SNAXPO 2016 Flavor Forecast
SNAC International’s annual conference, SNAXPO, took place between March 19-22nd in Houston. This year, McCormick introduced its annual Flavor Forecast for 2016 to guide brands on how they should be seasoning foods and beverages this year to appeal to consumers’ changing tastes. Which flavors made the list?
Heat and Tang
McCormick believes flavors that pair together hot spices with citrus bursts, such as chili with lime, will be popular in 2016. The balance between the hot chili taste and the refreshing blast of citrus will create a unique experience for the consumers’ senses. Other citrus flavors that could make their way into the heat and tang fad could include lemon, kumquats and yuzu.
Flavors derived from Asia, especially Malaysia and the Philippines will burst onto the scene in 2016. Food distributors and retailers should look for products that are flavored with exotic Asian ingredients including vinegar, turmeric and lemongrass. This category will be especially appealing to Millennials who are always interested in trying multicultural cuisines, as seen with the sriracha explosion of last year.
Pulses, including dried beans, peas and lentils will replace traditional sources of protein in 2016, according to McCormick. Food distributors can expect to see these pulses paired with flavor-enhancing spices such as cumin, sage and coconut in trail mix, cereal and snack bars. Some pulse proteins may even be dried and sold on their own as snacks, especially pigeon peas and cranberry beans.
Blends with Benefits
Expect spices such as citrus, garlic, cocoa and ginger to be used with matcha green tea, flax seeds, chia seeds and turmeric to create what McCormick calls “blends with benefits”. Although many health-conscious consumers are not fans of the taste of chia, flax seeds, matcha or turmeric, adding these spices can them more enjoyable for all consumers.
Ancient herbs such as thyme, peppermint, parsley, lavender and rosemary will make a comeback in 2016. Another ancestral flavor that McCormick emphasized is amaranth, an ancient grain with a nutty flavor. Food distributors should see a rise in this product on store shelves used in breakfast snacks and on-the-go bars. These classic flavors will enhance the taste of modern snacks and dominate the snack food industry this year.
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