Recently, Symrise conducted an in-depth study of fermented ingredients and how they are making a comeback, especially amongst Millennial consumers. Dylan Thompson, Symrise Marketing & Consumer Insight Specialist, explained how the Marketing and Consumer Insights Group engaged in first-hand experiences that drove the creation of a collection of fermentation flavors.

“We explored the parameters of the uses of fermentation with experienced and talented chefs. In addition, our food treks in various locales and stops at food trucks allowed us to gather a lot of actionable findings. We then examined our collective results at ideation sessions to generate new flavor concepts,” said Thompson.

The wide variety in this new list of flavors runs the gamut, from ethnic favorites like kimchi, sriracha and prosciutto to wheat beer, merlot, mead, fish sauce, and Mayan chocolate, just to name a few.

To spot trends, Symrise’s Marketing and Consumer Insights Group keep a watchful eye on chefs’ menu items. Symrise’s researchers uncovered that the mention of “fermented” on restaurant menus in the United States has grown by 21% between 2015 to 2016 according to Technomic. While fermented ingredients have been traditionally associated with pickled products and beer, Symrise chose to delve deeper into the origin and current use of fermentation in food preparation. Some of today’s world-class chefs continue to value the process, regardless of their type of cuisine. Chef Justin Serverino of Pittsburgh’s Cure acknowledges he ferments three to four hundred pounds of salumi (cured meats) each week, as well as yogurt, cucumbers and radishes. Serverino says that because he honors food traditions, it’s natural that fermentation is a huge part of his preparation. Chef A. J. Voytko from The Original Dinerant in Portland also expresses a reliance on the fermentation process, stating that he ferments red Fresno and habanero peppers for a whole year in a full-size bourbon barrel to create a fully fermented hot sauce.

In addition, research shows that food and beverage products with fermented ingredients have risen to an annual growth of 29%. Many menu items reflect the interest of Millennial consumers. For example, kombucha, a fermented tea beverage, has been cited as a favorite among these young consumers, half of whom were already drinking kombucha soda according to Mintel. This age group is very familiar to Symrise, as they have been studying millennial preferences and reporting on them in other studies.

For more information, visit