McCormick predicts emerging trends, flavors for 2016

December 2, 2015

McCormick & Company has unveiled its annual McCormick Flavor Forecast, revealing the trends that will shape culinary innovation—in home kitchens, at restaurants, and on retail shelves—in the years to come. Among the emerging trends is a spotlight on underexplored Southeast Asian fare—Malaysian and Filipino—and the evolution of the appetite for spicy. Also featured are pulses, which serve as a protein-packed canvas for flavors—fitting as the United Nations celebrates 2016 as the International Year of the Pulse.

“Since its inception in 2000, Flavor Forecast has been tracking the growing interest in heat and identifying upcoming spicy flavors including chipotle, peri-peri, and harissa,” said Kevan Vetter, McCormick executive chef. “Our latest report shows the next wave of this trend is complemented by tang. Look for Southeast Asian sambal sauce powered by chilies, rice vinegar, and garlic to take kitchens by storm.”

Identified by a global team of McCormick chefs, food technologists, and flavor experts, these trends offer a taste of 2016 and beyond:

  • Heat + Tang: Spicy finds a welcome contrast with tangy accents to elevate the eating experience. Peruvian chilies like rocoto, ají Amarillo, and ají panca paired with lime. Sambal sauce made with chilies, rice vinegar, and garlic.
  • Tropical Asian: The vibrant cuisine and distinctive flavors of Malaysia and the Philippines draw attention from adventurous palates seeking bold new tastes. Pinoy BBQ, a popular Filipino street food, is flavored with soy sauce, lemon, garlic, sugar, pepper, and banana ketchup. Rendang Curry, a Malaysian spice paste, delivers mild heat made from chilies, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, tamarind, coriander, and turmeric.
  • Blends with Benefits: Flavorful herbs and spices add everyday versatility to good-for-you ingredients. Matcha’s slightly bitter notes are balanced by ginger and citrus. Chia seed becomes zesty when paired with citrus, chili, and garlic.
  • Alternative “Pulse” Proteins: Packed with protein and nutrients, pulses are elevated when paired with delicious ingredients. Pigeon peas, called toor dal when split, are traditionally paired with cumin and coconut. Cranberry beans, also called borlotti, are perfectly enhanced with sage and Albariño wine.
  • Ancestral Flavors: Modern dishes reconnect with native ingredients to celebrate food that tastes pure and satisfying. Ancient herbs like thyme, peppermint, parsley, lavender, and rosemary are rediscovered. Amaranth, an ancient grain of the Aztecs, brings a nutty, earthy flavor.
  • Culinary-Infused Sips: Three classic culinary techniques provide new tastes and inspiration in the creation of the latest libations—pickled, roasted, and brûléed ingredients.

Press release