The outlook traces the popularity of such treats as exotic fruits including goji berry and camu camu and the subtle heat of fresh ginger and exotic pepper varieties.
While last year's hot Asian and Hispanic trends will still command attention, 2007 may finally be the year for Indian, according to the report. Mediterranean—particularly Spanish and Greek—and regional Asian influences will also enter the flavor spotlight. Energy boosters will be a hot button trend in wellness foods and the combination of science and art—molecular gastronomy, flavor sprays, provocative food textures and aromas—will also influence flavor trends in 2007.
Other key factors influencing flavor and ingredients are also analyzed including food fears stemming from recent E.coli outbreaks; food politics such as cloning and childhood obesity; and new food technologies such as food nanotechnology. These and other factors are heavily influencing the kinds of foods and flavor profiles sought after by today's time-crunched consumer who wants foods that are fast, better for them, and taste great.
"Today's American eater is better educated about food and wants sophisticated products and flavors that satisfy their palates as well as their need for health, convenience and/or adventure," said Tatjana Meerman, the managing editor of Packaged Facts. "So we're seeing new takes on comfort foods, a wave of Mediterranean and Asian influences, increased popularity of international and specialty cheeses and yogurts, and ever closer scrutiny and abandonment of 'demonized' ingredients such as salt and high fructose corn syrup."