Fermented and pickled foods and beverages are on the radar and gaining momentum. According to the National Restaurant Association’s annual survey of nearly 1,300 professional chefs, “pickling and fermenting are making a modern-day comeback, with an in-house pickling process, non-traditional veggies, and specialty vinegars high on the list.”

The SupermarketGuru concurs and predicts that products such as sauerkraut, pickles, and kimchi, will become commonplace on dinner tables as opposed to just toppings or side items. Urbanspoon also predicts that 2015 will be the year that cauliflower, onions, eggplant, zucchini and fennel bulbs get dunked in vinegary, herbal and garlicky solutions.

The convergence of ethnic inspired spicy and bold flavors—coupled with the trend to healthier eating to aid digestion—is driving pickled and fermented food and beverage profiles. Pickled and fermented foods with unique flavors such as sauerkraut, miso, pickles, kombucha and kimchi are appearing in mainstream products.

The newest player on the scene is “acidulated beverages” known as Shrubs (Drinking Vinegars). To add depth and complexity, Mixologists are experimenting and creating artisanal shrubs made with aromatic fruits, herbs and spices for their own use in craft cocktails. The thirst for these fermented flavors is evidenced by Dunnhumby, the world’s leading customer science company’s data, which revealed that 92% of fermented foods enthusiasts called out fermented foods unique flavor or taste as primary drivers of their purchases.

“Consumers are demanding bolder, spicier and more complex flavor profiles and to meet the demand Comax Flavors created the ‘Pickled Paradise’ range,” says Catherine Armstrong, Comax Flavors’ vice president of corporate communications.

Comax Flavors’ collection of high impact flavors is available in six varieties: Kimchi, Pickled Curry, Pickled Ginger and Wasabi, Pickled Jalapeño, Pickled Mango and Pickled Watermelon. They can be used in an array of formulations including sauces, marinades, dips, dressings and alcoholic beverages.

— Comax Flavors, www.comaxflavors.com