- When it comes to flavors and spices, manufacturers are serving up the world, according to a recent article that highlights which global regions are firing up consumers' cravings for unique flavors.
- Flavors to watch include peppers from Peru such as aji panca, aji rocoto and aji amarillo, according to FONA International, a flavor company. African spices and mixes such as berbere, harissa and ras el hanout are also hot trends, according to the National Restaurant Association.
- Chile pepper varietals and hot sauces are an emerging theme, featuring combinations such as Aleppo, pomegranate molasses and vanilla; and aji panca, toasted sesame and dark chocolate.
Flavors based on peppers, spices and mixes sourced from around the world will remain popular in 2016, according to Food Business News. Various levels of heat mixed with sweetness will prevail as new, creative flavor combinations continue to emerge. Combinations of specialty peppers with sweet and ethnic compositions are also being developed by food companies.
Peppers including aji Amarillo, ancho, guajillo and habaneros lead the pack when creating sweet-heat flavors, said Gary Augustine, executive director for market development at Kalsec, a flavor company located in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
New varieties of chile peppers and hot sauces such as Aleppo and cascabel are gaining favor, said Aaron Rasmussen, corporate chief for Bell Flavors & Fragrances in Northbrook, Illinois. Be ready for mixtures featuring wasabi and maple, and Chinese 5 spice and almond caramels.
While sriracha sauces have been popular in prior years, expect to see more mixes of gochujang sauces with sweet flavors, said Marie Kraszewski, lab manager at Wixon Inc. in St. Francis, Wisconsin. And watch for launches of products with Peruvian peppers as alternatives to jalapeños or chipotle flavors.