HOFFMAN ESTATES, ILL. — Sensient Flavors has issued its forecast of what flavors the company sees emerging in 2016. Among the list of eight flavors are chamoy, honeyed evergreen and sassafras root.
Chamoy is a “mash-up” of flavors that combines the smoky heat of ancho chilies with apricot preserves, lime juice, salt and sugar, said Lauren Williams, marketing manager for beverage flavors in North America for Sensient Flavors.
“Consumers'renewed interest in revisiting classics updated with an artisanal emphasis can take this flavor to a new level,” she said. “Most consumers are familiar with a commercial version of the sauce that is sour and flat. But we have taken this flavor back to its roots and given it the attention, complexity, and homemade touch that made it a staple south of the border in the first place.”
Noting that trees are the new seeds, Sensient sees flavors associated with bark, roots and leaves may emerge in the coming year. Ms. Williams called honeyed evergreen a crisp, unpretentious pine flavor that is softened by honey.
Sassafras root may emerge in conjunction with rising interest in bitters, roots and craft soda flavors. The herbal plant’s flavor falls somewhere between a medicinal tonic and rootbeer, according to Sensient.
Other flavors on Sensient’s 2016 list include charred coconut, overripe melon, pandan, preserved cherry blossom and urfa chili.
“The coconut has become as ubiquitous as the apple,” Ms. Williams said. “Consumers love its tropical, creamy sweetness. We have combined that with another flavor that is becoming a pillar of American cuisine — smoke. Not just smoke in fact, we’ve put the coconut much closer to the flame and let it roast there.”
As access to exotic ingredients grows, Ms. Williams sees pandan as a flavor that may generate interest.
“This green, nutty and almost bready Southeast Asian staple is a fun new ingredient that can be incorporated into any dish,” she said.
Is urfa the next in-demand chili? Ms. Williams called it a standout in a chili category that is currently saturated.
“From time to time, you come across something that is so luxe, it makes you feel special when you use it,” she said. “This is one of those things. The rich, raisiny, chocolate taste of this chili has notes of tobacco and wine.”