Meat+Poultry - September 2020 - 45

Yoshinoya America; Nestle USA

"S

weet heat" was identified as the No. 1
flavor trend in foodservice for 2020.
The flavors of "new chili peppers"
came in second in the survey of more than 600
American Culinary Federation chefs conducted
by the National Restaurant Association in
November and December 2019.
Chefs have been heating up flavors for some
time, many trying to identify the next sriracha.
The popular condiment - named after the city
of Si Racha in Thailand - has a flavor profile of
heat with a touch of sweet. It has changed the
way consumers view and use hot sauce. It also
has seasoning and marinade suppliers exploring
new ingredients for innovative formulations
that assist meat and poultry processors with
participating in this flavor trend.
Sweet and heat are a yin and yang in the
flavor world. While being complete opposites
in taste, they are actually quite complementary.
Combinations such as chipotle raspberry,
mango jalapeño and lemongrass wasabi are
trending across all food categories and help
keep meat and poultry relevant to today's
consumers. The more exotic, the more
enticing the sweet-heat combination. At the
same time, the protein carrier is a familiar
food. This invites consumers to embark on
a flavor adventure. After all, we all need a
little excitement these days during COVID-19
social limitations.
"These trends reflect Americans' desires
to combine the tried and true with the new
and different," said Hudson Riehle, senior
vice president of research for the National
Restaurant Association. "This mix of comfort
and edginess is a microcosm of the world we
live in. Consumers want something different,
but want to keep what satisfies them at the
same time."
Research from Kalsec, Kalamazoo, Mich.,
showed that two-thirds of US consumers
are interested in spicy and sweet flavor
combinations along with one-half being
interested in sweet and tangy experiences.
Spicy and citrus came in third place. These
consumers crave the complexity that comes
from the layering of flavors, and sweet with
heat makes a great combination.

FOODSERVICE TO RETAIL
Trends that start in foodservice eventually
make their way into retail packaged foods. This

year that happened a lot faster than expected,
as prepared foods companies - including meat
and poultry processors - expediated research
and development to get on-trend products to
market quickly once the COVID-19 pandemic
entered our lives and disrupted the way we
shop, cook and eat.
Fast-casual restaurants also accelerated
product development in efforts to entice
consumers to make online takeout and
delivery orders. Torrance, Calif.-based
Yoshinoya America, for example, recently
added grilled barbecue beef to its artisanal
Japanese-inspired rice bowl menu. The
seasonal dish features tender beef and
chopped grilled onions tossed in a sweet and
spicy Asian barbecue sauce and garnished
with sesame seeds. The product had been
in test markets prior to stay-athome orders.
"Based on its incredible popularity,
we knew we had to fast-track it, making
it available to everyone," said Angella
Green, marketing director.
The chain also offers a grilled chicken
bowl featuring a house-made habanero
pineapple sauce. Habanero peppers have
a fruity, floral and sweet flavor bursting
with pungency. These flavors are able to
come through when mellowed with the
sweetness of pineapple.

The more
exotic, the
more enticing
the sweet-heat
combination.

BETTER BOWLS
Bowl meals are trending in the frozen retail
space. They are convenient and allow for
many varied ingredients to come together all in
one place. There are bowls for every daypart
and special dietary needs. Some are hearty
while others are more snack worthy. Flash
freezing of the different components prior
to assembly helps retain quality, but is not
necessary, especially in casserole-style dishes.
Most contain a seasoned meat or poultry
component, with sweet heat and simply "spicy"
increasingly popular flavors.
Nestlé USA, Solon, Ohio, has been playing
in this space for some time. The company's
most recent frozen bowl meals are part of its
new Life Cuisine brand. Made with protein,
vegetables and whole grains, these recipes
offer a convenient way to explore new cuisines
and global flavors, many of which include
elements of heat.

Fast-casual restaurant
Yoshinoya America recently
added grilled barbecue
beef to its artisanal
Japanese-inspired rice
bowl menu. Nestle has
also introduced a line of
bowls that feature sweet
heat flavor combinations.

www.meatpoultry.com | 09.20 | MEAT+ POULTRY

45


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Meat+Poultry - September 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat+Poultry - September 2020

Meat+Poultry - September 2020 - 1
Meat+Poultry - September 2020 - 1
Meat+Poultry - September 2020 - 2
Meat+Poultry - September 2020 - 3
Meat+Poultry - September 2020 - 4
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Meat+Poultry - September 2020 - VDG1
Meat+Poultry - September 2020 - VDG2
Meat+Poultry - September 2020 - 51
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