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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In 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.
If you’ve read any of the food industry headlines lately, you’ve noticed that snack innovations are on the rise. Snacking has become a big consumer trend that doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.
With consumers living busier lifestyles, there is an increase in the overall demand for snacks. Instead of having meals throughout the day, consumers are replacing meals with snacks. According to recent data from IRI Worldwide, about three snacks per day are being consumed. And while indulgent snacking is outpacing healthy snacking, there still continues to be a rise in consumers who seek healthy snacks.
According to FoodNavigator’s Snacking Trend Forum, there seems to be a trend toward “simple options.” Consumers are looking for snacks that have fewer ingredients and are made with ingredients that they recognize. During the forum, Shane Emmett from Health Warrior addressed how packaged foods can overcome the health challenges they face by evolving even further than being better-for-you products to being something that’s actually really good for you.
Aligning desired health claims, keeping up with the clean label trend and giving consumers a snack they can be satisfied with on-the-go can become a puzzling task for some snack food manufacturers. One way for snack food manufacturers to accommodate all of that is by incorporating proteins into its products. According to the Packaged Facts report, “Proteins – Classic, Alternative and Exotic Sources: Culinary Trend Tracking Series,” a majority of consumers agree they are “making a point of getting enough protein” from the foods they are consuming.
From one of our earlier blog posts this year, protein was a “celebrity” at the Natural Products Expo West show in Anaheim. There have been a lot of innovations recently around protein and providing snack food manufacturers ingredients that have high protein content. Ingredients like flax, quinoa, cashew and pea proteins have been making their way into snack foods for quite a while. But there is a new ingredient that’s been getting a lot of buzz—no pun intended—when it comes to snack food innovations and protein inclusion, and that’s cricket flour. Shane Emmett probably said it best in the Snacking Trend Forum when he stated that the cricket flour trend may sound a bit crazy, but given the challenges snack food manufacturers face, who knows, it could be the next big thing.
We’d love to hear your comments below on what you think the next big thing will be in the snack food industry.
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