The Flavors You’ll Start Seeing Everywhere in 2021, According to Experts

Katlyn Moncada
·4 min read

In the past few years, we've seen flavors and spices (turmeric, everything bagel seasoning, and matcha, to name a few) take a permanent residence on our pantry shelves. In a year that turned out to be full of unknowns, I found myself most comforted by my favorite foods and many baking therapy sessions while stuck at home. But like many around the world, I miss satisfying my appetite for new and exciting flavors. As we look to the fast-approaching new year, I chatted with a couple of experts in the flavor industry on what they anticipate will become our next go-to flavors. Lucky for us, it looks like we'll have one flavorful year. "We're going to see a lot of launches with a lot more exotic flavors that indicate a feel of global travel," says Marie Wright, chief global flavorist for Archer Daniels Midland (ADM). "I think we're all wanting to dream about going somewhere." Here's a look at some of the trendy flavors you might find in everything from drinks to potato chips at our grocery stores as well as menus when we're able to dine out safely again.

Kritsada Panichgul

Aji Amarillo

Popular in Peruvian cuisine, aji amarillo ($9, The Spice House) is a type of chile pepper Alex Wilkens, operations manager at The Spice House, says "has an intensely fruity profile and only a fraction of the face-melting Scoville units found lurking inside those mango-scented habaneros." He encourages trying a light dusting of the spice on grilled fish or mix with kosher salt for a creative rim on the glass of your next margarita.

Black Lime

Whether it's a squeeze of lime to add tangy flavor to tacos or in a sweet dessert, citrus flavors are no stranger to the culinary scene. But for a bit of a twist, you might start seeing fermented citrus flavor take a more prominent role. If you haven't heard of black lime before, it's a dried version of a key lime that produces a tangy-sweet, slightly fermented flavor. It's found in a lot of Middle Eastern cuisine, but is making its way into less traditional dishes. Wright says it pairs particularly well with cocktails such as gin and tonics.

Coffee

This is far from a new flavor, but it's about to go beyond your morning cup of joe or pumpkin spice latte. Wright says we should expect to see coffee flavor in everything over the next year. Ice cream, yogurt, candy, you name it. Until the new products start hitting shelves, enjoy 2020's famous whipped coffee if you haven't had a chance to try it yet.

Related: What Does 'Natural Flavor' Actually Mean on Food Labels?

Jason Donnelly