Every year McCormick, the pioneer of taste, develops the "Flavor Forecast” for the coming year. Identifying emerging culinary trends and pinpointing the direction flavors will take us, the McCormick Technical Innovation Center is dedicated to finding what’s next in flavor.

As we look back at 2020, let's see which flavors and themes of the forecasted report kept us inspired.


It's all about flavors that pack a punch. Just like 2020 itself, the flavors we saw through this year packed a punch. Our sauced and spiced theme followed the trend taking your senses to an all-time high.

XO Sauce, from Hong Kong, has an amazing umami taste you must try. Traditionally paired with seafood or cured pork, this condiment is the whole package of sweet, salty, spicy, and smoky. “XO” stands for “extra old,” and its chunky relish like texture has been transported into fusion dishes and combined with other cuisines to put a fresh spin on this luxurious flavor.

Bring nuttiness and a bit of heat to your meat with West African Suya Spice, made from ginger, chilies, and roasted peanuts. Try a dusting on your next meat skewer; we promise you won’t regret it.

The name ‘Gunpowder Spice’ may put you on high alert by title alone, but the traditional name for this powerful spice combination is ‘Milegi Podi.’ It features finely ground roasted dal, sesame seeds, chilies, cumin, coriander, and other spices. ‘Podi’ is a generic south Indian term that refers to powder. Gunpowder Spice is a good addition to serve with idli, topped with sesame oil or hot ghee.


Our next theme kept us on track to stay cool and hydrated. The food world continually explores liquids through shaved ice and creamy cool shakes. Still, mixing herbs, spices, and condiments into milkshakes, smoothies and cocktails open up a new dimension to restaurant beverage offerings...


For more on how to keep hydrated.




Healthy and delicious, vegan cuisine is versatile and suits vegans and non-vegans alike, and really enables the taste of individual ingredients to shine… For those inspired by local produce and appreciate the art of handmade corn tortillas and tostadas, this trend pays homage to the traditional Mexican kitchen.

Whether it be antojitos (small bites) or desserts such a tres leches (made with coconut, cashew, and almond milk), Mexican recipes, together with plant-based cuisines, pack a mighty punch when working together. Vibrant, inexpensive, and customizable to your taste, the layers of vegan ingredients can be the star of any Mexican dish.


Paying homage to the traditional baked seed cracker and the all-around greatness of chia, we look to more exotic seeds that make our dishes even more crunchy, crispy, nutty, and buttery.

With seeds growing as a popular plant protein, seeds will be appearing in a range of foods, like Overnight Coconut Guava Basil Seed Pudding, Cajun Puffed Lotus Seed Snack Mix, and Gomasio, a Japanese black and white sesame seed seasoning blend. Seeds are food, fuel, and flavor, and they give texture, taste, and wholesome goodness that makes both sweet and savory dishes pop.

So, go on and add a little sprinkle and crackle to your next dish and invite your guests to explore the taste of the unfamiliar.


Like chia seeds, Basil gives texture and wholesome goodness to both sweet and savory sips and bites. They add a unique pop to juice drinks, shakes, and smoothies. Try them in sweet desserts, salad dressings, yogurt, dips, and pasta dishes.