Plants Pushing Boundaries, Humble Nosh, Underwater Under Discovered, and Physiological Eating are the four new flavor themes spotlighted in the 21st edition of the McCormick Flavor Forecast. As in the past, the current edition continues to connect consumers and food professionals with the latest international flavors and ingredients to please the senses and bring eating experiences to the next level.
McCormick & Company tastemakers and other team members across five global regions connected with notable chefs, culinary professionals, trend trackers and food technologists to uncover the latest innovations in flavor. The research over the past year included a series of virtual, interactive at-home culinary experiences led by chefs exploring a range of flavors from nutritious to indulgent that offer unique tastes, colors, and textures for both food and drinks.
“The pandemic (SARS-CoV-2) sizably shifted the way we have lived our lives over the past year, yet food continues to be a way to bring people together, even virtually. Despite global travel restrictions, lockdowns, and logging in from vastly different time zones, it was moving to see everyone committed to our mission to study emerging trends and identify the flavors that will undoubtedly spark inspiration for both the home cook and professional chef for years to come,” said Kevan Vetter, executive chef and director of culinary development for Hunt Valley, Maryland, USA-hadquartered McCormick & Company.
This year’s four flavor trends move plants further into the spotlight; invite comforting global flavors to the table in approachable ways; dive deep into undiscovered ingredients and textures of the coast; and reignite the health and wellness focus through the reemergence of mindful eating and intentional ingredients based on ancient philosophy.
Plants Pushing Boundaries represents how the plant-based world is now mainstream and has developed into a culinary trend magnifying vegetables, fruits, and botanicals that deliver indulgence, brilliant color, hearty texture, and delightful sensation through flora-focused eating.
•Key flavors – ube (purple yam), Szechuan buttons (edible flower buds), and trumpet mushrooms
Humble Nosh is inspired by the Yiddish word “nashn,” meaning to nibble on, and combines rising global flavors with the means to “travel locally” via our plates. It connects us with food and drinks that people have found comfort and nourishment in while satisfying cravings from around the world.
•Key flavors – chaat masala (Indian spice blend), pandan kaya (Malaysian jam), and crisped chilies
Underwater, Under Discovered takes flavors from the coasts to kitchens, delving into less explored ingredients and textures from fresh and salt water like seaweeds and algae for culinary innovation. This trend uproots underwater botanicals that infuse snacks, meals, and beverages with an earthy flavor.
•Key flavors – dulse (red sea lettuce flakes), spirulina (blue-green algae), and sea grapes (soft, green algae)
Physiological Eating represents the re-emergence of mindfulness and intention, inspired by ancient practices and beliefs for mind-body balance, a sense of harmony, growth, and self-love. It also focuses on the Ayurvedic practice, which uses six tastes (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, astringent, and pungent) to achieve balance, and warming and cooling techniques to provide comfort to the body.
•Key flavors – coriander, lemon, sea salt, cumin, turmeric, and ginger
Foodservice professionals, product developers and consumers at home alike can draw inspiration from the McCormick Flavor Forecast 21st Edition. To learn more, visit: www.flavorforecast.com.
McCormick & Company, Incorporated is a global leader in flavor. With over $5 billion in annual sales across 160 countries and territories, McCormick & Company manufactures, markets and distributes spices, seasoning mixes, condiments and other flavorful products to the entire food industry including manufacturers, e-commerce channels, grocery and foodservice businesses. Among its most popular brands are McCormick, French’s, Frank’s RedHot, Stubb’s, Old Bay, Lawry’s, Zatarain’s and Gourmet Garden.