(BPT) - Sweet and savory. Hot and spicy. Earthy and aromatic. As the foodie movement grows rapidly, distinctive new flavors continue to emerge everywhere, from popular grocery store snacks to menu items at restaurants across the country.
Spend just a few minutes in a snack food aisle and you’ll see the flavor exploration trend is here to stay. Wasabi ginger, cheesy garlic bread, biscuits and gravy — the abundance of unique flavor combinations prove Americans are looking for new, unexpected, and sometimes unconventional, flavor options.
Do you consider yourself an adventurous eater? If so, you’re not alone. According to reports, more than half of all Americans consider themselves adventurous eaters, and more than 80 percent are open to trying new flavors.
Adventurous eaters are in luck because 2016 is already proving to be on the cutting edge of flavor experimentation. Here’s a glance at this year’s top flavor trends, which are focused on spices, cheese and herbs:
* Spices from all around the world continue to grow in popularity in American dishes and flavors. This year, these exotic flavors will stem from Indian and Japanese influences.
* American staples will get an extra touch of flavor through the rising popularity of specialty cheeses like Gouda and Gorgonzola.
* The big twist on herbs will be using floral flavors, such as hibiscus, elderflower and lavender.
You can embrace the adventurous eating trend by seeking out these and other flavors while grocery shopping or eating out. Food brands are paying keen attention to the trends consumers are searching for and answering the call with tasty treats that tantalize the taste buds. Better yet, some brands are even giving consumers the ability to help influence what is found on store shelves.
For the first time ever, the Lay’s brand is giving fans a chance to help shape its potato chips portfolio nationwide with the Lay’s “Flavor Swap” program. Four all-new Lay’s flavors will go up against four classic flavors, leaving fans to decide which will stay and which will go. The flavor pairings include:
* Heat Flavor Swap: Lay’s Flamin’ Hot vs. all-new Lay’s Fiery Roasted Habanero
* Cheese Flavor Swap: Lay’s Cheddar & Sour Cream vs. all-new Lay’s Smoked Gouda & Chive
* Barbecue Flavor Swap: Lay’s Honey Barbecue vs. all-new Lay’s Korean Barbecue
* Spice Flavor Swap: Lay’s Kettle Cooked Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper vs. all-new Lay’s Kettle Cooked Olive Oil & Herbs
These new flavors are the perfect way for consumers to put their taste buds to the test and unleash the power of their palates. Once you try them all, visit FlavorSwap.com and select your favorite flavor in each pairing. You can find all eight flavors in retail stores nationwide when voting opens on February 8, 2016. Voting ends on March 21, 2016. One lucky fan will win a $250,000 cash prize for simply placing his or her vote. Plus, the fan-voted winning flavors in each pairing will be permanent additions to the Lay’s potato chips portfolio, so you can snack without worry that your favorite flavors will disappear.
For complete details, visit FlavorSwap.com.