Sensient Flavors’ industry experts have identified eight up-and-coming flavor trends for 2016. After analyzing market shifts and U.S. consumer behavior, the Milwaukee, Wis., company predicts the following flavors will be on the rise this year:
- Chamoy. A mash-up of flavors that combines the smoky heat of ancho chilies with apricot preserves, lime juice, salt and sugar. Most consumers are familiar with a commercial version of Chamoy sauce popular in Mexican cuisine that is sour and flat.
- Charred coconut. Consumers love coconut’s tropical, creamy sweetness. Sensient has combined that with another flavor — smoke.
- Honeyed evergreen. In this flavor trend, the crisp, pine is combined with honey instead of sap. Bark, roots and leaves all will come back on the scene in a big way.
- Overripe melon. As a focus on food waste is front and center, it is beginning to impact the flavor world. This flavor utilizes the melon, which is so often served when under-ripe and tossed when it truly is ripe and most flavorful. The green notes mix with fermentation and therefore lend a slight alcohol scent and flavor.
- Pandan. An increasingly connected world increases consumers’ access to exotic ingredients. This green, nutty and almost bready Southeast Asian staple is a fun, new ingredient that can be incorporated into any dish.
- Preserved cherry blossom. Americans are into pickling, preserving, curing, brining and other methods that make seasonal ingredients last all year. The notoriously short cherry blossom season is popular worldwide, making the floral, fruity cherry blossom the perfect candidate for this treatment.
- Sassafras root – This is a common ingredient in so many products, yet most people aren’t sure what it tastes like. This plant’s flavor falls somewhere between a medicinal tonic and root beer. There is an increased consumer interest in bitters, roots and craft sodas.
Urfa chile. The rich, raisin-like, chocolate taste of this chile has notes of tobacco and wine. This is a standout in a chile category that is otherwise saturated.