Anyone in the food industry, from restaurants and micro markets to manufacturing and more, knows that innovative flavors can be the ultimate key to success. Each year, the chefs at McCormick & Co evaluate current food trends and identify flavors that they think will make a big impact in the coming year. For 2018, people’s palettes will be going more global, with tastes that are bold and spicy and ways of eating that make food even that much more of an experience.
Inspiring Items in The New Year
Taking a note from many cuisines from around the globe, McCormick has pinpointed a variety of foods that can be adapted to meet the preferences of Americans both from a taste standpoint and a convenience factor. Let’s see what trends are on the horizon:
Spicy, sweet, and strong
Whether it’s an original take on furikake seasoning that blends salty and sweet to enhance nearly every food imaginable or implementing Ethiopian spice blends with allspice or ginger, items found in micro markets or c-stores can up their seasoning game. Food that’s served hot can incorporate unique flavor blends while prepackaged items can focus on tasty seasonings.
Food on the go
The bread and butter of c-stores, Americans no longer have to choose between packaged snacks or frozen items. An infusion of fresh street food inspired by Asia, Greece, and South American can find a home amongst your shelves. Items reminiscent of sizzling egg crepes, gyros, arepas, or bao buns can be customized with a variety of ingredients for a multitude of options.
Rethinking the classics
Popular snacks found in most micro markets can be reimagined with an Asian infusion of flavor, as sushi might be a thing of the past come 2018. Instead, offering Japanese Izakaya style food gives customers bitesize flavor with convenience all in one. Onigiri makes for a sweet and spicy snack that’s great on the go, while Tanzanian BBQ skewers can replace more traditional c-store fare.
Drinking your meals
An increased awareness over the last few years toward the health benefits reaped from beverages has started to change the way micro markets and c-stores stock their shelves. This trend continues in 2018, where probiotics, herbs, and elixirs are often replacing a solid meal. Offering health on the go with non-traditional flavor profiles can be a smart move for smaller grocery establishments.
Food Trends on A Larger Scale
Despite flavors being a strong focal point in 2018, what’s even more notable is the emphasis that Americans are placing on health and wellness as well as the experience their food brings. Items with unique flavor profiles should utilize natural ingredients and balanced nutritional values, while foods offered on the go can take a more communal approach.
Instead of looking at c-store items as serving just one person in a short period of time, shifting the focus toward how these products can create a shared experience for a group of individuals will be an important factor in the coming year. In 2018, micro markets and c-stores will certainly be faced with the exciting challenge of integrating worldly flavors and new adventures for customers purchasing their items.