Symrise study reveals millennial interest in fermented foods


11 May 2018 --- Symrise has conducted an in-depth study of fermented ingredients and how they are making a comeback, especially amongst Millennial consumers.

As consumers become more concerned about the processing their foods endure to make it to the table, techniques perceived as more natural help to provide reassurance. As a result, we see the revival of traditional processes, as well as the creation of new ones, which deliver health and taste benefits through more natural means. In line with Innova Market Insight's trend #1 “Mindful Choices” processing methods that inspire consumers’ trust are strongly in vogue.

In fact, one in two consumers from US, UK and Australia considers a food or beverage product as being more natural if it has fewer ingredients on the ingredients list, according to Innova Market Insights' 2017 consumer study.

Fermentation is the key predecessor of “simpler” processes and these types of foods and beverages have been key beneficiaries from the trend. Innova Market Insights reports a +35 percent rise in US food and beverages that claim to use a fermentation process (2016 vs. 2015), with fermented foods strongly trending.

Dylan Thompson, Symrise Marketing & Consumer Insight Specialist, explained how the Marketing and Consumer Insights Group engaged in first-hand experiences that drove the creation of a collection of fermentation flavors. “We explored the parameters of the uses of fermentation with experienced and talented chefs. Also, our food treks in various locales and stops at food trucks allowed us to gather a lot of actionable findings. We then examined our collective results at ideation sessions to generate new flavor concepts,” he says.

The wide variety in this new list of flavors runs the gamut, from ethnic favorites like kimchi, sriracha and prosciutto to wheat beer, Merlot, mead, fish sauce, and Mayan chocolate, just to name a few.

To spot trends, Symrise’s Marketing and Consumer Insights Group keep a watchful eye on chefs’ menu items. Symrise’s researchers uncovered that the mention of “fermented” on restaurant menus in the US has grown by 21 percent between 2015 to 2016 according to Technomic.
While fermented ingredients have been traditionally associated with pickled products and beer, Symrise chose to delve deeper into the origin and current use of fermentation in food preparation. Some of today’s world-class chefs continue to value the process, regardless of their type of cuisine. Chef Justin Serverino of Pittsburgh’s Cure acknowledges he ferments three to four hundred pounds of salumi (cured meats) each week, as well as yogurt, cucumbers and radishes. Serverino says that because he honors food traditions, it’s natural that fermentation is a huge part of his preparation. Chef A. J. Voytko from The Original Dinerant in Portland also expresses a reliance on the fermentation process, stating that he ferments red Fresno and habanero peppers for a whole year in a full-size bourbon barrel to create a fully fermented hot sauce.

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