Opinion

The need for seed

June 12, 2019

McCormick & Company has been monitoring flavour trends around the world for the past 20 years. Here principal research chef Steve Love shares insights on the next big trend

Those in the travel industry who are passionate about flavour are always on the look out for the next big flavour trend. As a business with a long tradition of supplying sauces, herbs, spices and seasonings, either via wholesalers or food manufacturers, we’ve access to unique insights on usage and have started to take a year-round, live- feed approach to flavour trendspotting.

With $4.8 billion in annual sales we get a good steer as to the way the culinary market is moving. Most recent to make its mark in 2019 is definitely the flavour and use of seeds. This reflects the growing trend towards healthy eating, with three-quarters of food industry leaders expecting healthy eating offerings to grow the fastest over the next three to five years.

Seeds really are a wonder of nature and are going to be capturing the imagination and winning accolades for their flavour punch too. They are versatile and easy to use too either for snacking or inflight dishes.

As airlines look for snacks without nuts, for example, lotus seeds, also called makhana in India, can make a great option. We created a Cajun Puffed Lotus Seed Snack Mix using these seeds which are already a staple in Asian cuisine. They also play into the ever-increasing trend for Asian flavours.

More familiar are everyone’s favourite, sesame seeds, but check out Gomasio, a Japanese black and white sesame seed seasoning blend with a hint of spice, which can be used across sweet and savoury recipes. It livens up cookies and popcorn or can be sprinkled over salad.

And if you are looking to offer a healthier breakfast offer, overnight coconut guava basil seed pudding is the type of thing that plays to the trend. Basil seeds absorb and take on accompanying flavours and provide texture to the dish without adding oils or fats.

Flavour forecasting
McCormick brands include Schwartz, Hammonds sauces, Bick’s relishes, Frank’s RedHot, French’s and Noël’s and we are now working with a global community of experts, chefs, influencers and flavour forecasters to spot new trends. We are working with thought leaders in food, culture and innovation to help showcase new tastes and flavours that reflect specific destinations so do look out for our quarterly Flavour Forecasts at mccormick.com.