With global markets now helping to make great-quality food available to more people around the world, there is a growing number of companies in the food industry that are adding new and innovative flavours to their menus.
Popular dishes from countries all over the world have been spreading to other countries for many years. However, new and often unexpected ingredients are now being added to dishes to create new and amazing flavours.
Ingredients that are becoming more popular
Since the pandemic, many people have been trying new foods and experimenting with different ingredients to broaden their tastes. This has led to an increase in the amount of fruit & veg as well as spices and oils that are making their way to other countries.
Interestingly, the trend has been to mix taste and functionality together so that amazing flavours can be savoured, but in a meal that can be made quickly. There has also been a shrinking of the gap between comfort and adventure. This means consumers want to take their favourite food and drink and add a new twist.
Asian spices and vegetables have seen an increase over the last couple of years. There is a growing fascination with Asian cuisine that has led to a number of new dishes being created in restaurants and on cooking channels.
Many people are now looking for food and beverages that help with physical as well as psychological well-being. This has led to some food manufacturers experimenting – to a greater degree than they may have done previously – with flavours and ingredients that typically promote good health.
Flavours encompassing the likes of orange, lemon, lime, and other citrus fruits are trending because of their levels of vitamin C and antioxidants. Ginger, chamomile, lavender, and green tea are also seeing an upward trend.
Furthermore, many people have recently been talking about fruit flavoured tea infusions and infused water that are designed to not only hydrate, but also promote good all-round health.
Relatively “undiscovered” flavours and ingredients from a broad variety of regions are continuing to make their way across the world. Some of the global flavours that are becoming popular include kumquat, cardamon, turmeric, and amba. In some cases, they are mixed with more traditional ingredients to create a modern twist on a classic dish.
Colourful berries, sourced both locally and from much further afield, have been another major focus of many people’s diets in recent years. Cranberry, blackcurrant, elderberry and maqui berry are seeing widespread use in desserts, as well as smoothies, and are proving to be more than a mere “fad” or “craze”.
There has also been an upturn in the popularity of fermented or pickled flavours such as Korean kimchi. These flavours are coming to be incorporated ever-more frequently into food products as a fusion with other dishes.
The popularity of meat-free alternatives has encouraged the trend for bold and spicy flavours. Many meat-free alternatives not having a distinctive taste of their own effectively frees them up to take on the flavours of other ingredients.
Consumers are also increasingly on the lookout for new and interesting flavours for their beverages. These new combinations are being sought not only for their possible health benefits, but also simply because of how unusual they are. Fruit blends of tea, hard seltzers, mixed drinks, and mocktails are all getting new flavours.
This phenomenon has also moved into smoothies, where both at home and in cafes, the combinations are always changing. Pineapple, mango, lemon, elderflower, and hibiscus are all popular in cafes and tea rooms. However, it isn’t only soft drinks that are getting the fusion treatment, as significant numbers of alcoholic drinks are also seeing this trend. Cider is one that has benefited from a range of new flavours added to it.
Some of the smoothies are also being paired with milk alternatives for those who are lactose intolerant or vegan, or who simply like the taste. Popular milk alternatives include coconut, oat, and soya.
Desserts and sweet treats
When it comes to desserts, there is a trend towards comfort flavours, but also those that include a twist. There is also a growing demand for flavours that will pair well with vanilla. Examples include almond, cookies and cream, and caramel.
However, bolder options also include whiskey, chai, and black sesame. You have likely seen the trend of salted caramel that has been added to many food products over the past couple of years. While this trend is not currently as strong as it was before, there are still new products leveraging salted caramel as a new alternative.
Ice cream is another area where new flavours are appearing. These have included chilli, berry fruits, and brown sugar cinnamon.
New flavours are appearing in supermarkets all the time, along with new ingredients. In short, when it comes to all things culinary, there has arguably never been a better time to try a new twist on an old classic.