Snack flavors in America inspired by Asian countries

Snack flavor ideas are coming in from Asia. Heat continues to trend, but some countries, like Vietnam and the Philippines, also offer flavors centered around balance.

“The flavors of Vietnamese dishes tend to be very well balanced,” says Roger Lane, marketing manager, savory flavors at Sensient Flavors, Hoffman Estates, Ill. “The people of Vietnam take balance very seriously, and this applies to their cuisine as well. The majority of dishes include all five taste elements: spicy, sour, bitter, salty and sweet.” Pho and its blend of savory, spice notes and herbs translate well into snacks, especially in peanuts or lighter snacks like popcorn or rice crackers, he said. Banh mi sandwiches also work in a snack format, he says.

Consumers are being introduced to Japanese cuisine beyond sushi and teriyaki, says Jean Shieh, marketing manager for Sensient Natural Ingredients, Turlock, Calif. Meat, fish, dairy products, mushrooms, tomatoes and other vegetables may be used to achieve a savory umami taste. Vegetable-based umami works well as a topical seasoning for snacks.

“Not only does it have a flavor profile that resonates well with foodies everywhere, the clean label ingredients also help position a product above those containing artificial ingredients,” Ms. Shieh says.

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