On Tuesday, December 6, McCormick announced the 23rd Edition of its Flavor Forecast, an annual report on the latest culinary trends shaping the way consumers prepare and enjoy food worldwide. Along with the trends report, the McCormick global culinary team also announced its inaugural Flavor of the Year: Vietnamese x Cajun Style Seasoning.

This year, nearly four dozen global chefs, culinary professionals, trend trackers, food technologists and team members from around the world tapped into their own expertise and passion for flavor to uncover the predictions and trends identified in McCormick’s Flavor Forecast 23rd Edition, including:

  • Full Flavored Fats – Consumers and chefs alike are now using fat, from butters to oils, to impart mouthwatering flavor and creaminess into everyday dishes and drinks, which offer a simple, comforting richness to the kitchen and a more balanced approach to eating.
  • Everyday French – French cuisine has never been more approachable while using the best ingredients and culinary techniques to build a harmony of flavors and lay the foundations for food and beverage to come.
  • Beyond Heat – There has been an exciting evolution to the multi-sensorial, layered taste experience that pushes beyond the singularly spicy realm where heat and ingredient pairings come together to shape how heat is perceived and how long it lingers and finishes.

McCormick’s Flavor of the Year, Vietnamese x Cajun Style Seasoning, is a bright, complex reflection of the innovations in food and flavor taking place on a global level. With influences in French cuisine and a prominence of heat throughout both, the seasoning is a culture crush of key ingredients – cayenne and paprika in classic Cajun tradition and lemongrass, garlic, and black peppercorn, customary in Vietnamese recipes – that complements each Flavor Forecast trend identified for 2023.

“This year, McCormick is rolling out its most intriguing Flavor Forecast report yet, unveiling key trends that will shape the way that consumers prepare and enjoy foods for the next year,” says Kevan Vetter, executive chef, senior director of culinary for McCormick. “With the inaugural Flavor of the Year, Vietnamese x Cajun Style Seasoning, McCormick is demonstrating the culinary masterpiece that emerges when cuisines are combined. Through our activation in the Metaverse and tasting event, in partnership with Smashburger, we’re excited to bring these flavorful concoctions to consumers.”

Through a limited-time partnership with national restaurant chain Smashburger, McCormick will bring the Flavor of the Year to local New York consumers. On Wednesday, December 7 from 5-8pm EST, guests will be able to sample an assortment of milkshakes, wings and tater tots made with McCormick Vietnamese x Cajun Style Seasoning at Smashburger’s Chelsea location in New York City, while supplies last. They will also be able to learn how McCormick Vietnamese x Cajun Style Seasoning complements a wide variety of dishes, ranging from everyday favorites to gourmet cuisine.

Additionally, McCormick will be venturing into Decentraland, a blockchain-powered area of the Metaverse, to launch "House of Flavor by McCormick" on Tuesday, December 13. This immersive live virtual destination will allow fans to experience flavor in a world without taste allowing users to explore McCormick's flavor of the year, discover Vietnamese Cajun dishes, earn one of three unique wearables and interact with content featuring some of the chefs who inspired this year's Flavor of the Year.

To see some of the recipes that exemplify McCormick's Flavor Forecast trends, take a look at our latest slideshow.