This recipe for Curry Spiced Nuts with Dried Tart Cherries meets consumer demand for ethnic flavor profiles, combines on-trend ingredients with complementary flavors and textures, and includes anthocyanin-packed Montmorency tart cherries, which have been linked to a number of health benefits, notes Jeff Manning, chief marketing officer, Cherry Marketing Institute. The sweet-tart taste of the cherries pairs with everything from nuts and seeds to chocolate and yogurt, which all work well in snack mixes. And the combination of nutritional ingredients with an on-trend ethnic flavor profile serves as inspiration for research and development of new snack mix products.
Consumers are looking for snacks that pack a mix of protein and fiber—the nutrients that help people feel fuller longer. One common protein and fiber pairing is dried fruit, such as Montmorency tart cherries, and nuts. According to statistics published by the International Nut & Dried Fruit Council in August 2015, dried fruit consumption around the world has increased 24 percent in the last decade, and tree nut production has increased 55 percent.
Consumers are also growing more adventurous and accepting a wider range of ethnic flavor profiles. They’re expanding their taste preferences beyond just an element of heat to more aromatic and flavorful spice blends with ingredients often common outside the U.S., a key trend noted by Baum+Whiteman in its 2016 “11 Hottest Food & Beverage Dining Trends in Restaurants & Hotels” report. Flavors like cumin, turmeric and curry are becoming more mainstream. Today, these flavor notes often find a home in applications far afield from their traditional uses, and contribute warmth and distinctive flavors to a wide range of snack foods.