The flavor shift
Research shows that ongoing multicultural changes in the US and a desire for authentic recipes are expanding the condiment category with exotic flavor profiles. For Daniela Barreto, manager and chef of Brazilian-themed Estadio Grill in Chicago, it is a combination of three tropical fruits — açaí, passionfruit and guarana — that serves as a backdrop for her exotic secret “Brazinha” hot wing sauce.
“Sophisticated chili pepper and fruit combinations are quite popular,” said Jean Shieh, marketing manager for Sensient Natural Ingredients. “Consumer preferences are shifting from burning heat to medium/mild heat with interesting background flavors.”
Roger Lane, marketing manager of savory flavors for Sensient Flavors, said that increasingly those flavors are floral.
Judson McLester, executive chef and ingredient sales manager for McIlhenny Company, agrees. “The subtle trend is to merge overlying flavor trends with the familiar, while also providing a unique tasting experience,” he said. “Product familiarity and most of all, memorable flavor delivery are paramount considerations.”