The firm, which produces regional flavor forecasts each year to inspire food manufacturers and restaurant chains, has produced its first global flavor forecast.
Developed by an international group of chefs, sensory scientists, trend trackers and food technologists, the Flavor Forecast 2012, available here, highlights six culinary trends brought to life through 12 regional flavor combinations.
Kevan Vetter, corporate executive chef and manager of culinary development at the McCormick Technical Innovation Center, told FoodNavigator-USA that some of the trends might not hit shelves for three to five years, while others might inspire dishes next month.
The McCormick forecast was designed to inspire chefs working in all areas of the food industry, he said.
"Usually the paradigm is that flavor trends start in fine dining and then trickle down into more mainstream foodservice and consumer packaged goods, but I think that is changing. Food manufacturers and foodservice companies are being much more innovative and creative with flavor and ingredients now.
"Look at when McDonald's added edamame beans to its Asian salad. That can really have an impact on trends at a global level."
As for packaged food companies, flavor innovation was coming from all categories, from snacks to frozen entrees, he claimed. "Look at how rosemary and black pepper has caught on - the success of that combination has been phenomenal."
The six culinary trends in the 2012 global flavor forecast are:
Honoring Roots: Taking heritage flavors and applying a fresh perspective.
- Cumin and sofrito.
- Korean pepper paste with sesame, Asian pear and garlic.
Quest for the Ultimate: For those on a quest to achieve the ultimate taste experience.
- Meyer lemon with lemon thyme, limoncello and lemon peel.
- Dill with mint, melon and cucumber.
Veggies in Vogue: To tap into the growth of fresh markets.
- Eggplant with honey and harissa.
- Squash with red curry and pancetta.
Simplicity Shines: Highlighting quality ingredients with unpretentious preparations.
- Ginger with Coconut.
- Vanilla with Butter.
Flavorful Swaps: Balancing an appetite for bold flavor with a hunger for good health
- Red tea with cinnamon and plum.
- Grapefruit with red pepper.
No Boundaries: For culinary trailblazers …
- Blueberry with cardamom and corn masa.
- Sweet soy with tamarind and black pepper.
McCormick chief executive Alan Wilson said: “As an extension of our leadership in the flavor market, we are uniquely poised not only to forecast emerging flavors and trends, but to really impact the future of flavor with this report.”
McCormick & Company supplies spices, seasoning mixes, condiments and other products to retailers, food manufacturers and foodservice companies.