Meeting Report: Savory Flavor Innovation

Perfumer & Flavorist magazine had the chance to talk with the experts prior to the convention. Here, three of the four speakers offer their insight into the trends, challenges and opportunities for the savory flavor industry.


With unique backgrounds in the industry—marketing/ sales, chef/culinologist, R&D—the speakers were able to offer different perspectives on the savory flavor marketplace. However, despite their differing job functions, they each identified a number of market trends that are affecting the savory industry. And while the trends reflect their individual roles, they work hand-in-hand to drive the growth of the industry. 

Market trends: As the vice president of R&D for Frito Lay North America and head of the company’s savory snacks innovation team, Mike Zbuchalski is especially concerned with market trends that are affecting savory snacking. According to Zbuchalski, the first trend is health; people are looking for healthier snacking choices. 

The second trend is wellness, which has more to do with what a product can offer the mind, spirit and body than simply its health aspects. A big part of this wellness movement relates to consumer desire for cleaner labels. As Zbuchalski explains, “Consumers want to recognize the ingredients on their label and they don’t want to see a lot of them … . It provides people peace of mind in knowing what they are eating, where the ingredients come from, where they were raised and where they were produced.” Eric Sparks, director of product development at Park 100 Foods, who is also a certified executive chef, also sees the demand for cleaner labels increasing. In his presentation, Sparks discussed some current flavor enhancers and their future in regard to labeling on a finished product.

Other topics discussed: Flavor preferences; Challenges; Formulating for health; Ensuring end-product quality; Taking it to the Next Level; Changing perspective; Eye on the horizon; Take risks

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