Hot and Spicy Flavor Trends Won't Slow Down, According to Bell Flavors

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10 Feb 2016 --- Every year, Bell EMEA's marketing and flavour specialists offer an insight into current and emerging flavour trends for the upcoming period, based on their market research, customer feedback and product monitoring throughout the different food and beverage segments to provide our customers with inspiration for winning product concepts.

The spice of life – how “hot & spicy” gets a new facelift
Bell has been tracking the growing interest for hot and spicy flavours for the last two years and this trend is not yet slowing down. This time it is all about adding extra heat, a fresh tangy accent, an ethnic hint or simply a smoky note to products like snacks, sauces, marinades or ready meals.
 
Complex chili blends like habanero, chipotle, cayenne pepper or tabasco deliver an extra portion heat and sophistication while Arabian spice blends like harissa, baharat or ras el hanout appearing on menus and food blogs impress with their authentic, exotic and pure taste complexity. Tangy varieties from Argentinian or Mexican cuisines are also favoured by a rising number of consumers looking for the well-travelled taste, e.g. within hot chimichurri varieties.
 
Adding smoke to hot flavour varieties and spices is another huge trend coming up on the radar. Whether as smoky sriracha, chorizo or smoked pepper – Bell provides declaration friendly natural smoke flavours that create full-bodied taste profiles and winning product concepts.
 
Nostalgia, food-pairing and all things sweet…
When it comes to desserts and bakery items, classic and nostalgic flavour varieties are still on top of the list and the customer’s love affair with treats that capture their childhood memories is still not over. There will be a strong demand for traditional favorites that are mixed up with modern twists. Old favorites like chocolate, caramel or cheesecake flavours will be reimagined by playing around with many other trendy ingredients such as tropical fruits or seasonal flavours like pumpkin pie spice.
 
On the other hand, consumers will become even more adventurous in 2016, leaving much space for new, exciting food-pairings and hybrid product developments. Sweet and spicy dessert creations combine toffee and chili or hot and cold flavours like ginger or hot cinnamon and mint. Tangy dessert, ice-cream and confectionary varieties with passionfruit, lemon meringue or lime will also push the boundaries of creativity next year, especially if their second attribute is being vegan or vegetarian.
 
“Sensory Flavour Pairing” and how to formulate vegan soft drinks
With a trend seeing in food products for recent years, beverages are also heavily affected by the veggie hype. The development of a vegan soft drink, however, is not as simple as it might seem. So far, to simply label orange lemonade with a vegan flag will not be thrilling for this highly demanding consumer group at all, because being a vegan is not just an eating habit but a general lifestyle attitude.
 
Based on this challenging aspects, Bell has developed the tool of "Sensory Flavour Pairing" to create vegan soft drinks not simply being vegan but also tasting vegan. Cucumber for example, the trendiest vegetable among cocktail ingredients will be taking its way into lemonades to be fused with juicy and zesty lemon. Also hop, a flavour as manifold as the craft beers it defines is forecasted to become one of the top vegan beverage drifts in 2016. More into niche but undoubtedly with the vegan link as well: Baikal, the traditional Russian soft drink composed of numerous extracts with a flavour rather herbal and spicy and an enchanting smell of Nordic woods, best to be combined with stone fruit flavours such as plum, mirabelle plum or black cherry.

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