Sensient Flavors released its 2012 flavor trend predictions, filtered from mega trends that include health and wellness, sensory, comfort, and connections.
"As we researched these mega trends for the 2012 Sensient Flavor predictions, an underlying theme emerged, which reflected a consumer desire for and interest in discovery,” said Jim Shepherd, director of beverage solutions at Sensient Flavors. “That is, consumers today are increasingly open to—and even seek—new flavor profiles in both the food and beverages they purchase. Three subsets of the discovery theme emerged: new and novel, reinvention and combinations of flavors.”
“In the beverage category, the reinvention theme comes into play with the reassessment of heirloom varieties of plum, while vanilla becomes more interesting—reinvented, if you will—through varietal taste profiles, while the combination of peach and rosemary flavors speak to emerging flavor combinations that excite the palate,” Shepherd continued. Emil Shemer, Sensient Flavors’ director of food solutions, commented, “Consumer interest in what’s next also influences the flavor creation of both savory and sweet foods. This year’s flavor predictions of lucuma and aji amarillo, for example, are for the most part new and novel to stateside consumers, while spicy caramel offers an unexpected, and even surprising, flavor combination. Likewise, whereas U.S. consumers are very familiar with garlic, black garlic popular in Asian cuisine reinvents a familiar favorite into a new, craveable taste sensation for a broadened consumer base.”
Accordingly, the company's predictions for 2012 trends are:
- Aji Amarillo—Native to South America, the orange aji amarillo chile flavor offers a profile that features medium heat and fruity notes.
- Black Garlic—Popular in Asian cuisine, black garlic is fermented garlic that offers a sweet, syrupy flavor.
- Coriander—The seed of the coriander plant, this spice is native to the Middle East, southern Europe and Asia, and offers a fragrant profile with citrus and warm spice notes.
- Honeycrisp Apple—Introduced in 1991 by University of Minnesota breeders, the honeycrisp apple offers a complex apple flavor profile with sweet, tart and juicy notes.
- Lucuma—From South America, the lucuma offers a sweet flavor profile with notes of maple, sweet potato and caramel.
- Peach Rosemary—A flavor that combines the fresh, juicy profile of peach with the earthy, piney and aromatic notes of rosemary.
- Pink Peppercorn—A dried berry from the Baies rose plant, the pink peppercorn offers a sweet, warm and spicy profile with earthy and citrus undertones.
- Plum—Cultivated throughout the world, plum offers a sweet, tart and juicy profile.
- Spicy Caramel—A twist on the classic caramel profile, spicy caramel offers subtle spice and heat notes in combination with the sweet brown profile of caramel.
- Varietal Vanilla—Sourced from the three main vanilla plant varieties used for extraction, vanilla profiles from different growing regions such as Madagascar, Mexico, Indonesia, India and Tahiti offer subtle nuances on the classic vanilla profile.