Bringing consumers what they want requires understanding the current sauce trends, learning about innovative flavor ideas, and looking ahead to today's up-and-coming flavors. Here's a rundown of the latest trends in sauces and dips, to help craft new sauce flavors that customers are sure to crave.

 

Sauce Trends Consumers Currently Love

Variety is the key to current sauce trends. Whether consumers are looking for sauces, dressings, or dips, they want to have options that cover the flavor spectrum.

 

Hot and Spicy

Spicy tastes are having a banner time right now. Beyond hot sauces, people want spice in everything they eat. These new flavors can run from mild to blazing hot. The stand-out stars are those flavors that add heat with a twist, such as sweet and spicy combinations. Hot honey, for example, has been one of the favorite trending sauces.

Spicy sauces and spicy dips are everywhere, and there are no signs the popularity of this trend will end anytime soon. New hot flavors come out every day, and brands are finding new ways to dress up the heat we know and love. From the use of peppers that haven't been at the forefront before, such as the bird's eye chili pepper, to fusing spice with unexpected flavors, the most popular sauces give heat in a revolutionary way.

One trending idea is habanero marinade, which has been a top 10 fastest growing flavor profile recently. It is easy to customize with the addition of honey or citrus to make it incredibly useful in a variety of ways. Plus, thinking of peppers as more than a topping provides more options to capitalize on the spicy trend.

 

Related: Fire Up the Grill: Seasoning and Sauce Trends for a Flavorful Father’s Day

 

Elevated Classics

Traditional flavors, such as garlic, pesto, and barbecue, are also favorites. People can't get enough of them, which is why they have stood the test of time. However, consumers now want something other than the same old sauces they've grown up with.

One way to elevate the old is to mix a traditional favor with the unexpected to get a full umami experience. For example, classic BBQ sauces often include sweet or spicy elements, like peppers, honey, or brown sugar. Swapping out those sweet elements with fruit flavors like peaches or apples can add a fresh twist to a homegrown classic.

 

 Innovative Flavor Profiles Are Popping

Consumers tend to gravitate towards flavors that offer something unexpected. Luckily, there are a variety of ways to create new flavor sensations.

 

Fusions 

Fusions allow the blending of two seemingly unrelated flavor profiles, usually from distinct cultures. Indian dishes are seeing a huge boom within the industry, so playing on that is likely to become part of sauce trends. 

Blends of traditional and international flavors do especially well as they allow for reinvention. A touch of wasabi is a welcomed surprise in standard ranch dressing, for example. There's infinite potential for new sauces, dressings, and dip flavors when the entire world can provide inspiration for new flavor combinations.

 

Nostalgia 

Consumers also greatly enjoy nostalgic flavors, but they want them in a different format.

For example, strawberry lemonade brings back childhood memories, but the now-adult consumer might not enjoy it as much in its traditional form. As a sweet sauce, dip, or topping for desserts, however, manufacturers can make the most of consumer nostalgia while tapping into the desire for something fresh and new.

 

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Alcohol

The use of alcohol to flavor products is also doing well. Beer cheese is a great example of how adding alcohol to something people already love can give it a boost and result in skyrocketing sales. One of the nice things about such a product is there are many different ways to do this one food item by using a variety of beer and cheese pairings. 

One particular option from the current trending flavors that has had a good run so far is aged sherry dressing. It gives a well-balanced taste that isn't too strong, sweet or acidic. It has a nice delicacy that allows for the sherry to shine without being too boozy.

 

Health and Wellness

Health and wellness inspired flavor profiles are seeing a surge. People love the idea of eating something that tastes good and is good for their health. The addition of floral elements and herbs to crisp and fresh profiles creates the healthy edge people want.

This often occurs in the spaces of organic or plant-based foods. Plant-based dressings include a range of vinaigrettes, and the flavor profiles for organic sauces are almost endless. A good example is elephant garlic, which is among the 10-fastest growing taste profiles. Garlic has health benefits for the heart and immune system. Plus, it is a timeless flavor that people very much enjoy. 

 

Pickled

Pickled flavors are also having a time in the spotlight. Pickle flavors seem to have integrated everything, even the unusual, such as ice cream. The vinegar-heavy profile is a hit with many consumers, especially those seeking global sauce flavors, and is likely to stick around and seep into a variety of the flavor profiles of the future.

 

Rising Flavor Trends To Keep an Eye On

The industry is seeing some amazing things happening is sauce trends. Unexpected flavor profiles are having a huge surge as consumers demand more to tickle their taste buds. Delighting the average consumer will require introducing forward and bold flavors that captivate in a new way.

 

Spice and Fruit

While spice has been huge for a while, the newest likely trend will be to pair it will fruit. This blend of heat and sweet is a logically next flavor combination for this consumer favorite. Think blending cayenne with cherry, or habanero with peach to become the base of a new sauce.

This type of blending is becoming common as it makes spicy popular sauce flavors more accessible to the masses. Not everyone likes extreme heat, and the fruit has a way of tempering it.

 

Cooking Inspiration

Cooking-inspired flavor elements are another area to watch. Browned, caramelized, and char-grilled are heavy hitters that will begin to make their way into a variety of flavor profiles. Think about trending dressings of the future that includes char grilled tomatoes or caramelized onions. 

 

 Birria

Birria is a Mexican taste profile based on the meat stew of the same name, and it forms the basis of lots of new dip flavors.

Traditionally, birria is made with goat or beef, and it uses vinegar, dried chilies, onions, and garlic as a base for the meat marinade. The addition of herbs and spices, such as cinnamon, cumin, ginger, and oregano, help to formulate its distinct flavor.

This rising star is quickly becoming more popular as people embrace more authentic Mexican cuisine and is likely to become a trend in sauce flavors. It may even make its way into global dip flavors that explore various regions of the world.

 

Sauce Trends Are Pushing the Boundaries of Flavor Concepts

Consumers are becoming focused on more complexity in the flavors they enjoy. They want an umami experience with richness and depth. The trend of slightly altering traditional flavors in a new way is sure to continue, along with introducing profiles that pop and excite.

Gone are the days of introducing a simple flavor in new dressings, sauces, and dips. Consumers want more excitement, and they will not accept less. If a recipe doesn't include a blend of intriguing flavors, it will fall flat. There must be something that stands out as unique for gourmet sauces to really becoming a trending flavor. 

To be on top within the industry requires understanding the palettes of today's consumer. It mandates understanding sauce trends and flavor profiles that are drawing people in at the moment and having the ability to look ahead and find the next best thing before consumers even know they want it.

 

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