Kalsec used the 2018 IFT Expo in Chicago to showcase its flavor offerings in culinary-inspired samples such as Porter Pulled Pork Sliders, Bloody Mary Pretzels or IPA Mustard Pretzels.

Meanwhile, Kalsec’s ingredient, culinary and trend experts walked around and took note of a few trends on the floor. Here are five major trends showcased at IFT.

Global Flavors

The first trend was for globally-inspired products and flavors. As consumers increasingly become exposed to new cultures and ingredients, their flavor profiles and demands change. Industry suppliers showcased their abilities to bring desired international flavors closer to home as well. A few ethnic flavors that Kalsec saw frequently at the show included berbere, ras el hanout, baharat and togarashi.

Interpretation of Clean Label

We hear the term “clean label” all of the time, but what does clean label mean? For many consumers the term varies in definition. It could be a product with “free from” labeling, simpler ingredients or less processed. Clean label is beginning to move into clear label as Millennials assimilate with a “mindful” approach. 

“Consumers are making more conscious food choices with ethical standards and sustainability on deck,” according to Innova Market Insights. It is all up to the individual’s interpretation as definitions are becoming more complex and personalized. Building brands that support any interpretation is becoming increasingly important. Due to the steady increase in consumer’s demand for transparency of labels and healthy living, Kalsec expects to see these trends continue for both ingredient suppliers and manufacturers.

Alternative Proteins

The industry is recognizing the need for an increase in alternative protein sources for vegetarians and flexitarians. Plant-based proteins are included in the “free-from” trend as consumers seek healthier and more eco-friendly options without sacrificing flavor. There were numerous discussions about alternative proteins for flexitarians and the advancements being made in flavor, texture, color and performance to meet those demands. Kalsec expects to see this trend continue to expand as the world population continues to grow.

Watch Dr. Poulson Joseph, Principal Scientist for Kalsec discusses alternative protein sources in this video

Fermented Flavors

The recent focus on traditional foods and stories of origin has led fermented flavors to the spotlight at IFT. A few applications that we saw during the show included fermented jalapeno cream cheese, tonic water and naturally fermented miso. To read more about fermented flavors, check out our July Trend Brief on Fermented Foods, where we compiled several top sources that discuss these trends.

Solving Food Challenges with Technology

There were several different food challenges presented during IFT. Technology is continuing to improve to meet these challenges. One of those challenges included plant-based protein advancements to make a plant protein more desirable to a flexitarian. Another advancement on display included technology to help create a cleaner label.

On Trend

To read more about our trend predictions from the beginning of 2018, check out Kalsec’s Top Food Trend Predictions for 2018.

Be on the lookout for our monthly trend briefs each month as well and visit www.kalsec.com for more details.