Creating the contrast - Macphie

Contrast is key in 2016 with consumers looking for a mash-up of tastes, textures and concepts. As boundaries blur on the traditional food rules, consumers are challenging the food industry to merge polar opposites and create memorable taste experiences.

Unusual flavour combinations have taken the nation by storm, with sweet and savoury being a firm favourite. However, as novelty pairings like salted caramel and chilli chocolate become more mainstream, consumers are on the lookout for the next upcoming flavour ’combo’. McCormick & Company predict ‘heat and tang’ to be a big flavour sensation in 2016; hot, spicy foods contrasting tangy accents such as hot Peruvian chilies paired with lime.

It’s not just flavours that consumers are keen to test the boundaries on, there’s been an increase in products designed to stimulate your senses. Mind-blowing sensory contrasts have so far included hot milkshakes and ice cold coffees.

As barriers between communities and cultures continue to weaken, new food flavours and cuisines are materialising and taking pride of place on popular menus. With increasing internet availability and an abundance of television shows focusing on food and travel, consumers have also become armchair foodies; experts in exotic food choices from the comfort of their own home.

This emerging audience is eager to explore new cultures through food creating high demand for Fusion cuisines which incorporate flavours and concepts from a variety of countries. Restaurateurs are now being challenged to take inspirations from around the globe and combine contrasting cultural traditions to develop innovative new dishes.

So as 2016 becomes the year of the mash-up, it’s time to get adventurous in the kitchen and test the boundaries of traditional norms.