April 6th, 2015 Posted by food experiences, Food Trend, Insight, shopper behavior, Transformation 0 comments on “LEADING TRENDS IMPACTING THE FOOD AND BEVERAGE INDUSTRY – FOURTH OF A FIVE PART SERIES”

The Grand Ingredient Play

This is the fourth installment in our “2015 Emerging Food Trend Forecast” series exploring food and beverage mega-trends.

4. The grand ingredient play – exotic spices, salts, sauces and other flavor enhancers to entice adventurous palates in the cupboard and fridge

For years we’ve watched the craft beer industry grow by leaps and bounds while factory beer sales erode. We’re now at the edge of the craft food movement as specialized, smaller scale food and beverage ideas gain notoriety. The U.S. food industry in many cases is built to serve scale. Bigger is better. However…

As palates, cooking skills, taste expectations and flavor exploration continue to elevate, with it comes more push on the edges of uniqueness and quality. What happens when the flavor envelope pushes into higher and more exotic arenas of creativity? A hamburger was once the defining American food, a middle of the road sandwich dressed simply with beef, bun and condiment. Now even the burger is going through a remodel from the proteins to the sauces and layered ingredients, rubs, spices and other attempts to build complex flavors, often tickling our fifth taste – umami. Culinary commandos are even replicating gourmet, restaurant quality burgers from their own kitchens. Take, for instance, the recipe for Umami Burger’s famed Umami Burger published in Men’s Journal.

Emergent predicts a massive opportunity for flavor players and ingredient brands that can help be facilitators on the home chef’s path to culinary adventure. Prepared sauces, marinades, brines, pickling options, exotic salts, oils, rubs, fresh-ground spices, natural sweetening, freshly made broths and stocks – will all get more consideration in 2015.

What’s coming this year?

  • Hybrid and more heirloom vegetable varieties
  • Fermented foods
  • Combo-cooking and kits – packaged products integrated with fresh items to customize
  • More smoked foods

And, a treasure trove of mainstream and online media focused on all things culinary to inform and entertain.


Bob Wheatley is the CEO of Chicago-based Emergent Healthy Living. Emergent provides integrated brand strategy, communications and insight solutions to national food, beverage, home and lifestyle companies.  Emergent’s unique and proprietary transformation and growth focus helps organizations navigate, engage and leverage consumers’ desire for higher quality, healthier product or service experiences that mirror their desire for  higher quality lifestyles. For more information, contact [email protected] and follow on Twitter @BobWheatley.

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