexpected flavors. For example, Comax Flavors developed cofftea and cabernet espresso to celebrate National Coffee Day in 2014.

Firmenich, an international producer of flavor solutions, reports that honey will be the flavor of 2015. In an article from BakeMag.com, Patrick Salord, senior flavorist at Firmenich, stated, “For a flavor that is as sweet as honey is, it shows remarkable versatility. Depending on the application, you can tone down the sweetness or even tone it up! It’s a flavor that has no limit in its potential, and people respond to that.” While honey has been growing in popularity in recent years, it will be especially popular in 2015 as a vessel for the bolder spicier flavors forecasted.

As we continue to read about and share with you more predictions for 2015 food industry trends, feel free to leave us a comment with your thoughts on what trends you think the food industry will see in 2015.

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