Asenzya to tackle seasoning challenges at IFT as US consumers' flavor preferences shift

Photo: iStock/Shaiith

The gradual increase in demand for spicier foods, more interesting flavors, and simpler ingredients lists has proven to be a curve ball for many manufacturers. Asenzya has done its research on consumer preferences, and will present it to its booth's visitors at the IFT 2017 show in Las Vegas in two weeks.

“[We’ve] spent a lot of time and resources researching the global flavors that are available to us,” Dax Schaefer, executive chef at the ingredient company Asenzya, told FoodNavigator-USA. “We looked at how these flavors are being used in restaurants around America.”

According to Schaefer, manufacturers should keep an eye out on what restaurants are doing. “That relates to where the average US consumer’s acceptance level is going to be, because the restaurants are doing the education for most of us,” he added.

Mexican food as comfort food

If companies want to make a flavorful, exciting new impression on US consumers, Mexican food isn’t the answer, Schaefer argued. “Right now, because of our familiarity with it, we actually consider Mexican a comfort food,” he said.

Asenzya is now doing more research on Caribbean and Korean barbeque to better serve the rising US consumer demand for flavors that are new to them, as well as other flavors tinged with a bit of picante. At the IFT show, its booth will serve garlic ginger wantons with two options of sauces: Thai chili and Madras curry.

The company will have several R&D representatives at the show. Along with Schaefer, who can speak from a flavor development perspective, the company’s director of technical services Greg Gamble will be there to talk about the variety of levels of clean, natural, organic, or non-GMO labels, as well as discussing issues with foreign supplier verification in accordance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

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