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Flavor Outlook 2008

Posted: January 21, 2008

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The Lists

A few recently issued lists provide interesting looks into where flavor may be heading over the next year or two. The American Culinary Federation member chefs’ survey is the most detailed, breaking down flavors by category, as follows:

  • Fruits: pomegranate, dragon fruit, fig, passion fruit, prickly pear/cactus pear
  • Grains/legumes/nuts: quinoa, fresh pasta, couscous, bulgur wheat, nuts (pecans, walnuts, macadamia, peanuts, etc.)
  • Breads and doughs: flatbreads, ciabatta, whole grain bread, focaccia, low-carb dough
  • Deserts: sorbet/gelato, cheese plates, fresh fruit, chocolate, sweet/savory crepes
  • Alcoholic beverages: craft/artisan/microbrew beer, energy drink cocktails, martinis/flavored martinis, mojito, artisanal/microdistilled liquors, organic wine
  • Nonalcoholic beverages: flavored/enhanced water, espresso/specialty coffees, bottled water, tea, filtered water
  • Sauces/condiments/special ingredients: salts (sea, smoked, colored, kosher), aged meats, infused oils, balsamic vinegar, lemongrass
  • Preparation methods: braised, pan-seared/sautéed, grilled, slow food

Meanwhile, McCormick has taken a different approach by issuing a rundown of forward-looking flavor pairings:

  • Oregano and heirloom beans
  • Vanilla bean and cardamom
  • Chile and cocoa (echoed by Flavor & The Menu magazine’s citation of “sweet meets salty, savory, floral, herbal” in desserts)
  • Coriander and coconut water
  • Lemongrass and lychee
  • Red curry and masa
  • Orange peel and natural wood (smokiness)
  • Poppy seed and rose
  • Rubbed sage and rye whiskey

Finally, Datamonitor’s Productscan Online has issued a list of its favorite new product innovations of the year. Of note is JT Fragra functional water from Japan, which is intended to freshen the breath. The beverage includes 1% juice and contains linalool, which is responsible for the drink’s freshening action. In addition, the list includes KidKupz candy-coated medicine dispensing cups, which feature sour cherry and watermelon flavors, and Pur Flavor Options water filtration system flavor cartridges, which adds sugar- and calorie-free flavors such as peach and raspberry to tap water. The list also includes:

  • Swiss Miss Pick-Me-Up Hot Cocoa Mix
  • Organic Batter Blaster Pancake & Waffle Batter
  • Popsicle SlowMelt long-lasting pops
  • Tetley’s Twistea Tea on the Go