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What is the Flavor AtlasTM?

Human curiosity about the world of flavor
is as old as the dawn of time.

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The Flavor Atlas is a set of maps—in the form of reports, perspectives and presentations—created by intrepid researchers and culinary cartographers, that reveals flavor movements and destinations to help you make more informed culinary and marketing decisions.

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Culinary Themes

In addition to individual flavor and ingredient trends, our chefs, culinary experts and planners identify key themes rooted in what is happening across the food landscape to reveal macro movements in culinary activity.

Citrus

1. Main Squeeze

Citrus has become popular in both seasonal and permanent menu items across all segments. Consumers are starting to try more adventurous citrus flavors.

EthnicFlavors

2. Ethnic Adventure

Today’s more receptive palates are open to more worldly flavors, and global cuisines provide the sense of adventure and experimentation consumers seek.

Heat

3. Turn Up the Heat

Consumers like the “wow” factor and heat certainly adds it. The desire for traditional “warming” spices and sweet heat is continuing to grow—not just in food, but in beverage too.

Funky

4. A Little Funky

That’s right. We said funky. From fermented chili paste to fish sauce to stinky cheese, people are boldly exploring the edges of umami to experience a new depth of flavor.

Functional

5. Functional Fuel

Whether they’re looking for a protein boost, extra fiber or heart-health-promoting vitamins, consumers are intrigued by foods and beverages that have a positive effect on specific health concerns.

Conscious

6. Conscious Consumption

This trend is about mindful eating and drinking that respects the environment and the body. Consumers are looking to minimize waste and protect their health with clean ingredients and foods without gluten, dairy, meat, artificial ingredients, sugars, GMOs, trans fats and more.

VegetablesTakeTheLead

7. Vegetables Take the Lead

Vegetables are becoming the darlings of the plate as chefs feature them front and center and use “meat” preparation methods like roasting to give them more robust flavor.

The Flavor Feed

When we’re mulling over the latest pan-continental ingredient sensation or compiling a list of the hottest hot cocktails, sometimes we collect our thoughts here.

2020 Culinary Trend Predictions

Thinking about culinary shifts in 2020? Wondering what trends might affect the food and beverage industry, or your particular part of it? Just trying to impress your in-laws with some hot culinary gossip?

Thinking about culinary shifts in 2020? Wondering what trends might affect the food and beverage industry, or your particular part of it? Just trying to impress your in-laws with some hot culinary gossip?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are a lot like us. With all of those considerations driving our research, we have arrived at...

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Picture of Meredith Daca

by Meredith Daca

Senior Culinary Planner

The Gastronomic Journey of Coffee

For a couple hundred years the production of coffee was kept secret in Yemen until the mid-1600’s when a clever and sleek Dutch navy boat was able to sail of the port of Java in Indonesia with a couple of live seedlings.

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Picture of Jorge Cespedes

by Jorge Cespedes

Corporate Chef

What does “better for you” mean in 2018?

What foods are good for you? It’s tempting to see this question as a modern concern, but the connection between food and health goes back through recorded history.

Our dietary choices have evolved alongside our (incomplete) understanding of what’s best for human body, along with the culture that assigns value...

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Picture of Meredith Daca

by Meredith Daca

Senior Culinary Planner

5 Flavor Imports to Watch

For decades, there was a widespread notion that persisted in the food industry—all new ethnic flavor imports needed to be “Americanized” so hesitant palates could warm up to the unfamiliar. 

Today, although that practice arguably still exists, consumers are flinging open the doors of exploration, as younger generations, comprised of an...

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Picture of Jorge Cespedes

by Jorge Cespedes

Corporate Chef

Sriracha: From Obscurity to Mainstream

It’s safe to say that in the food world, Sriracha has definitely hit its stride as a mainstream ingredient. There are Sriracha subs, Sriracha chips, Sriracha mayo, Sriracha ice cream and even Sriracha vodka.

But just 10 years ago, this humble paste of fresh chile peppers, garlic and salt was almost unheard of, until some sort of epic shift occurred...

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Picture of Jorge Cespedes

by Jorge Cespedes

Corporate Chef

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Interested in learning more about emerging culinary trends? Want a copy of our latest trend report? Interested in becoming a Flavor Atlas Influencer?