What’s the Flavor of the Year for 2024?

McCormick’s annual Flavor Forecast looks at trends for new year
Emily Crowe
Multimedia Editor
McCormick flavor of the year
McCormick's flavor of the year is tamarind.

McCormick & Co. has unveiled the 24th edition of its Flavor Forecast report, and the company’s standout spice for the new year is the acidic, tangy and sweet tamarind. Native to Africa, India and the Middle East, the pod-like fruit has been used in Latin, Caribbean and Mexican cuisines for centuries.

McCormick believes tamarind will fuel a global curiosity for what's next in food, drink and flavor, and has released a new Tamarind & Pasilla Chile Seasoning, which is currently available online. The company is also partnering with Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer restaurant to create several limited-edition, tamarind-infused menu items that will be available in February.

[Read more: "7 Macro Trends Shaping the Grocery Landscape for 2024"]

"This year, we're thrilled for people to experience the taste, versatility and tang of Tamarind," said Hadar Cohen Aviram, executive chef and senior manager, culinary development, U.S. consumer at McCormick. "It is the perfect ingredient to incorporate in savory and sweet dishes which is evident through the creative, flavorful, limited-time dishes we are proudly co-developing with Black Tap."

Other trends for the new year include:

  • Sour Power: From tamarind to coconut vinegar, acidic agents are stepping into the spotlight to open our senses, boost craveability and even help "cook" without heat. Sour is proving it's not "just another ingredient;" it's revolutionizing menus, delivering layer on layer of exciting flavor.
  • Thoughtfully Borrowed: Authenticity encompasses background, heritage and experiences, and with it comes a reinvention of regional-traditional cooking. Starting with a dash of something that's "you," these conscious cultural combinations pay homage and respect to both roots and backgrounds – creating a celebration of flavor, experience and cuisine.
  • Indulgence Redefined: From a crisp, light ceviche to an over-the-top breakfast poutine, indulgence is about how we treat ourselves through flavor, texture and ingredients that make us happy. Two ways this trend comes to life are through newstalgic and food maximalism. Newstaglic: What's old is new again, with restaurants reintroducing childhood favorites with a gourmet twist. Food maximalism: By layering flavors and textures in creative, fun and thoughtful ways, you can experience flavor to the max.

"For nearly 25 years, McCormick has forecasted global flavor trends through our Flavor Forecast report,” said Tabata Gomez, chief marketing officer at McCormick. “After all this time, there is still no shortage of trends to uncover which allow us to continue to shake up the way people cook, flavor and eat."

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