Top 5 Flavor & Food Trends for Fall

Fall is right around the corner and you might be wondering what lies ahead for this year’s food scene. I know I am! I’ve done a little research on new products offered by restaurants, grocery stores, and food industry trade sources. Read ahead to see what’s new for 2018.

1. Pumpkin

Ahh, pumpkin. The classic fall flavor. Love it or hate it, it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon. The pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks made its debut earlier than ever this year and people were just as excited to get their hands on it. Take a look around the grocery store and you’ll find, well, pumpkin-flavored everything! From Pumpkin Pie M&M’s to Pillsbury Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls and Kellogg’s Frosted Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts to Quaker Pumpkin Spice Instant Oatmeal and Kellogg’s Special K Pumpkin Spice crunch, you can see this flavor is everywhere, particularly bakery products and beverages.

2. Maple

You may have seen maple flavors popping up a little more around restaurants and grocery store shelves. Maple has long been used when describing smoked meat products such as bacon and sausage. But now it’s starting to be used more as a mellow-sweet flavor in many products. This warm flavor is perfect for fall and many consumers consider maple to be clean-label. If you’re not quite ready to head into the fall season yet, check out Halo Top’s delicious non-dairy Vanilla Maple ice cream. To learn more about Halo Top click here!

3. Bourbon

Okay, okay so I live in Kentucky and might be a little biased….but there’s no doubt bourbon has had a resurgence in recent years. And as people become more interested in the whiskey, they’ll soon realize all the great pairings it offers up for food. Pair with a classic like maple or pecan and you’re in for a great time! Bourbon smoked spices, bourbon barrel aged wines and beers, and even bourbon soy sauce, BBQ sauce, and hot sauce make great pantry additions. The warmth and complexity of bourbon makes it perfect for fall.  Check out Bourbon Barrel Foods if you’re interested in some local Kentucky food offerings.

4. Fermented Products

Bourbon distillers, cheese makers, and craft brewers all know consumers love fermented products. Did you know soy sauce and chocolate are also fermented products? As people become more interested and educated on the fermentation process, other types of products are becoming popular, too.  From health benefits to natural processing claims to fun flavors, this trend isn’t going anywhere. If you’re interested in fermented products try something new like kimchi, kefir, or kombucha.

5. New Ethnic Cuisines

Italian, Mexican, and Chinese dishes have become rooted in American culture and many consumers are no longer afraid to try flavors associated with ones they’re already familiar with. As chefs push boundaries and introduce cuisine from other parts of the world, however, some may be a little more shy to try. It helps to introduce these new flavors with ones that are well seasoned in the market. Coming up, be on the lookout for more Middle Eastern flavors, including Israeli and Pakistani, as well as African flavors from Ethiopia. Korean flavors also continue to rise. Gochujang, chimichurri, berbere, and harissa have already become popular on menus so try something new the next time you’re out and about!

What do you think will be popular this fall? Get in on the conversation today by leaving a comment below!


To find out more about flavor trends for all of 2018, check out this great resource I referenced from Kalsec!

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