Predicting the Next Big Thing: The Top Trends and Flavor Forecasts for 2013

For the last thirteen years spice giant McCormick has predicted flavor trends for the coming year. In sum, a team of chefs, food scientists, and marketing experts pick five trends they think are poised to reshape the food landscape, and then pair them with 10 accompanying flavor combinations to predict how they'll "play out on the plate." Here's a look at their 2013 global forecast:The five trends and accompanying flavors for 2013 are:

1. No Apologies Necessary: "Diving headfirst into sumptuous flavors, we are staking our claim to the pleasures we crave and the satisfaction we deserve until, finally, all seems right with the world." Flavor combos: Bitter chocolate, sweet basil, and passion fruit; Black rum, orange, and allspice.

2. Personally Handcrafted: "In a mouthwatering expression of identity and pride, home cooks and chefs are expanding a hands-on approach to food by personally crafting and perfecting signature ingredients and recipes." Flavor combos: Cider, sage, and molasses; Smoked tomato, rosemary, chile peppers, and sweet onion.

3. Empowered Eating: "Picking and choosing from diverse eating plans, they achieve "Food Zen" through a highly personalized, flexible approach that can change from day to day or even from meal to meal." Flavor combos: Farro, blackberry, and clove; Broccoli and dukkah.

4. Hidden Potential: "Creative cooking methods, a passion for discovery and a "waste-not" mentality drive this effort to coax full flavors out of every last part of the ingredient." Flavor combos: Artichoke, paprika, and hazelnut; Meat cuts, plantain, and stick cinnamon.

5. Global My Way: "Food fans are exploring a new way of cooking and eating inspired not by traditional global cuisines, but by individual ingredients valued for their unique flavors." Flavor combos: Anise and cajeta; Japanese Katsu and oregano.

What do you think about these trend predictions and the suggested flavors? Is it a little too much "marketing speak" for you? Or do you find it an in interesting peek into the food industry's process?

→ Read more: McCormick Flavor Forecast 2013 or download the report here [PDF].

Related: The Inescapable (and Mostly Pretty Awful) Pumpkin Spice Trend

(Image: McCormick)

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