Spices and Seasonings: Culinary Trend Mapping Report

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Published May 15, 2007 | 96 Pages | Pub ID: LA1282398

Thanks to the spread of global cuisines, increased consumer interest in bold flavors and the convenience factor of flavoring this week’s chicken with a flick of the wrist, spices and seasonings are more diverse than ever. They can make the simplest ingredients shine and take on global guises, adding flavor, fragrance, heat and complexity. As new ethnic cuisines capture our attention, new spices and spice blends migrate to our own kitchen racks.

Behind the spices covered in this report lies a world of opportunity for marketers looking to engage consumers in new and flavorful territory, and within these pages we offer suggestions and thought starters to spark ideas for new products and menu items.

Spices and Seasonings, the April issue of the Culinary Trend Mapping Report, examines the ingredients, cooking styles and ethnic influences that the Center for Culinary Development (CCD) has identified as about to hit, or have established themselves, in the U.S. We delve into Sumac, Za’atar, Shichimi Togarashi - Japanese Seven Spice, Exotic Peppers: Sichuan Peppercorns, Peri-peri, Grains of Paradise, Ras el Hanout, Harissa, Star Anise, Chinese Five Spice, Saffron and Ancho chile, and critically assess how food marketers can take advantage of these hot trends.

Key Strategies

  • Where these spices are appearing along the trend map
  • How new uses and applications of these spices may suggest a food or drink that will grow into the next big thing.
  • Actual menu items where these spices and seasonings are appearing
  • Applications for the packaged foods/retail side of the business
  • New product and menu-item introductions inspired by emerging and existing spices trends
  • CCD translation tips - how to turn these trends into actionable menu, product and retail developments
  • Future impact of spice trends on the industry

Market Assessment: Consumers, Professionals, Business
Strategic Implications: What are, in CCD’s words, the “strategic levers” food marketers, foodservice operators and food retailers should pull to identify opportunities for new product development based on spices? Kimberly Egan, CCD’s managing partner, invites us to consider how spices can help packaged goods manufacturers and restaurant operators hoping to excite today’s consumer with more flavorful and exciting food options. Spices can easily be used to change the flavor profile and style of a range of foods. Many spices cover multiple ethnic territories as well - curry is found in Japanese doughnuts as well as Indian dals; saffron scents many global cuisines.

Professional Perspective: Laxmi Hiremath’s culinary journey began 20 years ago with a single recipe sent on a whim to the food editor of the Columbus Dispatch. This recipe - handmade cabbage rolls stuffed with spiced mashed potatoes - won a spot on the Dispatch’s food pages, and now Hiremath, a member of CCD’s Chefs’ Council, is a well known Indian cookbook author and developer of boutique specialty foods. Regarding Indian cuisine and its complex use of spice, Hiremath believes that one only needs nine spices as a foundation, and she offers her insights into the versatility of those spices in this issue.

Industry Insights: Joan Lang is another industry veteran who has made her reputation working for and writing about food for a diverse library of publications, ranging from the Zagat Guide to Restaurant Business to Foodservice Director. She’s also been a managing editor for the Culinary Institute of America and has been a consultant to many of the top food marketing companies in the country.

Joan reminds us that spices, herbs and chiles are some of the most effective tools in the flavor arsenal. Low in fat and calories, spices add a strong punch. But overuse, or ubiquity, can paradoxically lead to blandness.

With extensive profiles of each ingredient/food emerging within the five stages of the trend map, this spice issue of the Culinary Trend Mapping Report provides you with the most up-to-date, insider’s look at what’s hot and what’s not in the world of food. Top food marketers rely on trend mapping to keep them on the pulse of what’s happening and what’s about to happen as far as consumer tastes are concerned.

• • • The Culinary Trend Mapping Report is an indispensable tool for those whose job it is to stay abreast of what's hot - or what will be - in the food world!

Using the Center for Culinary Development’s (CCD) signature Trend Mapping technique, a validated method identifying which culinary trends are “gaining traction” and which are simply flashes in the pan, each report concentrates on a theme, or trend, that is affecting the food industry, and then looks at the emerging and established ingredients, cooking styles and products along the Trend Map that are driving this theme.

Each report is a 75+ page journal packed with trends, data, strategies and insights on the food industry that simply aren't available anywhere else.

Each Issue of the Culinary Trends Mapping Report

  • Identifies the maturity level of foods and ingredients according to CCD’s unique, proprietary 5-stage trend mapping process.
  • Concentrates on a theme that is affecting the food industry, and then looks at the emerging and established trends along the Trend Map that affect—or are affected by—this theme.
  • Delves into these trends and what they mean for you and the manufacturing, retailing, and foodservice industries.
  • Gives strategic insight into how consumers are thinking of and reacting to new foods and ingredients.
  • Provides business know-how regarding opportunities, challenges, and ways to implement current trends into foodservice, retail, and packaged goods operations.
  • Presents a feature interview with a member chef from CCD’s exclusive 80+ member Chefs’ Council® that offers expert analysis and his or her perspective on a specific trend.

Additional features include:

  • Menu Tracking: Menu mentions of our featured Trend Map items. Within the trend profiles, we will offer a summary of how often the trend has appeared on menus in restaurants ranging from 75 white tablecloth restaurants to the top 200 chains.
  • Trend Dishes: Actual descriptions of all dishes for top restaurant chains for each of the trends appear in the report Appendices to provide a comprehensive overview of how the trends are being served.
  • Industry Veterans Speak: Points of view from an industry perspective on what each trend means—whether positive or negative—to the food industry at large, including consumers, professionals and businesses.

Trend Mapping
Trend Mapping is guided by the premise that major food trends pass through five distinct stages on their way to the mainstream:

  • Stage 1: The ingredient, dish and/or cooking technique appears at upscale dining establishments, ethnic and popular independent restaurants.
  • Stage 2: The item is featured in specialty consumer-oriented food magazines, such as Gourmet and Bon Appetit plus retail stores such as Sur La Table that target culinary professionals and serious home cooks.
  • Stage 3: The item begins to appear in mainstream chain restaurants -- Applebee's or Chili's -- as well as retail stores such as Williams-Sonoma that target recreational cooks.
  • Stage 4: Publications such as Family Circle and Better Homes and Gardens pick up the buzz.
  • Stage 5: Finally, the trend makes its way to quick service restaurant menus and is either starting to appear or is having increased presence on grocery store shelves.

Published bimonthly, the Culinary Trend Mapping Report is available for purchase as a single issue or a six-issue subscription.

Executive Summary
  • Why Spices and Seasonings
  • Executive Summary

Industry Overview

  • Just the Right Amount of Spice

Trend Profiles

  • Sumac, Za'atar
  • Shichimi Togarashi- Japanese Seven Spice
  • Exotic Peppers: Sichuan Peppercorns, Peri-Peri, Grains of Paradise
  • Ras el Hanout, Harissa
  • Star Anise
  • Chinese Five-Spice
  • Saffron
  • Ancho Chile

Chef Speak: CCD Chef's Council Voices

  • Laxmi Hiremath: Seasoned Professional
  • Talking Toques

Strategic Implications

  • Spices Play a Starring Role
  • Spices and Seasonings: Effective Tools in the Flavor Arsenal


  • Food Beat, Inc.


  • Source List

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