Bold Flavor Diet Trend: Why We Seek Bolder Flavors

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The bold flavor diet trend has hit the restaurant trend in response to the loss in our sense of taste as we age. Read more about the trend’s origins here.

Diagram of a tongue showing where bold flavor diet trends can be tasted

Will fading taste buds spawn a new bold flavor diet trend?

The tongue has approximately 10,000 taste buds.  These taste buds are replaced approximately every two weeks.  However, as we grow older, some cells stop producing taste buds.  An average senior may have only half of their taste buds working.  It’s logical therefore to conclude that you would seek flavors that are twice as potent when you have only 5,000 taste buds compared to the 10,000 you had earlier in life.

There is inherent to man to natural desire to maintain the status quo.  Consequently, America’s aging Baby Boomers – of which there are nearly 80 million – are seeking out bolder flavors.  This presents an interesting dilemma for restaurants and foodservice companies that have consumers both seeking saltier foods and simultaneously seeking to lower their sodium intake.

The industry is responding in a variety of ways.  You may have noticed that recently there has been a mass adoption of sea salt over iodized salt.  Average casual dining chains, and even a growing number of fast-food restaurants have tossed out the iodized salt in favor of sea salt, citing the more healthful aspects of sea salt.  This and many other similar moves point to the movement of both consumers and industry toward more healthful foods that don’t sacrifice taste or quality.

There is even a prediction that we will see the rise of a “bold flavor diet”.  The notion is that the more powerful and potent the flavors of food, the less we need to eat of it to feel satiated.  Who knows, this could be the next big thing now that the Atkins Diet and South Beach Diet have started to wane.

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