New flavor trends 

In December, McCormick & Co., Sparks, Md., released its 2015 Flavor Forecast report highlighting eight flavor trends on the rise in the food industry. The report identified new global tastes, like Japanese 7 Spice (Shichimi Togarashi) and Middle Eastern mezze, influencing consumers’ palates. It also showcased new ways to create more intense flavors with simple pantry items, like pairing sour with coarse salt and smoking spices and herbs.

Along with this report, we take a look at a new collection of cereal flavors introduced from Kellogg Co., Battle Creek, Mich. Highlights include sweet and tart, cinnamon and brown sugar, and cranberry trends.

These flavor ideas could make for interesting new innovations in cheese, ice cream and cultured products — like dips and cream cheese. Here are the main eight flavor trends from McCormick for dairy processors to consider:

Japanese 7 Spice (Shichimi Togarashi) offers a new kind of spicy heat, while Shawarma spice blend lends warm, spiced flavor to grilled meats and more.

  • Middle Eastern Mezze – These distinctive dips and spreads, packed with zesty herbs and seasonings, offer an approachable and delicious introduction to a vibrant global cuisine.
  • Sour + Salt – Combining coarse salt with surprising sours like pickled ginger, sour cherry, dried mango and lemon zest results in a lively finishing flavor that lends brightness and texture to dishes.
  • Smoked Spices – Smoking spices and herbs deepens their flavor and aroma, adding richness to meals and drinks.
  • Umami Veggies – For a fresh way to savor the tempting "fifth taste," take a look at umami-rich veggies like mushrooms, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and nori.
  • Liquid Revolution – Fresh purees and juices blend with bold spices and herbs.
  • Flavor worth the wait – Lift the lid to discover the rich flavors from recipes around the world that meld aromatic spices and comforting ingredients into mouthwatering slow-cooked meals.
  • Cookies reimagined – Classic spiced cookie flavors take new form in decadent, imaginative desserts that redefine "milk and cookies."

Bold flavors for breakfast

Kellogg’s announced seven new cereals in November for several of its U.S. brands, playing into the desire from consumers for new ideas to choose from for breakfast:

  • Special K Protein Cinnamon Brown Sugar Crunch cereal provides a unique crunchy shape and 11 grams of protein with ½ cup skim milk.
  • Special K Gluten Free cereal features multi-grain flakes (corn, sorghum and rice) with a touch of brown sugar.
  • Kashi Sprouted Grains Multi-Grain organic cereal is made with 100% sprouted grains, whole grain flakes made with wheat, brown rice, oats, barley, spelt and amaranth. The cereal is USDA Certified Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified.
  • Kellogg's Raisin Bran with Cranberries – The new cereal provides an excellent source of fiber and antioxidant vitamin E, along with a delicious tart and sweet flavor combination and crisp bran flakes.
  • Froot Loops Bloopers – this cereal provides a good source of fiber and is made with whole grains, and it has 10 grams of sugar per 28 gram serving.
  • Two new flavors from Bear Naked Granola — Sea salt caramel apple and coconut almond curry.

These new cereals began arriving at grocery retailers in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Holiday ice cream flavor roundup

Minneapolis, Minn.-based Dairy Queen, a Berkshire Hathaway company, is bringing back its Candy Cane Chill Blizzard in time for the holidays. The candy cane flavor is the featured Blizzard of the Month for December.

The seasonal offering is available at participating Dairy Queen and DQ Grill & Chill restaurants nationwide through the month of December. The blizzard features a combination of crushed peppermint candy cane pieces and sweet choco chunks mixed with vanilla soft serve. It's available in four sizes, including mini. Customer can also try the Candy Cane Chill Waffle Cone Blizzard Treat and the Candy Cane Chill Royal Shake, a blend of smooth whipped topping and peppermint candy cane pieces.

Holland, Mich.-based Hudsonville Ice Cream released its winter limited-edition flavors. The four flavors are:

  • Peppermint Stick — Features candy cane pieces and mixed into vanilla ice cream.
  • Bear Traxx — Inspired by the Chicago Bears, this flavor is made with chocolate ice cream, along with peanut butter ripple and fudge pieces.
  • Chicago Caramel Popcorn — Inspired by Chicago’s kettle popcorn, this flavor is made with buttery caramel ice cream and crunchy clusters swirled with a salty caramel ribbon.
  • Pumpkin Pie — Ice cream with pumpkin pie flavors and pieces of pie crust. Best served a la mode.

Hudsonville ice cream can be found at Jewel-Osco, Meijer, Strack & Van Til, Ultra Mariano’s Fresh Market, Berkots, Angelo Caputos, Sunset Foods, Tony’s Finer Foods, Fairway Foods, Walts and many others.

Got new dairy products to contribute? Submit it to Dairy Foods here.