Black foods have been popular for some time in Asian countries such as Japan, where they are associated with high levels of antioxidants. They have also been appearing on restaurant menus, as chefs have sought to deliver new visual appeal in their dishes, thereby exposing consumers to more exotic tastes.
The new collection from Ungerer, called Black is Back, seizes on European interest in the black food trend, and looks to apply their flavours to a broad range of applications. On the savoury side, the collection includes chargrill, black olive and dark soy sauce; on the sweet side, offerings include black cherry, dandelion and burdock, liquorice, treacle and black bean.
Miri Scott, marketing manager, told FoodNavigator.com that the company’s flavourists are also working on novel new additions, such as black cardamom, black sesame and black garlic.
She said that the foods would not necessarily be black, and the end consumer may not even associate the flavour of the product with black food.
The new black
Ungerer’s new collection is intended to demonstrate that the company is on-trend – and is even proposing new ones in the realm of flavours. Scott said the flavour firm aims “to make a fit with what is happening in the market”.
Black foods, meanwhile, have been identified by market researchers as a craze that is ripe for Europe.
Euromonitor’s Simone Baroke identified the potential in 2007, noting that the likes of black soy beans, black rice and black sesame biscuit could address certain health concerns such as cholesterol and weight management.
"They also have a novelty value as very few European foods are black in colour, plus products such as black rice and black sesame biscuits are good tasting, appealing to consumers on health and taste grounds," said Baroke.