Korean food is likely to have a major influence on flavor trends in the year ahead, along with Greek and Cajun cuisines, according to Bell Flavors and Fragrances.
The flavor and fragrance firm also predicted that salty caramel flavor would be a top influence across all food and beverage products in 2012, as it released separate ‘top ten’ lists focused on up-and-coming flavors for savory, sweet and beverage products.
“With consumers having more interest in cuisines throughout the world, these menu items are becoming more mainstream,” the company said.
Bell said that the top flavors for each category were chosen by combining three different methods: Tracking flavor samples that have been requested over the past year, working with its global marketing and R&D departments to keep an eye on emerging trends, and tracking trends through external databases.
Salty caramel tops the company’s sweet flavor trend predictions, followed by red velvet, strawberry jasmine, cinnamon chipotle, eucalyptus, taro/sweet potato, roasted coconut, café del olla, lúcuma, and white sesame. Bell suggested these flavors may be seen in confectionery, dairy and bakery products over the coming year.
White truffle oil and kimchi head the savory flavor list, followed by absinthe, calamansi lime and rich umami. Umami flavors dominated the company’s savory flavor predictions for 2011, as companies looked for ways to boost flavors as they ramped up their sodium reduction efforts. Rich umami slipped from second place on last year’s savory list to fifth for 2012.
Other savory flavors to make the list were rose water, aged cayenne pepper, satsuma orange, mirin, and romesco, all of which could be seen in meats, condiments, dressings, sauces, soups and seasonings, Bell said.
The company’s predictions for beverage flavors were lemonade, maqui berry, aloe vera, white tea, mamey, cucumber mint, chrysanthemum, kumquat, honey ginger and green coconut. Maqui berry was the only beverage flavor on last year’s list to also appear this year, climbing from fourth position to second.