On Dec. 6, McCormick & Co. unveiled its Flavor Forecast® 2013. The annual report is now in its 13th year.
McCormick has identified five trends that it believes will drive new product development and innovative menu additions over the coming years, and 10 accompanying flavor combinations to illustrate them.
One leading trend featured in this year’s Flavor Forecast is “Global My Way,” which describes how people are discovering formerly “ethnic” ingredients beyond their traditional uses and incorporating those flavors into everyday eating.
“Don’t be surprised if in the next few years Japanese Katsu, a tangy cross between barbecue and steak sauce, and cajeta, a Mexican caramel, gain the broad appeal that once-regional tastes like Asian hot chili sauce have achieved,” says Keven Vetter, McCormick executive chef. “Around the world, we’re seeing a fascinating collision of tradition and innovation. Authentic, real ingredients are still at the core, though now they’re being enjoyed in unique, updated ways that reflect a much more personalized approach to cooking and eating.”
Here are the five leading global food trends along with 10 flavor combinations featured in the McCormick Flavor Forecast 2013:
Global My Way
This trend is about discovering unlimited flavor possibilities of global ingredients beyond traditional roles in “ethnic” cuisines. Expect pairings like Japanese Katsu Sauce & Oregano, as the tangy flavors of barbecue and steak sauce create the next go-to condiment; and Anise & Cajeta (Mexican caramel sauce), which results in a sweet, rich delight.
No Apologies Necessary
The gratification of a momentary escape is another trend that will have consumers enjoying sumptuous flavors. Combinations include Decadent Bitter Chocolate, Sweet Basil & Passion Fruit, which McCormick describes as intensely indulgent; and Black Rum, Charred Orange & Allspice, which balances richness and warmth for an instant tropical taste.
This trend allows consumers a hands-on approach. Combinations include rustic and comforting Cider, Sage & Molasses, which can be used in every meal; and Smoked Tomato, Rosemary, Chile Peppers & Sweet Onion, which offers a smoky, sweet and spicy mix for handcrafted ketchup, sauces, jams and more.
Creating health and wellness through a highly personalized, flexible approach is the fifth trend identified by McCormick. Combinations include the healthy ancient Farro Grain with Blackberry & Clove; and Market-Fresh Broccoli & Dukkah (a blend of cumin, coriander, sesame and nuts), which creates satisfying and unexpected flavors and textures.
Another trend is a waste-not mentality. Hearty Meat Cuts, Plantain & Stick Cinnamon is a new take on meat and potatoes; and Artichoke, Paprika & Hazelnut will have consumers taking a fresh look at ingredients they thought they knew.
Past McCormick Flavor Forecast reports have helped move once unfamiliar ingredients and trends into mainstream popularity. When chipotle was featured in the Flavor Forecast 2003, it was virtually unknown in the broad consumer marketplace.
The trend of infusing foods with cocktail-inspired flavors appeared in the 2008 Flavor Forecast. About 3,000 new grocery products have been launched since then featuring a variety of flavors like whiskey, ale, bourbon, brandy and more.
A team of McCormick chefs, sensory scientists, dietitians, trend trackers, marketing experts and food technologists from around the world create the forecast. In its second year as a global report, the Flavor Forecast showcases trends and flavors taking root in cultures spanning Asia, Australia, Europe, Africa, Latin America and North America.
For more information, visit www.FlavorForecast.com.