The Bold Flavor Trends McCormick Is Predicting For 2023

As the new year approaches, everyone likes to take a minute and look back on the year that has just passed. While we all enjoy a good year in review, this is also a great time to start looking forward to the start of something new in the coming year and try to predict what might be coming up. McCormick has embraced this tradition for over 20 years. Starting in the year 2000, the spice company began its "Flavor Forecast" where it attempts to predict which flavor trends and up-and-coming combinations will become the most popular in the new year.

The 2023 predictions are now in and a classic flavor is making a popularity comeback, high-end French flavors are becoming more common, and a new spin on spice is expected to take off in home cooking. This year McCormick also announced its first-ever "Flavor of the Year," a new spice combination it believes will serve those looking to incorporate elements of all three of its forecasted trends. The first official Flavor of the Year is a fusion seasoning: Vietnamese x Cajun Style Seasoning, which McCormick is releasing on its website. 

According to a press release by the spice company, the seasoning blend is "a culture crush of key ingredients – cayenne and paprika in classic Cajun tradition and lemongrass, garlic, and black peppercorn, customary in Vietnamese recipes." The blend is designed to showcase the elements of heat from both traditions, as well as the influence of French flavors on both cultures.

Everyday French

The first Flavor trend McCormick predicts will be all the rage in 2023 is "Everyday French." As explained in its press release, McCormick worked with a team of four dozen "chefs, culinary professionals, trend trackers, and food technologists" to predict what flavors would be trending this year. Everyday French anticipates elements of high-end French cuisine making their way to home kitchens and everyday menus in a more approachable way, including adaptations like plant-based French classics and French-Asian fusion dishes.

The Institute of Culinary Education notes that some of the flavors you may see in "everyday French" would rely on the use of fresh herbs including tarragon, chive, parsley, and blends like Herbes de Provence (a combination of marjoram, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and lavender).

Full flavor fats

The next flavor McCormick expects to make a splash in the new year is "Full Flavored Fats." As Earth Sky explains, fats are a big part of what makes our food taste so good because they create creamy, melt-in-your-mouth textures and produce the delicious cooking aromas that tell us it's time to eat. McCormick notes vegetable and animal fats — including butter and oils — are "no longer misunderstood" and are making their way back into professional kitchens with a vengeance, along with their rich flavors.

While many people may still recoil at the idea of "high fat food," Harvard Medical School explains that the push to banish all fats from healthy diets was largely misguided. Truly unhealthy trans fats have now been banned in the U.S. and while dieticians still advise limiting the consumption of saturated fats — like those found in butter and red meat — newer studies suggest consuming these fats is not as unhealthy as once assumed and is fine in moderation. 

Finally, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats – the kind found in fish, nuts, and vegetables — are not just permissible, they are needed in a healthy diet to promote normal body function. So go ahead, add a little butter to your vegetables, and don't skimp on the olive oil, fats are back in style this year and our dinners will taste so much better for it.

Beyond Heat

Finally, the last predicted flavor trend from McCormick is "Beyond Heat," which truly ties to the Flavor of the Year idea of Vietnamese-Cajun fusion. McCormick anticipates a new wave of not only embracing a variety of spices, but creating a "new, multi-sensorial, layered taste experience that pushes beyond the singularly spicy realm where heat and ingredient pairings come together to shape how heat is perceived and how long it lingers and finishes," per a press release. With this idea, the spice company expects flavor combinations like Yuzu Kosho, Salsa Macha, and Chongquing Mala seasoning to take off.

McCormick's team is not the only group of experts predicting big things for spice in the coming year, The Food Institute recently released its predictions for the "Top 3 Flavor Trends to Watch in 2023" with its number one choice being "Complex Heat" while Tastewise said it anticipates "fusion flavors" to take off in the coming year.