McCormick Flavor Solutions launched the Flavor Forecast: looking back to look forward. McCormick Flavor Solutions is a culinary-inspired flavor business that develops custom flavor products for consumer food and beverage manufacturers and the food service industry globally. It has a comprehensive product portfolio of solutions, including ingredients, coating systems, custom condiments, branded foodservice products and custom flavors. McCormick Flavor Solutions creates natural flavors that resonate with consumer preferences, it said.
In celebration of the 20th anniversary, this report covers how past and present flavor trends intersect to shape tomorrow’s tastes. Since 2000, McCormick’s world-class team of culinary, food scientists, and flavor experts have partnered with culinary trendsetters and top chefs globally to create the Flavor Forecast. This international team assesses food and beverage trends, from those on the verge of widespread appeal to those just beginning to gain notice.
“In 20 years of forecasting, we’ve identified trends that have and will shake up the way we cook, flavor and eat. These discoveries impacted food and drink culture in the most exciting ways,” said Gary Patterson, executive research chef at McCormick. “From travel and health to pleasure and indulgence, it’s about how these things connect us to food and drinks while also offering sensory delight to create the ultimate experience.”
This report focuses on four themes that chefs, product developers and industry professionals can draw inspiration from to create unique experiences for menus, packaged food and drink and more.
Sweet & seasonal satisfaction
From simple to complex, sweetness provides consumers with an indulgent and seasonal escape and a chance to enjoy every sensorial detail of food and eating. Featured trends include smoked spices and herbs; pumpkin pie spice and coconut milk; meyer lemon with lemon thyme, limoncello and lemon peel; and ancho chile pepper and hibiscus.
When it comes to the history of Flavor Forecast, there’s never been a shortage of bold and spicy profiles. Consumers crave it–heat and spice offer a sensory experience and enjoyment like no other. Heat is now everywhere, from grocery store shelves to upscale dining establishments, and eating spicy for fun, delight and dares are now social pastimes. Featured trends include chilies obsession; heat plus tang; and sweet on pepper. Expect menus and products to raise the bar with creative pairings of heat in applications like cocktails, baked goods, marinades and more.
As the desire for hyper-local tastes has increased, some consumers crave global dishes in their traditional form, while others prefer more approachable fusions. Through ingredient combinations, signature dishes or cooking methods, chefs can celebrate and bring to life these ethnic cuisines. Featured trends include Brazilian tempero baiano seasoning; Mexican recados; dukkah; modern Mediterranean; Japanese izakaya eats; and Indian Kashmiri. As 2020 has brought about a new normal, demand for global flavors will likely increase with consumers stuck at home and unpredictable travel restrictions.
Empowered eating and drinking
Health and wellness have always been top-of-mind in past forecasts. Lifestyle and food are more intertwined than ever before, but the flavor doesn’t need to be compromised to meet nutritional needs. Far beyond just eliminating fat, sugar, salt and other perceived “bad ingredients” from diet, health and wellness have become highly personalized with a flexible approach to eating. Featured trends include alternative pulse proteins; blends with benefits; and umami veggies. Empowered Eating and plant-based diets are here to stay. Expect menus and ingredients to explore these trends from breakfast to late-night eats to creative pairings of flavor and nutrition.