To determine the trends to watch for in 2023, Symrise interviewed food journalists across the US, hosted discussions with chefs and mixologists with its partnership with StarChefs, used insights from Symrise's commissioned food service survey with Technomic, and referenced secondary research from Mintel and Trend Hunter, Emmanuel Laroche, VP marketing & consumer insights with Symrise, shared in a webinar. The goal of the report is to explore emerging themes, ingredients, and flavors that are inspiring food and beverage creations in the US.
Looking broadly at the report findings, Symrise found that global flavors are “reimagining ... American comfort food” in both savory and sweet categories in the form of “autobiographical diaspora cooking,” Laroche said. Additionally, the report found “the mainstream adoption of low and non-alcoholic beverages," a trend that has grown in recent years, he added.
Multi-cultural flavor mashups from savory to sweet
Having grown over the past several years, autobiographical diaspora cooking is "all about the next generation sons and daughters of US immigrants cooking ... their culture's food, with passion and meaning and combining that with American formats and tastes to meet America's consumers where they're at," said Dylan Thompson, senior marketing and consumer insight manager at Symrise. And flavors from different cultures are coming together in new ways.
For example, at Kimski in Chicago, the restaurant serves perogies stuffed with bulgogi, fried rice, sauerkraut, and kimchi, blending Polish and Korean flavors, Thompson shared. Within this trend, Soju mustard, kimchi, calamansi, Mojo sauce, Sofrito sauce, and Picadillo are among the common flavors and ingredients.
On the sweeter side, Symrise sees “western desserts and pastries being mixed with Mexican and Southeast Asian flavors,” Thompson said. For example, Fantamorgana in LA makes “a classic mangonada that you could find in Mexico, but making that as a gelato with mango, lime, tajin, and chamoy,” he added.
Other sweet ingredients and flavors worth watching include mochi, pandan, ube, condensed milk, tapioca, chamoy, and tajin, according to Symrise.
Low on alcohol, full of flavor
Symrise also found global flavors influencing beverages and larger trends like non-alcoholic alternatives are gaining ground in the space, said Evan Unger, senior marketing & consumer insight specialist at Symrise.
Among some of the more popular non-alcoholic beverages, "the espresso martini has blown up across the US" and has been appearing on more beverage menus, providing an opportunity for beverage makers to "capitalize on this trend," Unger said. For example, President's Choice offers a sparkling cold brew with yuzu, which provides a similar taste to an espresso martini, he added.
Another way non-alcoholic beverage brands are innovating is with “processing technology” to remove the alcohol. Wine brand Surely create a non-alcoholic wine from California grape and “[uses] traditional fermentation but then uses a cutting-edge technology to remove the alcohol while leaving the wines aromatics,” Unger said.