Smoke is on fire! Smoked gouda. Fire roasted garlic. Smoky barbeque. Applewood smoked. If you take a look at some of the fastest growing flavor profiles, you’ll notice that a lot of them incorporate elements of smoke or fire. Why might that be? Perhaps due in part to the barbeque craze of recent years, consumers are seeking out products that feature a fire or smoked flavor. This trend isn’t limited to meats; vegetables, snacks, and even dairy have been taking on smoky and fiery flavors.
Smoke adds more complexity to a flavor, which is particularly appealing to millennials who are seeking out new and interesting flavors. Consumers are more adventurous now than ever and are constantly on the lookout for different foods and flavors. By adding a smoky element to a familiar flavor, like cheddar, for example, a product might generate new interest.
Consumers are also growing increasingly interested in food that tells a story. They like knowing the origins of their food and how it was prepared. In general, flavors that reference particular preparation methods, like roasting, smoking, charring, toasting and grilling, are all on the rise – not just in foodservice, but also in retail. There’s a lot more interest now from consumers in terms of knowing what techniques are being used in preparing their food, leading to more callouts to preparation methods on restaurant menus.
So what are our favorite smoke and fire infused flavors? Smoky maple with whiskey and apple, fire roasted garlic & caramelized onion, smoky bloody mary, and fire grilled poblano.
With smoke and fire, the options are limitless. At RCA 2018, Chef Elizabeth Landry will be showcasing some of her smoke and fire inspired creations, including campfire s’mores cupcakes and grilled shrimp with Mississippi comeback sauce. To find out more details about our booth at the RCA show, click here.
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