Connect flavours with current events
Connect flavours to current events – this means they can be part of a wider, cultural interest that goes beyond food.
For instance, many consumers got a taste of Brazilian flavours for the first time last year when European food and drink manufacturers gave products a World Cup makeover – and with Rio hosting the Olympics next year, expect more interest in Brazilian and South American flavours.
Spice is nice
Consumers can't get enough of hot spiciness, said Zegler.
But gone are the days when manufacturers simply slapped the word ‘spicy’ on the packaging – today’s consumer is increasingly well-travelled and clued up on world cuisine – so manufacturers can add flair by specifying the ingredient they use.
Think Japanese wasabi, Indonesian sambal, east Asian shishito and – not for the faint-hearted – the ghost pepper, otherwise known as Bhut Jolokia or the hottest chili in the world.
Which flavour trends will have longevity?
While people are increasingly well-travelled, a lot of exposure to new flavours comes from restaurants.
So if food and drink manufacturers want to tap into a flavour trend that has longevity – and not just a flavour fad – they should look to see which flavours keep topping the menus in restaurants, said Zegler.
Give old favourites a new twist
Indian, Chinese and Italian flavours are old favourites in Europe and have been for a long time – play around with these familiar flavour by exploring the regional varieties in each country's cuisine.
Goan prawns, Sichuan stir-fry or Sicilian salad, anyone?