HUNT VALLEY, MD. — McCormick & Co. has named tamarind as its flavor of the year for 2024, according to the company’s recently released Flavor Forecast trends report. The annual report is created by a team of chefs, culinary professionals trend trackers and food technologists to predict the most significant flavor trends of the upcoming year.

Offering both sweet and tangy flavor notes, tamarind traditionally has been used in Latin American, Caribbean and Mexican cuisines. The flavor of the year is now featured in McCormick’s Tamarind & Pasille Chile seasoning, and its appeal as a global flavor has led to an increase in snacks using tamarind.

“This year, we’re thrilled for people to experience the taste, versatility and tang of tamarind,” said Hadar Cohen Aviram, executive chef and senior manager of culinary development for the US Consumer division at McCormick. “It is the perfect ingredient to incorporate in savory and sweet dishes.”

Sour flavors are one of the trends named in the report, with the acidic notes helping to enhance sensory experiences and “boost craveability.” The report’s second trend is “Thoughtfully Borrowed,” which entails consciously using cultural flavors to create cuisine combinations that pay homage to their origins. The interest in authentic flavors also was identified by ADM in its 2024 predictions, and Technomic further noted the demand for provenance in its annual trend report.

McCormick’s final trend sees consumers redefining indulgence through “food maximalism,” creating maximized experiences through layers of flavors and textures, and nostalgic flavor blends with newfound twists. Market researcher Datassential similarly predicted nostalgic flavors will be a key factor in product development next year.

“As millennials, Gen X and boomers longingly look back to a rose-colored past amid continued worries, while Gen Z experiences some of these trends for the first time, brands should dive into the archives for ideas,” Datassential said. “If you have a concept that resonates with nostalgic consumers, challenge yourself to find a way to bring it back in 2024.”

McCormick’s 2023 flavor of the year was Vietnamese x Cajun Style Seasoning, alongside predictions like an uptick in butter and oils to create creaminess, wider adoption of ingredients and techniques from French dishes and expanding spicy profiles beyond simple single-note heat.