Both consumers and chefs get tired of cooking and eating the same meals over and over again. And yet, it’s not easy to constantly find new recipes and stay on top of the fast-paced and often short-lived culinary trends. Luckily, our team at Wilks Communications Group is dedicated to following emerging food trends to help inspire recipes that can mix up your culinary creations. Below are a few trending flavor ideas based on recent reports by market research group Mintel.
While it’s no surprise that trends in healthy eating and global flavors are still going strong, we’re starting to see these larger food movements branch out into more specific avenues and techniques. Without a doubt, these trends will be here to stay for a while – Check them out below!
- Infusing botanicals
Consumers are looking for ways to manage stress and prioritize self-care through the foods they eat. One way this trend is playing out is through botanically infused mocktails, tonics and coffee beverages. Including functional, ayurvedic-inspired ingredients like turmeric, ashwagandha, or cardamom in your next round of recipes is sure to be a hit with health-conscious millennials.
- Mushrooms in both sweet and savory items
While some may turn their noses up at mushrooms, these savory fungi have become increasingly popular across a variety of applications, including sweet treats like Eclat Chocolate’s porcini and thyme chocolate bar. This trend is on the rise as Americans search for more savory, umami notes in their cuisine. Mushrooms have also begun appearing as flavorings for stews, broths and teas, influenced by increased interest in Japanese flavors and dishes.
- Fermentation and pickling
Fermented foods are nothing new. Kombucha, for example, has enjoyed strong category growth for years. Growing awareness of the health benefits of prebiotic and probiotic foods such as pickled items, kimchi, and other fermented foods have only added to their popularity among consumers. This is especially true in alcohol or desserts, where fermentation adds a ‘health halo’ effect. Along with the health benefits it offers, this trend is being spurred on by continued growing interest in global flavors.
The plant-based food movement has been growing for years and is just starting to hit its stride. Major brands such as Tyson Foods are investing in plant-based protein products, while plant-based dairy products like nut-based or oat milk and dairy-free ice creams taking more shelf space at the grocery store every day. This movement is spurred by star chefs like José Andrés and appeals to the large portion of consumers who are focused on health, sustainably sourced ingredients, and special diets. For your next recipe, consider a cauliflower steak variation or a protein-packed black bean quinoa bowl to appeal to vegetarians and the ever-growing population of flexitarians.
- Regionally based global flavors
U.S. consumers are traveling more than ever, with 79% reporting that they eat at local restaurants during their trips abroad (Mintel). This has led to an increased interest in not only global foods and flavors, but the specific regions those foods and flavors come from. Additionally, television programs such as Netflix’s recent docu-series Street Food and Roy Choi’s The Chef Show have generated consumer interest in regional street foods and comfort foods. Some examples of this are foods that focus on the Kerala region of India, region-specific ramen variations in Japan, and specialized flavors from specific locations in the Middle East like Syria and Lebanon. Next time you plan a menu showcasing international flavors, consider region-specific ingredients or preparation methods to add appeal and interest to those with adventurous palates.
Interested in learning more about how staying on top of current food trends can help you connect with new audiences? Contact us to find out what our dedicated team of expert recipe developers and network of culinary professionals can do for your brand. Click here to learn more about our services and client work.