Catersource is part of the Informa Connect Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

A Flavor-Forward Forecast for 2021

Beck Flavors has announced four flavors that they believe will play a big role in the food and beverage industry in 2021, and they are: 

  • Yuzu: a tart flavor that tastes like the combination of a grapefruit and a mandarin orange. 
  • Cherry Blossom: with a light sweetness that represents springtime and renewal, this flavor can be used in anything from tea to desserts. Restaurateur Leslie Newsam also recommends pairing it with gin in an aromatic cocktail.
  • Dill Pickle: Can be used in a wide range of applications including cocktails, beer, chocolate, coffee, candy, ice cream, chips, and popcorn.
  • Honeycomb Toffee: both of these flavors—honeycomb and toffee—are popular by themselves, but the combination is where the innovation happens. 

Conversely, McCormick has released its 2021 flavor forecast, and the 2021 flavor trends fall into three categories: Sweet & Seasonal Satisfaction, Spicy (R)Evolution, and Global Finds. 

Within the Sweet & Seasonal Satisfaction category, the featured trends include:   

  • Smoked Spices and Herbs: A build on familiar smoky flavors, like smoked cinnamon and cardamom, dials up richness in meals and drinks. 
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice and Coconut Milk: An unexpected duo, this warm pairing of pantry staples reconnects the components of a familiar spice mixture with tropical roots.
  • Meyer Lemon with Lemon Thyme, Limoncello and Lemon Peel: The notes of acidity, bitterness, sweetness, and herbal showcases lemon’s multi-dimensional flavor profile.
  • Ancho Chile Pepper and Hibiscus –Vitality in Bloom: Tart, floral notes of exotic hibiscus, alongside the lingering heat of ancho chile pepper, create a lively Latin combo

Within the Spicy (R)Evolution, the hot flavors for 2021 are: 

  • Chilies Obsession: Aji Amarillo, Guajillo, Tien Tsin, and Chile de Arbol are chilies to watch as they bring a unique level of heat, distinctive flavor, and usage to the table. 
  • Heat Plus Tang: Tangy contrasts balance heat in sauces and seasonings, like Chamoy Sauce from Mexico and Sambal Sauce from Southeast Asia.
  • Sweet on Pepper: Hiding in plain sight for years, pepper’s bite is tempered by naturally sweet ingredients like syrups and exotic fruits.

And finally, the Global Finds category is forecasting: 

  • Brazilian Tempero Baiano seasoning: A blend of oregano, parsley, peppers, and cumin creates a rich blend great for stews, seafood and vegetable dishes.
  • Mexican Recados: Originating with the Mayans, this sour orange and annatto-flavored Yucatan spice paste issued in marinades for hearty cuts of meat, like cochinita pibil (pulled pork). 
  • Dukkah: A mix of toasted nuts and seeds from North Africa that can be salty, sweet or spicy and goes great with olive oil-dipped pita bread, vegetables, meat, and more.
  • Modern Mediterranean: Eastern Mediterranean ingredients meet Western European classics, with ingredients like barberries and Baharat seasoning.
  • Japanese Izakaya Eats: Izakayas, Japanese gastropubs, serve up casual tasting plates, similar to Spanish tapas, that feature bold glazes, tangy sauces and seaweed seasonings.
  • Filipino Pinoy BBQ: These tender, juicy meat skewers are flavored with soy sauce, lemon, garlic, sugar, pepper and banana ketchup to create a sweet, savory and spicy dish. 
  • Indian Kashmiri: Similar to Garam Masala, this is a fragrant blend from the Kashmir region for seasoning lamb dishes, like classic Rogan Josh, chicken curries and vegetables.

If these predictions are any indication, you can expect to see these flavors on store shelves and menus more and more in the coming year. 


Amber Kispert

Content Producer

Amber is the Content Producer for Catersource. Amber previously worked as a Communications Specialist for LeClair Group and a reporter for the Woodbury Bulletin, both located in Woodbury, Minn.  As a self-described "foodie," Amber loves to experience the world of food and beverages, and is excited to help share the stories of Catersource and the world's caterers.