Savoury into sweet
Up-and-coming ingredients include Himalayan salt, pink peppercorn, sage and red wine, while seaweed and smoked flavours will continue to rise up the ranks. It’s part of the trend for incorporating savoury flavourings into sweet products, according to Kerry.
Looking at the purely sweet side, chocolate, orange and caramel are enduring favourites, but vanilla still offers an opportunity for innovation.
On the savoury side, regional cheese is also finding a footing, with predictions that original Yorkshire variety Wensleydale is on the up, along with Italian provola and stracchino. These cheeses could be influential in snacking too.
Chillies are heating up
Kerry believes the industry is now looking to chilli’s provenance by tracking down specific and regional versions of the spicy ingredient.
Varieties to watch out for include aji amarillo, ancho, cubanelle, ghost, habanero and Hatch.
A worldly palate
Like Waitrose, Kerry Group is also tipping African flavours to go big this year, including gesho, which has a bitter taste, and moringa, which Food Spark has previously profiled and was touted by Kellogg’s as a wonder ingredient.
Caribbean tastes have been nudged into the mainstream, along with pineapple flavours, while fermented and pickled ingredients from Korea like bulgogi and kimchi continue to increase in popularity, according to Kerry.
And as for seaweed, expect three varieties to come to the fore: kombu, nori and wakame are all expected to gain in recognition.
When it comes to dairy and hot beverages, Kerry has observed the use of herbs and spices like turmeric, star anise and botanicals, and predicts this will continue.
Cold beverages are being influenced by citrus from the Philippines and Japan, such as calamansi and yuzu.
The need for seed
These little powerhouses aren’t just providing another layer of depth and flavour, according to McCormick’s 2019 forecast. Seeds are also set to be incorporated more because they bring texture to products and can be used in a number of different formats, from oils to toasted to natural.
Less common seeds will be discovered and more familiar ones will be experimented with in new ways, like overnight coconut guava basil seed pudding, Cajun puffed lotus seed snack mix, and gomasio – a Japanese black and white sesame seed seasoning blend.
McCormick’s top three seeds for 2019? Basil, lotus and sesame.
Its got big shoes to fill, but McCormick reckons that basil seeds could be the new chia.
“Basil seeds have the same texture (as chia seeds), they have amazing protein, fibre and like chia seeds are awesome at absorbing liquids,” said Ellen Bennett, CEO of McCormick’s culinary brand, Hedley & Bennett.
She suggested that the texture can be used in both sweet and savoury bites, meaning it can be added to juice drinks, shakes and smoothies, as well as desserts, salad dressings, yoghurts, dips and pasta dishes.
Next up is lotus seeds, which Food Spark explored when it first popped on to the scene as a snack. McCormick notes it has been a favourite in Asian cuisines, with Bennett adding that they have an amazing nutritional profile and are starting to be called a ‘superfood.’
Plus, they can be utilised as a meal or snack, or used in place of beans in soups and stews for a new taste.
Moving on to sesame seeds, everyone knows the white variety, but Bennett says it’s time for black sesame to get on the map. The contrasting colours of white and black sesame seeds make them picture perfect. However, there is some concern that they are also highly allergenic, as has been witnessed recently in the UK.