McCormick Releases Flavor Trends Report

May 24, 2021
The trends outlined in this year’s McCormick Flavor Forecast reference everything from Ayurvedic to Yiddish.

The trends outlined in this year’s McCormick Flavor Forecast reference everything from Ayurvedic to Yiddish.

The annual reports from McCormick & Co. seek to predict flavor innovations for the near future. Like many other things, this year’s survey was made more challenging by the pandemic, said Kevan Vetter, McCormick’s executive chef and director of culinary development.

"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,” Vetter said in a statement. “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."

This year’s four trends are:

Plants Pushing Boundaries: Represents how the plant-based world is now mainstream and has developed into a culinary trend that honors vegetables, fruits and botanicals that deliver indulgence, brilliant color, hearty texture, and delightful sensation through flora-focused eating. Key flavors include ube (purple yam), Szechuan buttons (edible flower buds), and trumpet mushrooms.

Humble Nosh: Inspired by the Yiddish word nashn, meaning to nibble on, this connects us with food and drinks that people have found comfort and nourishment in while satisfying cravings from around the world. Key flavors include 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. Key flavors include 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 include coriander, lemon, sea salt, cumin, turmeric, and ginger.

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