Sauces: the bold fashion accessories of the culinary world, says CCD

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

Sauces: the bold fashion accessories of the culinary world, says CCD

Related tags: Cooking, Flavor

Adventurous, bold flavors in sauces and condiments are driving new consumer taste discoveries, according to a new trend report from the Center for Culinary Development (CCD) and market research organization Packaged Facts.

This new report, "Condiments and Sauces: Culinary Trend Mapping Report"​ claims that Americans are more fascinated than ever with bold flavors, such as umami, harissa and tangy classic sauces.

"Condiments and sauces are the fashion accessories of the culinary world, and today more than ever they are a necessary part of the ensemble as diners seek enhanced food experiences and more global flavors, especially in their home kitchens,"​ said CEO of CCD Kimberly Egan.

CCD’s collaborative reports with Packaged Facts are based on trend mapping, which it says is guided by the premise that new flavor trends often go through five distinct phases on their way to becoming mainstream.

New trends tend to emerge at upmarket dining establishments, it says, passing into specialist consumer food magazines and television programs, before being picked up by mainstream chain restaurants, then begin to appear in family-oriented consumer magazines, and finally appear in grocery stores and/or quick service restaurants.

This latest report highlights sauces and condiments at each stage in this process, including Quebecois poutine, a pile of French fries topped with cheese curds and brown gravy, which is starting to emerge as street food. Gastrique, a French reduction of sugar and vinegar, usually used with meat and fruit, has potential for cooking and cocktails, the CCD report said, while ‘umami in a bottle’ is starting to be called out by name in new seasoning products and foodservice chains. Romesco, a Catalonian red pepper and ground almond sauce, has also started to appear in chain restaurants and may have potential in dips, sauces and marinades, it said.

Further toward full mainstream status is sriracha, a Southeast Asian-inspired hot sauce which, with only one dominant brand in the United States, leaves room for growth, as well as opportunities for sriracha-enhanced products. The report said that aioli has migrated entirely into the mainstream, and its potential for a range of food formulations has been firmly established due to its creamy richness, as well as the ability to combine it with non-garlic flavors.

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