- Smoke flavor is becoming trendy, and is often added to items like meat and vegetables, as well as nontraditional places like butter, fruit, yogurt and desserts.
- In order to impart the right smoky flavor, chefs and manufacturers use different types of wood, different temperatures and different amounts of time.
- Actual fire pits, burning wood or smokers are not needed to produce a smoky flavor. Food can get smoke flavor sprayed on or added, or another ingredient can be smoked to impart the right taste.
Adding a bit of smoke is a good way to transform flavors of food, and the trend capitalizes on something Americans already like. According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, 75% of adults in this country own a grill or smoker. Of those people, 71% use their grill or smoker to improve food's flavor.
And while many consumers can go outside and use a grill and smoker, Americans are looking more to convenience foods. About half of an average household food budget is spent on more convenient options, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Products that can give the smoky flavor without the time commitment cater to what consumers are looking for, especially as the cooler temperatures of fall are around the corner.
However, when manufacturers add smoky flavors to food, it often involves more processing. As consumers pivot to more healthy options, they tend to see more processed foods as more unhealthy, even when that is not the case.