How to capitalise on emerging international flavour trends

KEEPING YOUR FINGER on the pulse of emerging international trends in food flavour makes sound business sense because it can help you stay a step ahead of the competition.

With leading chefs, restaurateurs and foodservice professionals looking at what’s trending overseas and seeing how they can incorporate popular flavours and cuisine choices into their local menus, it’s often only a matter of time before these hit the local market. So staying abreast of such developments can help you to ensure your menu is ‘on trend’ with consumers and catering to emerging tastes and preferences.

And with multiple international research teams monitoring emerging trends, it’s possible to gather together the relevant market research and arrive at a consensus of which flavour trends are likely to have an international impact:


Street food is a global cuisine style that is having a major impact on both food presentation and flavour choices. This is linked not only to consumers looking for smaller servings and more variety, but also to the increasing casualisation of dining out. The fine dining end of the market is shrinking as consumers prefer more casual settings, and street food — which is traditionally hand-held — plays into this.

Street food is typically high in flavour, with contrasting fillings including dairy products such as cheese and cream or butter based fillings, along with eggs, meat proteins and a wrap, roll or bun to hold the food together. Creating a pizza recipe which evokes the flavours of street food is an exciting challenge — sliced meats, egg, strong and spicy sauces and toppings can all be key components.


Driven in part by the growing popularity of pit barbecue restaurants and seasoned meats, African spices and seasonings are becoming more and more popular on the menu. From spice blends like berbere, which makes an exotic accompaniment to chicken and meats, to Tanzanian marinade which features the strong flavours of curry, garlic and ginger, these present great opportunities for use on the pizza menu. Skewered meats which have been marinated in these spices prior to placing atop your pizza will add not only flavour but the distinctive colours of African barbecue.


As both examples above make clear, it’s strong, bold flavours which are trending right now. What consumers are seeking is flavour contrast — hence the demand for both ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ taste sensations. Adding heat to a meal can be achieved by spices, relishes, dips and stir-through sauces, and the more colourful these are, the better — as a strong colour will complement the customer’s perception of flavour. At the same time, customers are also looking for equally strong contrasts through the use of cooling flavours. Yoghurt, tzatziki, crème fraiche and lemon juice are all ingredients which you can use to complement the strength of your hot flavours with a cooling sensation which brings the full flavour contrast of the pizza to the forefront of the consumer’s taste experience.