This is not a short term trend. Spices from the tropics were always a luxury item to medieval Europeans, and now their descendants can afford more of them.
Spicy plants are more common at lower latitudes because spices are anti-parasite poisons evolved to protect the plant from the teeming variety of parasites found more in year-round warm climates than in wintry climates. (Also, biodiversity is greater in the tropics due to more specialization because of milder seasonal swings). Thus, cuisines get blander the farther north you go (as Garrison Keillor's jokes about Norwegian cooking show), in part because there are so few spicy plants growing at latitudes where winter kills off most parasites for them.
Thus, 15th Century Europe's equivalent of the space race of the 20th Century was to find shipping routes, both eastbound and westbound, to the Spice Islands of the East Indies to bring back peppers so that meat could be preserved longer against parasites.