Posted: September 26, 2023


Patrick McDonough




Takes deep dive into Southern Italian culinary traditions, exploring local foods and flavors. 

FRANCIS, Wis. (Sept. 26, 2023) – In its latest Wixon Innovates flavor exploration, the company’s culinary researchers took on the challenge of finding a new way to look at Italian cuisine – a cuisine that is beloved and very familiar to most Americans. “More than 80% of Americans love or like Italian cuisine1,” says Rachael Jarzembowski, Wixon Marketing Manager. “Yet at the same time, they consider it to be a singular cuisine without much variation.”

Examining Italian foods regionally instead of homogeneously allowed the Wixon team to identify some lesser-known ingredients and culinary techniques commonly found in Southern Italy. This research then became the inspiration to create new flavors and applications. “Brands can add new excitement to their products by introducing regional flavors, such as those from Southern Italy, to what has become otherwise familiar to people. They can match consumer curiosity – 74% of consumers are interested in Southern Italian cuisine2 – with product innovation,” says Jarzembowski.

Regionally distinct  

The culinary traditions of Southern Italy are impacted by economics and ingredient availability. The ingredients are generally humbler and the dishes spicier than those found in the northern regions. The abundant fruit and vegetables grown in the area are supplemented with meat and milk from sheep and goats – livestock best suited to the landscape.

“Because of the hot, dry climate in the region,” says Wixon Corporate Chef, Ryan Kukuruzovic, “food preservation is an everyday necessity of the local cuisine. Meat, seafood, produce, and dairy products are aged, cured, fermented, and or treated with oil and salt to make them last longer without refrigeration. These techniques create uniquely complex and delicious flavors.”

A couple of the region’s most iconic flavors are captured in these newly created flavors inspired by the local culinary traditions:

  • San Marzano Tomato Flavor – Inspired by the tomatoes of the same name, which originate from the growing region of Sarnese-Nocerino, near Mount Vesuvius where rich, fertile soil provides their distinctive, sweet, and low acidic taste. The Wixon flavor recreates the distinct qualities of these highly prized tomatoes.
  • Dry-Aged Flavor – Cured meats are a long-treasured part of the culinary landscape of Southern Italy. Wixon’s Dry-Aged flavor captures this flavor without the time commitment.

These new flavors along with other locally-specific ones – e.g., limoncello, bergamot, fig, and Marsala wine – can be used in a wide range of applications from snacks, sauces, and dips to seasoning and beverage mixes, offering consumers a sense of adventure grounded in a familiar cuisine.

To inspire product development, the Wixon team created applications using some of the unique flavors of Southern Italy. Samples and custom flavor systems are available by contacting the company at

  1. Datassential -consumer preferences tracking tool
  2. (Kantar Profiles/Mintel: Regional and International Flavors and Ingredients – US – 2022; Base: 2,000 internet users aged 18+)


Wixon Innovates

Research-driven trend identification unites imagination and science in Wixon innovation. Our constant state of creation leads to value-driven custom taste solutions for food and beverages. For more information on the latest flavor trends influencing today’s food culture, visit

About Wixon Inc.

As a trusted manufacturer of dry and liquid custom taste solutions since 1907, Wixon provides seasoning blends, flavors, and flavor technologies to food, beverage, and nutritional companies across all retail and foodservice channels. Wixon also offers consumer packaging options for companies seeking turnkey solutions for dry mix food, beverage, and nutrition products. Combining creative taste capabilities and solutions with a passion for service, Wixon drives innovation and differentiation for its customers. Located in St. Francis, Wis., Wixon is certified FSSC 22000, a Food Safety System certification fully recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). for information on products and capabilities.

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