HUNT VALLEY, Md. — Emerging flavor trends for 2016 include under-explored Southeast Asian fare and an insatiable appetite for spicy and "pulses," according to McCormick & Co.'s annual Flavor Forecast.
"As a company dedicated to flavor, we look forward every year to unveiling these emerging trends," stated McCormick's Megan Ford, vice president of branded foodservice. "Chefs and consumers continue to challenge their palates and seek out more adventurous eating experiences than ever. Innovation is crucial for menu differentiation, and our Flavor Forecast helps foodservice professionals stay steps ahead of the current trends in the industry."
A global team of McCormick chefs, food technologists and flavor experts identified these six trends for 2016 and beyond:
1. Heat + Tang — Spicy finds a welcome contrast with tangy accents to elevate the eating experience.
2. Tropical Asian — Adventurous palates seeking bold new tastes will be drawn to the vibrant cuisine and distinctive flavors of Malaysia and the Philippines.
3. Blends With Benefits — Flavorful herbs and spices add everyday versatility to good-for-you ingredients.
4. Alternative "Pulse" Proteins — "Pulses" are packed with protein and nutrients, and elevated when paired with delicious ingredients.
5. Ancestral Flavors — Modern dishes reconnect with native ingredients to celebrate food that tastes real, pure and satisfying.
6. Culinary-Infused Sips — Three classic culinary techniques provide new tastes and inspiration in the creation of the latest libations.
"Our 16th-annual Flavor Forecast introduces the next iteration of flavor trends that are just beginning to emerge," added McCormick For Chefs' Executive Chef Gary Patterson. "Our goal is to inspire powerful menu creations that make a noticeable impact on the foodservice industry for years to come."
Since 2000, the annual McCormick Flavor Forecast has identified top trends and ingredients driving the future of flavor. The full 2016 Flavor Forecast is available here.