Flavor Mashups and Blurred Lines

2020 will never be called a boring year. Food trends are following suit by creating new combinations of new and exciting flavors. A mix of surprising mashups is popping up throughout the industry.


The Best of All Worlds


What began as fusion cooking a few decades ago is now a global potpourri of flavors mixing many different ethnic flavors on a plate. As Asian and Middle Eastern food is now standard in many parts of the country, chefs are more creative. Chicken wonton tacos allow Chinese and Mexican influences to intersect. Another Mexican twist is chorizo combined with ricotta and stuffed in wonton wrappers for Mexican ravioli–and one trend marrying with another trend brings forth a Pad Thai Quinoa Bowl. Tandoori chicken burgers may grace the table along with cotton candy French fries introduced a few years ago. A lasagna burrito made from beefy sauce wrapped in flour burritos can stand up to a phoritto, pho rolled up in a tortilla, and flavored with chiligarlic sauce. Like the multicultural world the millennials grew up in, they are embracing the new mashups with gusto.


Coffee Finds its Way into Multiple Beverages


As people began turning from carbonated drinks full of sugar, the beverage industry came up with innovations and formulas. Whatever the consumer doesn’t expect to see together is showing up in cafés and grocery store shelves. Brands are integrating coffee into sparkling beverages, energy drinks, and juices. Coffee with an effervescent spin creates a new option for energy drinks. As people move away from soft drinks and sodas, they turn to healthier and more natural versions, such as coffee sweetened with Florida tangerine juice for a low sugar alternative beverage. Maple water sweetens a cold-brew coffee found in convenient stores.


Blurring the Lines with Pet Food


One offshoot of the pandemic was a record-breaking number of adoptions of dogs. With more time with Fido at home, brands find opportunities to increase market share because of a humanization trend on pet food. What is right for my family morphs into what is appropriate for my dog. Steak companies are offering pet food with the same premium quality ingredients consumers expect in their food. Chefs and celebrities introduce pet treats and pet dinners made with all the good ingredients that people are demanding for a healthy lifestyle. Plant-based dog treats could be mistaken for chips in the cabinet. They are that good.


As consumers plow through 2020, brands are offering combinations of food for man and beast alike. Life remains interesting, and the consumers are gobbling up these new and exciting flavor mashups.