Coming to a Plate Near You
“Found food” is the act of maximizing a food waste stream. In this world where consumption is at an all time high, some companies are investing significant chump change (billions to be precise) in finding ways to reduce waste and increase sustainability—some are even solving overarching social justice issues along the way. Carole Widmayer, VP marketing at Coffee Flour™, refers to this as, “A triple bottom line: economy, environment, and nutrition.”
Keshir is a great example of a “found food”—it’s the discarded husk from the whole coffee cherry, a once massive waste from coffee processing. Chefs and food scientists are loving this new ingredient, because it doesn’t just aid global sustainability, it also contributes novel flavor—citrus top-notes, earthy sweetness, fermented sour cherry, smoked cacao, subtle tobacco, sherry cask scotch.
Dominant sriracha has become so commonplace, that it’s no longer viewed as a unique heat-contributing ingredient. The southern Italian ingredient, Calabrian chili paste, is expected to largely replace sriracha in many markets.
CLEAN LABEL MOVEMENT
“Clean label” has built such strong momentum and cross-market frequency that it can’t be considered just a trend anymore. It’s a movement and expected to be a $180B global market by 2020. What does “clean label” exactly mean?
It’s a consumer demand for transparency and authenticity. Consumers have put their foot down; they don’t want artificial ingredients or synthetic chemicals in their food anymore. They’ve requested a return to “real food” through natural ingredients that are familiar, simple and easy to recognize, understandable and pronounceable— exhibited via food labels.
These sparkly, translucent, crunchy sugar granules add nutty, toffee-like sweet character to beverages. Although “honey” and “agave” are still extremely common sweetener sources, you’ll start to see “demerara sugar” gaining popularity in uncommon cocktails, mocktails, and dessert menus.
Gaining noteworthy attention from influential chefs in savory and sweet applications, chestnuts are coming onto menus in interesting ways, such as: chestnut custards paired with maitake mushrooms, chestnut ravioli with black truffles and parmigiano reggiano, brown-butter chestnut financier with pumpkin seed brittle.
Hazelnut products have filled up retail shelves over the past several years, but we anticipate Nutella® (also known as gianduja or gianduia) and Nutella® knock-off’s will take the back seat to make room for some chestnut SKU’s.
BITTERNESS AND THE AMERICAN PALATE
You’ve certainly seen this trend at high-end restaurants with the words “char,” “ash,” “burnt.” This flavor trend is particularly exciting for chefs and food industry professionals. The sentiment behind this trend demonstrates that the American palate is willing to accept bitterness in a whole new way—with the understanding that bitterness can round, amplify complexity and provide beautiful flavor depth to a dish. There’s no longer an angry, visceral reaction to burnt toast, rather a childish curiosity and intrigue towards this “just try it” burnt-bamboozlement.
CULTURED DAIRY DESSERTS
The Greek yogurt US market share has increased from 1% in 2007 to 50% in 2015. So, naturally it makes sense when people think “cultured dairy” they often think yogurt. But there are so many other ways to incorporate thoughtful cultured dairy flavor in desserts: back-of-the-house fermentation, various sour creams, cultured butters, etc.
Cultured dairy can brighten and fill-in some serious flavor voids in heavy chocolate pastries and fruity desserts by adding a funky kick of tart, creamy tang.