This is the second in the 4 part Symrise series on the flavor outlook for 2015 on in-sight. This post will be devoted to “Savory,” the flavor area that we see exploding in the coming year. However, we should not expect to see business as usual.
FoodChannel.com, in its article: Top 10 Food Trends for 2015, led the way with their comments on what they call the loss of ethnic:
“The single flavor palate is gone; long live the global palate. While we're happy to introduce new global flavors to our palate, the tendency is to mix them into something we already understand.”
They go on to say:
“What we're seeing now, with the proliferation of global spices and spice combinations, is that people are experimenting with the spices -- becoming mixologists with spices, in a way.”
Continuing in the spirit of the above, the website GoLocalProv.com in their 2015 projections (December 31, 2014) stated:
“There will be deeper explorations of ethnic cuisines, exotic ingredients and new cooking methods along with a concurrent emphasis on local and fresh. Asian influence to emerge in more ‘true-to-region’ Asian foods, bring ‘fattier and funkier’ tastes like tangy Filipino cuisine.’”
Asian food flavors and influences will get more genuine and local.
There is no denying the strength of Japanese cuisine but in North America much of it has been limited to sushi and sashimi; with spice blends, we are witnessing an appreciation for the culture that is growing up. Chefs see a huge rise of new ramen dishes with more inventive spice blends. The website, Details.com (January 2, 2015), expects an explosion in ramen and in fact they predict that ramen will be as pervasive as hamburger on menus throughout the restaurant industry. This is a strong signal to product developers to be ahead of the curve with exciting new ramen flavors.
Middle Eastern cuisine will continue to grow. For proof of this, we need not look any further than what has happened to Hummus.
The website Albawaba.com in their forecast (December 13, 2014) report “It’s Hummus’ Time to Shine,” have given us some interesting insights:
“According to the report, hummus sales reached $800 million in 2012, a massive increase from $16 million in 2006. Today, 20% of US households now buy hummus, and the number is rising in part due to distinct deviations from the chickpea base.”
These deviations include hummus versions blended with beet, pumpkin, Thai chili, spinach, artichoke, guacamole, edamame, cilantro chimichurri and lemongrass.
This pattern is expected to continue and product developers should not be led to thinking that a Middle Eastern food, for example, should only contain Middle Eastern flavors; Mexican, Thai, and Japanese influences are more than welcomed.
Pickled, fermented and smoked
Pickled, fermented and smoked foods are coming back in a very big way. In fact, in 2015, these flavor areas will see renewed creativity and very surprising twists.
Smoked foods are expected to become huge. Nation’s Restaurant News (December 8, 2014) stated that smoking could be used in surprising ways such as with cabbage: “After liquids and cocktails, 2015 will see the (smoked) flavor-enhancing technique applied to vegetables.”
This could open up whole new product avenues for frozen and canned vegetables. Nation’s Restaurant News also stated:
“Pickled and fermented foods have become increasingly popular in 2014 and…2015 will be the year that cauliflower, onions, eggplant, zucchini and fennel bulbs get dunked in vinegary, herbal and garlicky solutions.” Vegetables are being moved more and more to the center of the plate.
Before we leave the topic of smoked, pickled and fermented foods, it may sound to many that these types of flavors may be almost counter-intuitive to the trend of healthy eating. However, in the briefing: “How Consumer Trends will Shape the Food Industry” for Justfood.com (December 19, 2014) we learn the following about 2015:
“Consumer’s have redefined traditional understandings of health and wellness. Shoppers are no longer seeking out diet foods and low fat, salt or calorie items have fallen out of vogue. Instead, today's more informed consumers are seeking balance in their diets.”
A pickled, fermented or smoked food selection may be higher in sodium, but when eaten in a balance with other selections, it is not necessarily perceived as being “bad,” but as being exotic or delicious. Speaking of sodium, we are seeing a rise in coarse salts infused with flavors, and recipes are to be found throughout the culinary world combining salt with unexpected flavors such as citrus.
More Savory Trends in 2015
It looks as though “bacon everything” is finally subsiding. In Huff Post Taste, “New Food Trends 2015,” we are introduced to ‘ndjua:
“…a light-up-your-mouth spreadable sausage from Calabria that's finding its way onto pasta, melted over pork chops, even blended into vinaigrettes as sauces for fish. ‘If bold flavors are a trend’ they say, ‘this eye-stinging, red-peppered mushy salami is next year's bold flavor.’"
Savory will pop up in many unusual places.
Business Insider in their article (December 11, 2014): “Up and Coming Food Trends You’ll See in 2015,” projects unexpected places for savory flavors. Expect savory flavors to pop-up in ice cream flavors, yogurt, waffles and waffle sandwiches. Business Insider also recognized that more of us are enjoying bitter flavors. They project more of us will be eating bitter greens, bitter chocolate and bitter coffee.
Whether smoked or pickled combinations of vegetables, unusual spice combinations, bitter chocolate or spreadable sausage, 2015 presents product development teams with a flavor palette not seen for quite some time.