In the modern culinary climate, experimentation is the lifeblood of the food and beverage industry. Food preparations featuring bold, spicy, and ethnic flavors are of particular interest to consumers seeking food adventures that eclipse the familiar and the mundane in order to take taste buds to new realms. It's a trend that will continue into the foreseeable future, according to market research publisher Packaged Facts in the report U.S. Market for Flavors.
"There's an entire world of flavor adventure being explored, and it only continues to expand to new and unexpected places. Sriracha has become a household word, kimchi continues to pop up in savory and dried snacks, and hot peppers keep getting hotter and more diverse," says David Sprinkle, research director, Packaged Facts.
Bold isn't just about exotic Asian flavors. Citrus has also jumped onto the bold bandwagon, along with other tangy flavors like tomatillo and cilantro. Sauces, meats, even vegetables are being subjected to bold and exotic spices and flavors from around the world. Consumers are also interested in unexpected pairings, like vanilla and cardamom, savory or spicy flavors with desserts and confectionery, and basil or cilantro with traditional spices like cloves. These trends bode well for the spice industry, and the flavors industry generally, as historically flavor-limited foods like roasted nuts get reborn with new flair.
As mentioned, bolstered by consumer interest in bold, spicy, and ethnic flavors, savory foods lead the flavor additives market for consumer packaged foods. Salty snacks accounted for 61% of flavor sales within the savory segment, and will continue to show solid growth over the next five years. Packaged Facts data show moderate yet consistent growth for savory foods currently, and the segment as a whole is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3% during 2014 to 2019 to reach $163 million by 2019. Sales in salty snacks will support a CAGR of 3.3% during that same time period, whereas savory entrees and sides will generate a CAGR of 2.6%. Condiments, sauces, and dressings will grow fastest on a percentage basis, with a CAGR of 3.7%.