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Millennials Are Fast-Tracking the Future of Flavor

In 2014, we celebrated our 125th anniversary. While our long heritage is the backbone of our business, in the past few years, we’re seeing an evolution in the way we do business. As Millennials have influenced industries from technology to travel, so too have they influenced the world of cooking and cuisine.

We’re seeing a growing interest in home cooking—giving us the opportunity to collaborate with a dynamic, new audience of cooks, bakers and food aficionados interested in trying new foods and healthier diets.

It’s an exciting time to be a leader in the flavor industry.

Each year, McCormick’s Flavor Forecast uncovers emerging taste trends. Our chefs work with restaurant chefs to identify consumers’ changing palates around the world, with proven success. We predicted the rise of chipotle in 2003. We called pumpkin pie spice as a trend about five years ago, and now it’s everywhere.

This year’s Flavor Forecast research proves Millennials’ influence: Palates are more diverse and adventurous than they’ve ever been, driving a shift toward bigger and bolder flavors. More than half of our consumers prefer spicy flavors now, up almost ten percent from only two years earlier. Ethnic cuisine now accounts for almost half of all U.S. flavoring occasions.

Claire - McCormick

We’re seeing growing influences from regions around the globe, like Mexican-inspired flavors and chilies, Indian spices and cilantro, and bold, smoky flavors like hot smoked paprika. We’re confident the market will continue to move in that direction. It’s why we’re excited to introduce a dry sriracha seasoning that’s great in a rub.

Along with more diverse flavors and a willingness to think outside the traditional, our newest consumers put a premium on authenticity. It’s important for this generation to know the story behind the food. Their needs are a good fit for the way our business is changing naturally, as we strive to be more global, more participative, more transparent, and more engaged with our communities. 

And they’re propelling McCormick from within, too: Our employees in their 20s and 30s are innovative, collaborative, and tech-savvy. They connect us to consumers online, where we collaborate with food and lifestyle bloggers, bringing new flavor ideas to the table.

Most importantly, they represent the company’s future. As McCormick continues to evolve its culture—and its business—the Millennial generation will play an ever-important role in leading us forward to stay ahead of flavor trends.