Spice company McCormick has published its annual "flavor forecast" — its list of what people will want to eat in 2015. McCormick's predictions are self-fulfilling prophesies, because after they identify the trends, they then sell their spice blends to the restaurant chains and food suppliers, who make the prepared foods we eat, across the nation. McCormick is largely responsible for the rise of pumpkin spice-flavored everything, so it is best to pay attention when they issue their forecast!
The top flavors of 2015 will be:
Japanese seven-spice blend (shichimi togarashi) and shawarma (used in Middle Eastern grilling).
Middle Eastern mezze (marinated olives, labneh yogurt dip, garlic hummus)
Puréed things (including a ginger-carrot martini)
Fancy salt blends with sour ingredients (pickled ginger salt, mango curry lime salt)
Cookie flavors in desserts that are not cookies (gingersnap crème brûlée)
Slow-cooked or braised meats
"Umami flavors" — sweet potatoes, tomatoes, mushrooms
The Sterling-Rice Group, a food industry branding agency, predicts: "Next year, consumers' food preferences will be driven by a continued interest in global cuisines, balanced nutrition, community connections, and a desire for adventurous eating experiences." Those will include a growing interest in matcha, coconut sugar, gourmet cannabis concoctions, unhopped beers, and "ugly" produce, among others.