The adventurous American palate is evolving, and what better place to experiment than with condiments and sauces; they are affordable, adjustable and more accessible than ever. With seemingly unlimited and low cost ways to differentiate through condiments and sauces, almost anyone from the restaurateur to consumer packaged goods manufacturers can benefit from reaching into the condiments and sauces toolbox. A small change could make a big difference in sales.
To assist marketers and operators, Condiments & Sauces: Culinary Trend Mapping Report, from the Center for Culinary Development (CCD) and Packaged Facts, offers fresh ideas about which condiments and sauces are moving into the mainstream, and provides strategic direction for product development that will draw in consumers by pushing flavor buttons. Using its signature Trend Mapping technique, the CCD profiles trends that range from twists on the classics (flavored aioli) to a Southeast Asian staple (sriracha) to the fifth taste (umami) and an over-the-top style of French fries (poutine) that comes to us from Quebec.
Stage 1: Poutine - Many consumers are familiar with aioli as a dip or chili as a topping, but nothing is quite as unique and intriguing as Canadian poutine, the eyebrow-raising pile of French fries, cheese curds and brown gravy currently appearing on fine dining menus and peeling out from the food truck scene with a vengeance.
Stage 2: Gastrique - A sauce that has been on the CCD’s radar in Stage 1 for several years is gastrique, a classic French reduction of sugar and vinegar resulting in a thick syrupy sauce. Today chefs are using gastriques in new and exciting ways with meat, fish and even dessert.
Stage 2: Umami in a Bottle - While being a secret staple in the condiment shelf forever (ketchup is full of umami), this fifth sense of taste is coming into its own and being called out by name in several new seasoning products. Now is the ideal time to develop products and foodservice dishes that underscore the umami experience.
Stage 3: Romesco - A traditional sauce from the Catalan region of Spain, romesco has made its way to Stage 3 by enhancing a number of new chain restaurant dishes. Romesco sauce presents a great opportunity for restaurateurs and food manufacturers to capitalize on its Spanish global heritage and emphasize its intense rich flavor that can be used in dips, sauces, marinades and more.
Stage 4: Sriracha - A fiery sauce inspired by traditional Southeast Asian hot sauces made from ground chile peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt, sriracha has been hiding in restaurant kitchens for years to use for staff meals. Consumers craving heat and spice have since flocked to the stuff, turning it into a cult favorite.
Stage 5: Aioli - The versatile French-inspired condiment, which is basically garlic mayonnaise, has infiltrated the U.S. market in every pocket of the food industry from fine dining to the Golden Arches. Garlic is the traditional flavoring, but we spotted aiolis of various flavors on menus, including lemon, basil and chipotle, and now more exotic ones such as parsley, harissa and avocado.
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The Culinary Trend Mapping Report is an indispensable tool for those whose job it is to stay abreast of what's hot—and what will be—in the food world.
The reports leverage the Center for Culinary Development’s signature Trend Mapping technique, a validated method for identifying which culinary trends are gaining traction and which are simply flashes in the pan.
Each 65+ page journal is packed with trends, data, strategies and insights on the food industry that simply aren't available anywhere else.
Each Issue of the Culinary Trends Mapping Report
Identifies the maturity level of foods and ingredients according to CCD’s unique, proprietary 5-stage trend mapping process.
Concentrates on a theme that is affecting the food industry, and then looks at the emerging and established trends along the Trend Map that are shaping this theme.
Delves into these trends and what they mean for you and the manufacturing, retailing, and foodservice industries.
Gives strategic insight into how consumers are thinking of and reacting to new foods and ingredients.
Provides business know-how regarding opportunities, challenges, and ways to implement current trends into foodservice, retail, and packaged goods operations.
Presents a feature interview with a member chef from CCD’s exclusive 80+ member Chefs’ Council who offers expert analysis and unique perspective on a specific trend.
Trend Mapping is guided by the premise that major food trends pass through five distinct stages on their way to the mainstream:
Stage 1: The ingredient, dish and/or cooking technique appears at upscale dining establishments, ethnic and popular independent restaurants.
Stage 2: The item is featured in specialty consumer-oriented food magazines such as Bon Appetit plus retail stores such as Sur La Table that target culinary professionals and serious home cooks.
Stage 3: The item begins to appear in mainstream chain restaurants—Applebee's or Chili's—as well as retail stores such as Williams-Sonoma that target recreational cooks.
Stage 4: Publications such as Family Circle and Better Homes and Gardens pick up the buzz.
Stage 5: Finally, the trend makes its way to quick service restaurant menus and either starts to appear or gains increased mainstream presence on grocery store shelves.