McCormick's 12 month flavor forecast is a mixture of classic favorites, such as cinnamon and vanilla, and more surprising alternatives like annatto, cardamom and pickling spice.
The company believes that these flavors are gaining in popularity because of the growing move away from traditional US fayre towards more exotic, international cuisine, and the increasing return to slow cooking.
The predicted top 10 winners of 2005 are allspice, annatto, cardamom, cinnamon, curry, ginger, mint, pickling spice, sage and vanilla.
"As Americans' interest in international flavors and bold tastes grows, so does their desire for herbs, spices and seasonings," said Laurie Harrsen, director of public relations at McCormick. "In fact, spice consumption has doubled during the past 20 years, to more than one billion pounds in 2003, and we project that figure will continue to increase."
However, according to the database company Productscan, the number of spice, extract and seasoning food products launched in the US and Canada since 1999 has been fairly static. The figure was at 629 SKUs in 1999, down to 518 SKUs the following year, before climbing steadily to reach 697 SKUs in 2003. Last year's figure dipped slightly at 610 SKUs.