Sweet and savory fusion drives flavor innovations

By Sarah Hills

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Fruit

Sweet and savory ingredients are being blended together to create
one flavor that caters for a more adventurous consumer, according
to Bell Flavors & Fragrances.

The pairing is just one of the marketing trends highlighted by the flavor company to "show new unique ways of providing consumers with a different sensory experience".​ The company suggests that traditional vanilla ice cream can be enhanced with basil and sweetened with papaya. The Moroccan spice ras el hanout can be paired with apricot on toasted pine nuts and the Aisan citrus fruit yuzu can be combined with spicy African ginger for use in a sorbet. Michael Natale, director of marketing at Bell, told FoodNavigator-USA.com: "An emerging trend that we see is the fusion of sweet and spicy. These are fruit-sweet and savory flavors. "That's really emerging in the diary market and we are seeing it in chocolate as well.""Another big trend that we see is superfruits. We have taken these flavors and made them a bit more functional." ​ This includes mangosteen, pomegranate and acai berry that have been developed with juice from the real fruit. Bell says this offers the healthy qualities of the real fruit at a time when consumer demand for antioxidants has manufacturers looking for the next way to offer these fruits with advantages. Natale added: "The driving behind this is that today's consumer is a lot more adventurous with what they want to try. They are looking for a little bit more authentic regional type flavors. "The US consumer is also more educated with their palette and looking for interesting combinations that work together. We can do spice trends and sweet trends that work." ​ He said that it didn't matter how exotic or unusual the flavor combinations sounded, as long as they taste good together. Bolder tastes ​ In December Datamonitor predicted that consumers would begin to demand hotter, spicier and bolder flavors, to counteract diminishing taste and smell that comes with age. The market analyst used its Productscan database to identify the top trends in packaged foods for 2008. It stated that bold flavors would "pop up in brand new areas",​ such as Adagio Moments Yogurt Drink which was launched last year in Portugal in a spicy flavor "with a blend of chocolate chips, strawberries and chili peppers"​. Exotic combinations ​ In 2007 flavor firm McCormick also identified ten new flavor pairings which had exotic and unusual combinations as the underlining theme. Tangerine and thyme, crystallized ginger and salted pistachio, wasabi and maple are just three of the new combinations unveiled in the company's annual flavor forecast. It also suggested that exotic and unusual combinations would be a major trend this year. McCormick's top ten were Clove and Green Apple, Thyme and Tangerine, Tellicherry Black Pepper and Berry, Sea Salt and Smoked Tea, Lavender and Honey, Crystallized Ginger and Salted Pistachio, Cumin and Apricot, Toasted Mustard and Fennel Seeds, Wasabi and Maple and Caramelized Garlic and Riesling Vinegar.

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