Sabor in America, presented by Symrise in Chicago last month, celebrated the Latin influence in food and beverage in our country. The topic of snacking among Latino Millenials was covered by Esther Franklin and Danielle Cherry (See what they presented HERE), followed by a tasting break featuring Symrise ingredients.

Guests sampled Cucumber Lime Mint Aqua Fresca along with dishes created by renowned mixologist, Junior Merino, known as the Liquid Chef, which included:

Ceviche with Shrimp, Cachaca, Apple, Mint, Mango, Coconut, Passionfruit
incl. Symrise Grilled Mango Flavor

Paypaya Soup with Roasted Pepitas, Roasted Bell Pepper and Micro-herb Epazote
incl. Symrise Cilantro oil

Watermelon Tuna Lollipop w/ Ruby Red Grapefruit, Sesame and Pomegranate Sauce and Grenache Vinegar
incl. Symrise Ruby Red Grapefruit Flavor

Elote (Mexican Corn on the Cob) with Mezcal Aioli, Queso Cotija, Chipotle Powder
incl. Symrise Dairy Cheese Cotija Flavor

“Amuse-Bouche Cocktail“ Tequila Blanco, Apple, Basil, Lime, Champagne and Ginger. inc. Symrise Lime and Tequila Flavor

After the tasting break, the program resumed with Terry Soto, About Marketing Solutions, LA, discussing “Hispanic Gen Y and GenZ Food Culture Heritage and Macro Food Trends of Their Generation.”

Interestingly, almost half of Gen Z and Millennials are multicultural, allowing for a great fusion of foods and flavors that they are seeking as consumers.

CLICK HERE to view Part 2 of Sabor in America Chicago Recap

Soto explored the desire by younger Hispanics to cling to their roots, even if they are U.S. born. With 62% of Hispanics being under age 35, there’s enormous potential to tap into those tastes. She also emphasized habits that are at the core of their eating routines, including the use of stove-top more often than microwaves or ovens, the frequency of from scratch cooking and the popularity of fruits as snacks and fresh and fresh-tasting ingredients in cooking.

Among food trends, she reported that current Hispanic Millennial food choices are leaning toward labels of “organic,” “GMO free” and “all natural.”

Among fast food and casual eateries, Hispanics are consuming Mexican-inspired food, but also common entrees of chicken, burgers and pizza most often. BBQ, Asian, grill/buffets and soup/salad bars are secondary with Hispanics least often choosing steakhouses, seafood or sandwich spots when dining out.

CLICK HERE to view Part 1 of our Sabor in America Chicago Recap

While “Latin Cuisine” is a broad term, Soto touched upon how much diversity exists within foods in Latin countries. In some Latin cultures, corn and maize are staples whereas diets in other countries focus more on rice and beans.

A second tasting break included the following:

Cuban Sandwich on a Chip!
incl. Symrise Cuban Sandwich Seasoning

Pique Trail Mix
incl. Symrise Pique Seasoning

Chicken, Queso Enchilado, Crema Mexicana, Romaine Lettuce, Chipotle, Tomato, Corn and Bay Leaf Taco
incl. Symrise Caramelized Onion Flavor and Adobo Seasoning

Braised Short Rib with Mole BBQ & Crispy Cambray Onion Taco
incl. Symrise Mole Seasoning

“Cubico“ Cocktail: Tequila Anejo, Symrise Vanilla Liqueur, Grilled Pineapple, Lava and Saffron Salt Rimmer

Mojito Cake with Mint, Lime, Lemon, Rum with a Rum and Mojito Glaze T
incl. Symrise Mojito Flavor

Tropical and Berry Tartlets with Passionfruit, Mango, Pineapple Curd with Berries and Toasted Coconut Flakes
incl. Symrise passionfruit and mango flavors

Cantaloupe & Horchata Ice Cream Cones
incl. Symrise Horchata flavor

“La Classica” Margarita with Symrise Lollipops

“Coco Loco Cocktail“: Vodka, Coconut Cream, Grilled Pineapple and Symrise Toasted Coconut Rum Liqueur, topped with J M Passionfruit Ginger Foam andToasted Coconut Flakes

Sabor in America also featured a two-part Chef’s demonstration that showed how an authentic Latino food concept is prepared and then adapted to commercial applications. Junior Merino, Master Mixologist & Founder, The Liquid Chef, created his authentic Chamoyada, a type of Mexican drink with shaved mango ice, real fruit, chili powder and chamoy sauce. From there, Symrise Chefs took Junior’s authentic product and used it as creative inspiration to prepare a series of chamoyada-themed commercial applications including chips, an alcoholic beverage and a frozen ice pop.

To close the seminar, there was a panel discussion that included the four main speakers, Mr. Laroche and Chef Rodolfo Cuadros, the chef at Carnivale. The panel expanded on the content presented during the day and took audience questions, providing a strong conclusion to a full day of learning.

Another interesting portion of the event were four "Persona Rooms" created by Symrise. The Persona Rooms essentially recreated a living space for 4 different Latino consumer profiles. The spaces included food, drinks, magazines, clothing and other items regularly purchased by each respective consumer persona. Each room was also equipped with audio that guided guests through the experience and immersed them in the everyday life of each consumer. The rooms were a hit with attendees.

In conjunction with the event, Symrise published Sabor in America 2015, an in house magazine which features articles from experts and Symrise marketing professionals. New reports on consumer insights, chef interviews and infographics comprise some of the contents of the Sabor in America 2015 publication. 

Overall the event was deemed a success with a great turnout from Symrise clients and lots of learning, tasting and conversation.

CLICK HERE to view our PHOTO RECAP of Sabor in America Chicago 2015

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