Living a clean, responsible, healthy and natural lifestyle is more than just a trend – it is a way of life. Today's consumers want food that does not just taste good but also does good. ‘Mindful Eating’ considers the impact of food and beverages on our bodies, our communities, and our planet. You don’t just enjoy eating, you also feel good about it.
As a research chef and mixologist here at McCormick Flavor Solutions, it’s been tremendously fascinating watching how this emerging culinary ethos affects the things we drink. Lately, mimicry of flavors, ingredients and styles are spanning all sectors of the beverage landscape. For example, tonics and elixirs with herb and spice profiles are appearing.
The trend toward ‘Mindful Eating’ doesn’t only affect the production of beverages; it’s also influencing menus, and bringing brand new contenders into the market. Fermentation has broken out of trend status to become a staple in the food community. For instance, Kombucha can be found in major supermarkets, and highway rest stops, and long-forgotten items like shrubs and switchels are making big moves from behind the bar to specialty grocery stores. Crossover into the mainstream is looking less like an “if” and more like a “when.” These strong sour flavors are a direct result of chefs curing and pickling local, sustainable items, and an increased consumer demand for greater variety in this industry segment.
No matter where you go, you’ll find these items with a highly regional spin, like peach vinegar in Georgia or sugar cane vinegar in Louisiana. And, as people develop tastes for these new acidic flavors, they’re demanding new beverages based on them. These are beverages made consciously in regards to the environment and economy. They have tremendous benefits when it comes to gut health, and most importantly, they just flat-out taste good.
In the hot beverage category, who suspected one day that bone broth would be a popular option? For years it had been seen as the basis for soups, but now that consumers realize that they’re both highly nutritious and tremendously satisfying, broths have gone from bowl to mug. Don’t think that this trend is simply pouring stock into a cup. Creative chefs are brewing stocks with complicated, nuanced layers of flavor, using combinations of fresh, natural ingredients—this is a reflection of the 'snout to tail' and 'root to stem' trends that utilize every bit of an animal and plant to minimize waste. A good broth nourishes the body as well as the spirit.
The key point in crafting a mindful beverage is to remember its relationship to factors outside of just taste. Will it feed not just the body, but also the mind and spirit? For more information on how we can work together and develop a mindful drink, contact your McCormick Account Manager or contact us here today.