My Flavor Adventures at the ACF
Recently I was honored to speak at the American Culinary Federation’s Food and Beverage Flavors and Trends event. Even though the session was virtual, it was exciting to keep the spirit of innovation alive with a discussion of the latest flavor trends (and a demo of a new cocktail recipe!).
During the event, I had a chance to highlight Flavor Atlas, Marlin Network’s proprietary trend tracker that helps our partners leverage the flavor trends that are emerging, becoming popular or already mainstream. If you’re not familiar, here are what those three classifications mean:
With Flavor Atlas, our clients can also learn how these ingredients and flavors are showing up in the food landscape:
Three Trends to Watch for in 2021:
As restaurants open up their dining rooms again this summer, you’ll see menus in every channel featuring at least one of these popular trends:
Citrus is now starring in both seasonal and permanent menu items across all segments, and consumers are starting to try more adventurous citrus flavors like these:
Citrus Quick Facts:
Today’s more receptive palates are embracing more worldly flavors, and global cuisines provide the sense of adventure and experimentation consumers seek.
Global Adventure Quick Facts:
Turn Up the Heat
Consumers like “wow” factor and heat certainly brings it. So it's no surprise the desire for traditional “warming” spices and sweet heat continues to grow—not just in foods, but in beverages too.
Turn Up the Heat Quick Facts:
Cheers to Flavor!
Remember that cocktail recipe I mentioned earlier? Well, we wrapped up the event with a quick demo of it (my favorite part). If you'd like to sample it yourself, here’s the recipe featuring some of the trending flavors above. Enjoy!
Andalusian Sunset Cocktail
Chef Jorge Cespedes
1 Datassential SNAP, 2021
2 Mintel, Trending Flavors and Ingredients in Non-Alcoholic Beverages, 2020
3 Kantar, US Download on Food and Culture, 2020
4 NRA What’s Hot Survey 2020
5 Datassential Menu Trends, 2021,
6 Technomic, State of the Menu, 2021
7 Technomic, What’s to Come in 2021