The Flavor Forecast includes the "Plus Sweet" theme, which focuses on unexpected flavor combinations and a move away from overly sweet tastes.
Now in its 22nd year, McCormick has released its annual Flavor Forecast with a focus on three themes: Food Stories, Plus Sweet and Time as a Luxury Ingredient. The report outlines trends that influence the way consumers flavor, cook and eat food, and is put together based on research across five global regions.
According to McCormick, these are this year’s specific themes:
Food Stories recognizes both a flavor and the story behind it. From professional chefs and restaurant operators to the grandmothers passing down recipes to keep generational techniques alive, this year's food story celebrates the power of women in food and flavor in a contemporary way.
Plus Sweet looks at how sweetness finds new dimensions through subtle and unexpected flavor combinations. Consumers are moving away from overly sweet tastes and incorporating a symphony of other flavors to achieve surprisingly balanced results.
Time as a Luxury Ingredient highlights time as an irreplicable and precious ingredient, after periods of isolation and reflection have put the value of time into perspective. Many are rethinking the ways they use time in food, whether investing it to build flavor or finding smart shortcuts to spend quality time outside the kitchen.
McCormick is adding an immersive consumer experience to its report this year with the unveiling of the Flavor Suite at the Omni Berkshire Place hotel near New York City’s Central Park. The event, to be held May 20-22, will showcase this year’s themes and accompanying flavors through food experiences and vivid decor.
Among the amenities are a bedside phone that links users to on-demand ice cream sundaes, a mini bar with mindful cocktails and mocktails, and an edible wall featuring global flavors pinned to a world map.
"For over two decades, the world has looked forward to McCormick's Flavor Forecast for the big emerging trends in the culinary world, and we're excited to take it to new heights," said McCormick's Chief Marketing Officer Jill Pratt. "The trends identified this year highlight the people, flavors, and ingredients both near and far that are so often overlooked. Through the Flavor Suite, we hope to create not just a fun-filled experience, but also whet an appetite for the world of flavors out there."
Also for the first time this year, the company has developed new products based on Flavor Forecast themes. Limited-edition seasoning blends include Vanilla, Lime & Thyme and Miso Caramel and will be available through McCormick’s online shop.