SPARKS, Md. – Chile peppers and emerging flavors from Latin America and India define McCormick & Company's Flavor Forecast 2014. The annual report highlights five top food trends and more than a dozen emerging flavors McCormick experts from around the world predict will impact the way consumers eat in the coming years.

Connectivity through social media is driving adoption of trends and flavors around the world. Additional insights include the emergence of Indian cuisine as a global phenomenon and the growing interest in Brazilian flavors as the World Cup and Summer Olympics approach. Also, chilies continue to influence culinary trends as consumers experiment with different varieties and heat levels.

“Everywhere we looked, people have a growing fascination with the delicious range of flavors and heat chili peppers deliver,” said Kevan Vetter, McCormick executive chef. “In the US, cooks are embracing exciting new varieties like the aji amarillo from Peru, which is prized for its sizzling heat and surprisingly full-bodied, fruity notes.”

Rounding out the top five trends for 2014 are compact cooking and Mexican cuisine. McCormick found that consumers were creating big flavors in small urban kitchens thanks to appliances that help home cooks create substantial meals without sacrificing space. And, while diners in the United States have been exposed to Mexican dishes for a considerable time, regional dishes from Mexico are coming to the fore allowing consumers to discover new dimensions of this cuisine south of the border.

The top five flavors for 2014 include:

• Aji Amarillo, a hot Peruvian yellow chili with bold, fruity flavor.
• Kashmiri Masala, often a homemade blend of spices from northern India featuring cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, cloves and ginger.
• Tea is making its way into rubs, broths and marinades.
• Mexican chamoy sauce, which is a condiment made from apricot, lime, chilies and spices, is gaining a following in the US.
• Cassava flour, a Brazilian staple prized for its versatility, is emerging as a gluten-free alternative to wheat-based flours. It is also known as manioc or tapioca flour.