Every year, Symrise tracks and analyzes popular foods, beverages, flavors and ingredients from around North America to determine the most prevalent and upcoming flavors that industry members can expect to see on the rise. The resulting product is our annual Top Trends Report.

Alongside our annual trends, we determine two separate sets of trends based on our findings at the Winter and Summer Fancy Food Shows. With the 2019 Winter Fancy Food Show around the corner, we’ve looked back at our annual and Fancy Food Show trends between 2016 and 2018 and aligned some of our annual trends with products from the shows:

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2016 Top 10 Trend: Butter/Fat

One of our 12 Top Trends of 2016 is focused around upgraded butter and real fats. From our primary and secondary research we came to the conclusion that butters and real fats are seeing increased usage rates on menus and in consumers’ daily lives. At the 2016 Fancy Food Show we noticed a similar trend of alternative fats. Products used real fats like lard and duck fat to allow for maximum flavor and indulgence, a product dimension that resonates with millennials.


2016 Top 10 Trend: Authentic Ethnic

Demographic shifts, the rise of street food, food television and the internet, were inspiration for our 2016 ethnic cuisine trend: ‘Authentic Ethnic.’ The globalization of flavor started to take hold in mainstream products in the form of authentic African, Asian and Mexican cuisine and the 2016 Fancy Food Show food and beverage products followed suit. Items like masala spiced sauce and kimchi pork bulgogi rice bowls, present American consumers with the opportunity to enjoy global flavors and meals in the comfort of their own home.

Under the umbrella of ethnic cuisine, chilies have been heating up. Specifically, hatch chili spiced up the 2016 Fancy Food Show with an array of products bursting with Mexican influence. Featured products included cooking sauces, pestos, meat snacks and biscuit bites. As Americans continue to adventure beyond borders when it comes to travel and everyday consumption, we can expect to see this trend continue into the future.


2017 Top 10 Trend: Spirituous Foods

At the 2017 Winter Fancy Food Show, Spirituous Foods, one of our Top 10 Trends from 2017 came to life with an abundance of bourbon flavored fare. Bourbon was the booze of choice when it came to adding a spirituous spike to anything from ice cream to popcorn. In fact, over 500 new bourbon products were launched between 2012 and 2017—a number that continues to see growth as the bourbon bonanza remains relevant into 2019.


2017 Top 10 Trend: Tamed Heat

Turmeric and ginger brought tamed heat to food and beverage categories in 2017—making ‘Tamed Heat’ one of our Top 10 Trends that year. Beyond the subtle kick these spices add to food and drinks, both turmeric and ginger boast many health & wellness benefits including: energy boosting properties, inflammation, indigestion, etc.

The 2017 Winter Fancy Food Show showcased an array of products with the holistic edge that turmeric and ginger offer. Products like turmeric chips and ginger ice cream piqued the interest of millennials and holistic health foodies alike.


2018 Top 10 Trend: Vegetables Served Medium Rare

Our 2018 Top 10 Trend, Vegetables Served Medium Rare, speaks to veggies being prepared like meats. We are seeing chefs giving veggies the main-course treatment with smoke, brine, confits, curing dry-again and even jerky. That brings us to a trend we saw while attending the 2018 Summer Fancy Food Show called “Quirky Jerky.” A product example for this trend is Pans Mushroom Jerky which are mushrooms prepared like Jerky with flavors like Applewood BBQ, typical to a meat jerky. We also saw Bak Kwa Eggplant Baconess Jerky, an eggplant based jerky with a bacon flavor. We believe that “jerky” is no longer a term solely referring to meat or even meat substitutes – a rise in sweet jerky coming from dried apple or pear is something we expect to see further in the future.


2018 Top 10 Trend: The Future Looks Super

Not only did we see our Top 10 Trends of 2018 appear in the Summer Fancy Food Show but the winter as well! One trend we have been watching closely for a while is the use of super fruits and super foods; that’s why in 2018 we named one of our trends The Future Looks Super. This trend is based around our findings that new superfoods and ingredients are on the rise in juice shops and home cooking as there is an increasing number of health-conscious Americans. In 2018 we highlighted moringa, bee pollen, farro and even schisandra as super ingredients being used across categories and to keep an eye out for. While we were at the 2018 Winter Fancy Food Show one trend we picked up on we called ‘Moringa Madness’ where moringa was the star ingredient in teas, snack bars, smoothie drinks and chips.


We attend the Fancy Food Show to stay on top of new product trends to inspire our customers and provide unique insights from top industry events; it is always a pleasure to see our research play out in products we see at the show. The Symrise marketing team will be attending the 2019 Winter Fancy Food Show at the Moscone Center in San Francisco from January 13-15. We look forward to bringing you the food and beverage forward trends we see this upcoming weekend! Stay tuned for trends or click here to get them directly in your inbox!



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