Fuchs North America will launch a line of snack seasonings that draw inspiration from Asia, South America and the Mediterranean region to differentiate amid the ethnic flavor boom.
The ingredient major has developed ten snack seasonings with the US consumer in mind, set for launch mid-April in North America.
Development on the final few was still underway, company marketing director Patrick Laughlin told BakeryandSnacks.com at Snaxpo 2014 in Dallas, Texas earlier this month.
Fuchs has developed flavors that draw inspiration from Asian markets – Laos and Vietnam – as well as the two Mexican peninsulas Yucatan and Baja and African-inspired Mediterranean flavors, he said. Kashmiri and Afro-barbecue were just a couple of examples from the line.
“We did the research to find out which ones would fly best in the marketplace and which would be received the most positively,” he said.
Ethnic differentiation: It doesn’t always have to be spicy
Laughlin said that Fuchs’ R&D work on the seasonings had been inspired by market trends.
“Bold and spicy-type flavors are not going to go away but I think consumers might get a little tired of that after a while. You might start to see some more unique flavor profiles. Folks confuse the fact that ethnic doesn’t always have to be spicy. So I think you’re going to see some differentiation along the ethnic seasoning lines,” he said.
He said that Asian and Mediterranean were regions set to inspire future trends and Mexican would remain strong, particularly with the population growth in the US, but would start to become more complex, with regional flavor focus.
Working flavors into healthy snacks
Alongside these flavor trends, Laughlin said it was also crucial for seasoning firms to keep abreast of wider trends, one of which was health.
“The big thing in snacking right now is the use of more healthy bases,” he said. However, he said that use of amaranth, quinoa and other ancient grains as snack bases in place of wheat or corn threw up taste challenges.
“Some of those ancient grains can be very bitter and you need to sort of round them out… It’s definitely more difficult from a product development standpoint. Of course you can only do so much with seasoning, but there are things you can do; buffers and things of that nature that can help round out the taste profile,” he said.
Consideration of the aromatic profile of seasonings could also help, he added.