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McCormick Predicts Hot Spice Trends for 2012

January 18, 2012
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Chefs will embrace traditional cuisines while consumers will continue questing for innovative textures and innovative flavor combinations in the foods they buy, says major private label and branded spice manufacturer McCormick in its recent 2012 spice trends forecast.


McCormick’s predictions can help retailers decide which private label spices to stock this year.


In the Landmark Global Flavor Forecast, the Sparks, Md.-based company finds that chefs around the world plan to embrace traditional cuisines and techniques, experimenting with new flavor profiles, incorporating vegetables and keeping preparations simple this year.


Heirloom flavors are emerging alongside heirloom grains like freekeh and farro. McCormick chose to highlight offerings such as Sofrito, the aromatic base for many Latin dishes, as one of the venerable dishes this season. Korean pepper paste also took center stage in the report.


These heirloom flavors bases transition well into the next trend, the quest for the ultimate. In the report, McCormick finds that foodies and average consumers alike will seek out innovative texture and flavor combinations like dill with mint, melon and cucumber.


Vegetables also will play a leading role this year in consumer desires, the company says. “Veggies have long been saddled with second-class citizen status, suffering from overcooking, oversaucing and lack of inspiration,” says the report. “Those days are finally over, thanks to the enthusiasm of chefs, the quality of seasonal produce and the unstoppable growth of fresh markets.”


New vegetable combinations include eggplant with honey and harissa, a hot chili sauce originating from Tunisia.


Despite the sudden interest in new “old” foods and new flavor profiles, chefs have moved away from offering consumers complex dishes and are now offering simpler preparations like ginger with coconut, according to the report.


A PDF of the report is available at

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