The McCormick Flavor Forecast has been uncovering the trends that transform the way we cook, flavor, and eat for over two decades. The Flavor Forecast 21st Edition continues to connect consumers and food professionals with the latest global flavors and ingredients to delight the senses and bring eating experiences to the next level.
McCormick team members across five global regions connected with notable culinary experts 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 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 McCormick.
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 the fresh, undiscovered ingredients and textures of the coast; and reignite our health and wellness focus through the reemergence of mindful eating and intentional ingredients based on ancient philosophy.
Flavor trends include:
Plants Pushing Boundaries represents how the plant-based world is now mainstream and has developed into a culinary trend that uniquely honors 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 for a new take on fresh.
- 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
To add an extra dash of fun, McCormick has partnered with Sanctuary, the popular astrology and mystical services app, to guide consumers to their flavor destiny. Inspired by the McCormick Flavor Forecast 21st Edition’s trends, Sanctuary has leveraged its astrological know-how to curate 2021 “Flavor Horoscopes” and other engaging content, including hand-picked recipes for every sign.
In addition, McCormick is partnering with HelloFresh to offer a special meal kit to experience the Plants Pushing Boundaries trend. The kit features a recipe for Mozzarella and Mushroom Hoagies that transforms the classic overstuffed Philly sandwich favorite into an indulgent plant-based alternative. The sandwiches are available to order from HelloFresh on the May 15-21 menu.
Consumers, foodservice professionals, and product developers alike can draw inspiration from the McCormick Flavor Forecast 21st Edition. To learn more, including more details about each trend, the limited-edition HelloFresh meal kit and curated “Flavor Horoscope” content by Sanctuary, visit: www.flavorforecast.com.