For decades, McCormick has predicted emerging flavors – like chipotle chilies, coconut water, sea salt, wasabi and quinoa – that are now found everywhere from restaurants to retail shelves. This year, Flavor Forecast 2017 identifies five cutting-edge flavor trends to help chefs, restauranteurs and others refresh their menus for the year ahead. Savory plays a prominent role.
In 2017, McCormick predicts global twists on breakfast bowls from the Far East, the Middle East and Africa; plancha grilling from Spain, the Basque region of France and Mexico; and Modern Med, a new cuisine created through the blending of Eastern Mediterranean flavors with classic Western European dishes. Building on last year’s heat and tang, this year’s report also points to a surprising pairing of sweet with black pepper, the next wave of spicy flavor.  
Technomic has been tracking trending flavors, as well, watching as they evolve from the introductory stage into a menu mainstay. “The Technomic Lifecycle is pushing the envelope by showing us real-time ingredient innovation,” says Bernadette Noone, vice president at Technomic. “We've noticed with the growth of consumers' desires to remain healthy, that tofu is the leading cutting-edge protein used in sandwiches.”
Other ingredients like Muenster cheese, truffle aioli and English muffins were also identified as innovators in the sandwich category.
On the other hand, Technomic often finds that ingredients can be mainstream in some meal categories, while being unique and competitive in others. A perfect example would be “chipotle mayo.” When paired with chicken sandwiches, it is often found in the mainstream part of the lifecycle, while adding it to steak sandwiches places it on the introductory and growth scale.
Global flavor adoption is happening quickly at some bakery cafes. For instance, infusing international flavor into the classic Bruegger's Bagels menu is the Mo Rockin' turkey sandwich, which features harissa, a spicy, aromatic red pepper paste used in African and Middle Eastern cuisine. Bruegger's Bagels mixes harissa with creamy Greek yogurt, creating a distinctive flavor. Other ingredients in the sandwich are roasted turkey, Swiss cheese, fresh arugula, seasoned tomatoes and pickled red onions on toasted brioche bread.
"Our seasonal menu offers a culinary adventure that guests can enjoy for a hearty winter breakfast or lunch," says Bruegger's Bagels vice president of marketing Judy Kadylak. "We're also bringing back seasonal favorites, like our French Toast coffee, which has the comforting flavor and aroma of buttered French toast with a touch of cinnamon, drizzled with maple syrup."
For the first time in more than two years, Bruegger's Bagels introduces an all-new variety to its 100 percent made-in-Vermont cream cheese lineup. New Spicy Cheddar Pimiento, made with grated sharp cheddar, chopped pimiento peppers, jalapenos, garlic, onion and black pepper, adds a kick of spice and texture to any bagel or sandwich. 
Turning up the heat a little more is the new Spicy Bellapeno Egg sandwich, featuring a fresh-cracked egg, chorizo sausage and Spicy Cheddar Pimiento cream cheese. It is piled high on the new Bellapeno bagel, made with red bell peppers and jalapenos. 
The winter menu will be available through April 4 at participating locations. Bruegger's operates more than 275 Bruegger's Bagels bakeries in North America.