Our Annual Flavor Trends Report is the result of interviews with today’s leading culinary chefs, pastry chefs and mixologists, consumer insights and research and menu tracking. Eager to experience these trends first-hand, we embarked on a New York City immersive trek.
In this article, we’re diving into some of 2019’s tastiest trends to give your brands an idea of the flavors and ingredients your customers are exposed to today, and inspiration from how they’re paired and prepared.
HEMP: AGAVI ORGANIC JUICE BAR
Agavi is an all-natural juice bar that’s hyper focused on hemp. From seeds to proteins, the earthly antidote is a main ingredient in smoothies and acai bowls to give Agavi customers the nutritious boost they’re looking for.
What we ordered:
• Phatty Lover Acai Bowl: a hemp oil base with acai, banana, and homemade almond milk topped with granola, raspberries, banana, flaxseed and chocolate vegan sauce
• Berry Buzz Smoothie: raspberry, blueberry, banana, vanilla hemp protein, bee pollen, raw agave and homemade almond milk
Behind the trend: Hemp, falls into our ‘Earthly Antidotes’ trend category. As a non-psychoactive derivative of the Cannabis sativa plant, hemp is packed with antioxidants, fatty acids, minerals and vitamins. This year, consumers are turning to hemp for its evident health benefits and luckily its various forms (seed, protein powder, oil) allow for lots of creativity.
VEGGIES TAKE THE HEAT: LITTLE PARK
Brussel sprouts are a seasonal gem and Little Park’s ‘Crispy Brussel Sprouts’ give them they respect they deserve. This Tribeca eatery elevates our ‘Veggies Take The Heat’ trend with its locally sourced brussels tossed with smoked parsnip, apple cider and currant—roasted to a crisp!
Behind the trend: In our interview with Chef Opie Crooks, of James Beard Award winning restaurant A Rake’s Progress (Washington DC), he shared, “We’re treating vegetables as we would a piece of meat, if we have a tough vegetable then we would poach it first, maybe sous vide it, marinade it with acid so it gets tender and then grill it.” Crooks isn’t the only one, Chef Michael Fojtasek seconded this trend sharing that cabbage, squash and brassicas were some of the hot veggies taking the heat in 2019.
CHEESE EXPANDS: MI TEA
Mi Tea’s menu has a section dedicated to ‘cheese-covered’ teas. We opted for the unsweetened Rose Oolong and 50% sweetened Peach Oolong – and we were pleasantly surprised! Equipped with instructions on how to drink it, the teas are topped with cream-based cheese whipped into foam. As you sip, the tea and cheese blend into latte like consistency making for loads of flavor and mouthfeel.
Behind the trend: Cheese is finding its way into desserts and beverages in 2019. Tea isn’t a susceptive place for cheese to expand to. However it has and the trend itself is expanding (from Taiwan to the US to be exact). During our trek we also encountered cheese expanding into dessert with Little Park’s cream cheese ice cream.
BREAD INSIDE: MORGENSTERN’S FINEST ICE CREAM
Morgenstern’s is a modern American ice cream parlor specializing in texture-driven, small-batch flavors and the Strawberry Sour Cream Streusel doesn’t fall short. In an interview with Eater, owner Nicholas Morgenstern shares, “Morgenstern's flavors are less traditional than what we've seen in the past, but I think they're in line with the trajectory of how people are interacting with food now” and we couldn’t agree more! The parlor takes traditional ice cream flavors (like strawberry) and combines them with fresh ingredients (like sour cream streusel) upon order.
Behind the trend: Consumers are getting creative in the way they consume their carbs so spots like Morgenstern’s are finding exciting ways to incorporate bread into otherwise traditional menu items. In our interview with OddFellow’s Ice Cream Co.’s Chef Sam Mason, he shared his excitement for his recent experiment, Corn Bread Ice Cream with Bacon Whip Cream.
BLACK SESAME: SEED + MILL
We doubled up on sesame with Seed + Mill’s Black Sesame Halva. Halva is a soft fudge-like dessert from the Middle East, made with tahini; a decadent butter made from roasted Ethiopian sesame seeds. The aesthetically pleasing dessert has an airy soft-crunch and flavor similar to that of a Butterfinger. On top of that, Halva is gluten free and dairy free – elevating the super food qualities of black sesame.
Behind the trend: Black sesame is an ancient seed famed for its super food qualities: bone health, stress-relief, cell regenerating benefits, arthritis relief, the list goes on. Nuttier and more flavorful than its white counterpart, black sesame seeds are sprouting on menus and ingredient lists alike. In 2019 you can expect black sesame to make an appearance across sweet, savory and beverage categories.
CHIVE BLOSSOM: MOMOFUKU SSÄM BAR
Momofuku Ssäm Bar boasts a diverse menu of dishes and drinks, what Executive Chef Max Ng considers Singaporean-NYC fusion. Stuffed Rotisserie Duck Ssäm is one of the staples that doesn’t fall short. The DIY style dish comes with pork sausage, bibb lettuce, chive pancake—making it a contender for our chive blossom trend. The crispy crepe-like pancake is speckled with chive blossom, giving it a delicate onion flavor.
Behind the trend: Everything is flowering in 2019 including chive. Chive blossoms are an audacious herb that’s under the spotlight in dishes this year. The vibrantly purple flower is both flavorful and aromatic making it a unique ingredient to anything from a pancake to goat cheese.
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