As 2014 comes to a close, retailers look ahead to the latest in food and beverage trends in an effort to best accommodate consumers' ever-changing tastes and preferences in the coming year.
To that end, McCormick & Co.'s team of chefs and flavor experts have identified the eight trends forecasted to take top billing on consumers' shopping lists in 2015 and beyond.
Among the trends set to shape the future of flavor are bolder, more intense flavor experiences, according to the McCormick Flavor Forecast 2015, as well as adventurous global tastes. Pantry staples also are poised to take on a more central role in the kitchen, such as the use of smoking spices and herbs, and pairing sours with coarse salt.
Rounding out the top eight flavors on McCormick's Flavor Forecast 2015 are:
Global Blends On the Move – Japanese 7 Spice (Shichimi Togarashi) offers a new kind of spicy heat, while Shawarma Spice Blend lends warm, spiced flavor to grilled meats and more.
Middle Eastern Mezze – These distinctive dips and spreads, packed with zesty herbs and seasonings, offer an approachable and delicious introduction to a vibrant global cuisine.
Sour + Salt – Combining coarse salt with surprising sours like pickled ginger, sour cherry, dried mango and lemon zest results in a lively finishing flavor that lends brightness and texture to dishes.
Smoked Spices – Smoking spices and herbs deepens their flavor and aroma, adding richness to meals and drinks.
Umami Veggies – For a fresh way to savor the tempting “fifth taste,” look no further than naturally umami-rich veggies like mushrooms, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and nori.
Liquid Revolution – Fresh purees and juices blend with bold spices and herbs to intensify sauces, pasta, dressings and more - providing a fun, delicious way to enjoy an extra serving of fruits and veggies.
Flavor Worth the Wait – Lift the lid to discover the rich flavors from recipes around the world that meld aromatic spices and comforting ingredients into mouthwatering slow-cooked meals.
Cookies Reimagined – Classic spiced cookie flavors take new form in decadent, imaginative desserts that redefine “milk and cookies.”
“Many early trending flavors in past reports have become favorites of today," said McCormick Executive Chef Kevan Vetter. "Take chipotle chile, for instance. When we first identified this chile pepper as a flavor to watch in 2003, many people couldn’t pronounce it. Today, it’s a household name."
Vetter also noted that pumpkin pie spice, sea salt, coconut water and cocktail-inspired flavors have seen similar success, taking over restaurant menus and grocery store shelves.
Since 2000, the annual McCormick Flavor Forecast has identified top trends, insights and ingredients driving the future of flavor. Created by a global team of McCormick experts — including chefs, culinary professionals, trend trackers and food technologists — the Flavor Forecast inspires culinary exploration and innovation around the world.