As experts in the field of food innovation, Custom Culinary® devotes ongoing resources to tracking current and coming trends. Its newly released 2022 Trends forecast includes highlights that will impact product development in the coming year.
Overall, consumers are looking for more, whether it’s flavour, novelty or nutrition, says Jennifer Zodrow, Director, Consumer Insights, North America. “There’s a lot happening that is driving a great deal of innovation. Consumers are getting bored as menus are shrinking and are always on the lookout for new flavours.”
New flavours topping consumers’ lists of culinary experiences are Japanese influences, she adds. “Last year Asian was popular. With the Olympics, Japanese influence is now going strong, with foods such as miso, yuzu, unagi sauce and sushi. Panko, ramen and tempura are also growing menu items.”
International cuisine beyond Japan is still on the rise. “We’re seeing a lot of interest in experimenting and experiencing travel through food, including Mediterranean, Mexican, Filipino, Vietnamese, Caribbean and Thai,” says Zodrow.
There has been a growing interest in breading and frying different foods in the street-food and snacking categories, says Jaime Mestan, Director of Culinary, North America. “Panko crumbs that can be flavoured is really huge, as well as togarashi-style seasonings.”
Sweet and spicy combinations also continue to dominate, says Mestan. “Current trending flavours include chili or Sriracha lime, chili mango. Each creates a unique experience. We’re seeing combinations like cherry barbecue sauce or mango habanero really taking off.”
Products such as the Custom Culinary® Flavour Glaze line are designed to help operators take menu items to a whole new level, she adds. “You can take a jar of mayonnaise and make 10 different dipping sauces or breakfast sandwiches. There are a ton of different opportunities to put a signature spin on classic menu items.” To register for Custom Culinary® Canada monthly trends newsletter, register here.