We love trying new foods and tastes to spice up our menus.
Chefs around the globe are seeking out new foods and flavors to tickle our tongues!
It’s time to uncover just what those of us who are seeking new (and maybe a twist on the old) delights with the latest food trends for 2017.
The Experts Weigh In
There are many sources of information regarding the hot food trends for the upcoming year.
While there may be a few variations in the lists we will read, depending on who is creating the list, most experts agree that food trends evolve over time.
Restaurants are guided by consumer desires but put their own twist on the menu.
Food has taken a different role with many of us these days. It is not just something we put on the table but we actually want to be engaged with what we eat.
We hope to use food to explore different cultures through cuisine.
We want to find healthy alternatives to overly processed foods and heal our bodies with food first.
Many things now influence what food will be trendy including our digital world, social media sharing, the economy, and food production throughout the world.
Whole Food Markets
The buyers for Whole Foods Markets recently released their 2017 food trends based on their forecast of consumer trends and food sourcing experiences.
The top 10 trends are:
- Wellness tonics – more than pressed juice, they include botanicals and ingredients such as kava, turmeric, vinegars, and medicinal mushrooms like chaga
- Byproducts – making over ways to repurpose byproducts and reduce food waste
- Coconut – a new batch of products using coconut joins the coconut oil and water on the shelves including coconut tortillas, coconut sugar, ice cream, butter and more
- Japanese inspired cuisine using seaweed, miso, sesame oil and plum vinegar; breakfast bowls
- Condiments – new ingredients take center stage such as black sesame tahini, ghee, date syrup, piri piri sauce and adobo sauces
- Alternative pasta – ‘pasta’ noodles made from quinoa, lentils, chickpeas, spiralized veggies and kelp
- Purple foods including cauliflower, black rice, asparagus, elderberries purple sweet potatoes and purple corn; antioxidant benefits will make these foods popular
- Natural beauty products
- Flexitarian eating pattern to shift away from stricter plans such as paleo, gluten free or vegan. You eat healthier by making conscious foods choices for what, when and how much to eat
- Mindful meals – thinking and planning meals, using meal starters and prep kits, cooking more from scratch at home
Consumers want sustainability and authenticity but we also want to get back to our roots so we can enjoy our traditional foods according to one source, the Sterling-Rice Group.
The trends they see coming include:
- Dark chocolate at breakfast or dessert for breakfast
- Ayurveda – holistic healing, using more turmeric to achieve dosha dining (reduce inflammation, achieve health)
- Plant based proteins replace beef (meatless BBQ ribs, pepperoni and jerky)
- Reduce food waste – using vegetable cuttings and pulp from juicing
- Hand-pulled noodles
- Mocktails using fresh-pressed juice, flavored tea, herbs, spices and sipping vinegars
- Goat meat
- Togetherness – app that brings a stranger in for dinner or sharing the land with a neighbor to garden produce
- World cuisines especially those from refugees bringing their tastes and ingredients to other parts of the world such as Middle Eastern fusion cuisine with Persian influences
Baum + Whiteman Consultant Group
An International Food and restaurant consultant group, Baum + Whiteman, has trended not only foods that will be hot in 2017 but changes to the food industry that could impact consumers.
Here are some trends they see now and increasing in the future:
- Restaurants closing – lower food cost but rising operation costs are forcing an increase in menu costs to the consumer who are able to get food cheaper elsewhere including their own homes
- Online ordering of dinner, groceries and food kits to make your own meals
- AirBNBs offering a homemade dinner in their dining room with use of apps
- Drones delivering meals in experimental phase right now!
Their projected food trends build on what is happening now:
- Cauliflower and other vegetables moving to the center of the plate in restaurants, replace pasta and potatoes and even pizza crust
- Plant based burgers (using beets to make the burger appear to bleed like beef) and vegetable butcher shops
- Breakfast at brunch with all day breakfast, breakfast sandwiches and tacos
- Seaweeds and greens of all kinds replace kale; pickling of once wasted vegetable pieces
- Freakshakes – milkshake topped with ice cream, candies, sauce, whipped cream, cake, donuts, booze, and really anything since it is freestyle
- Spice it up! Increasing amounts and varieties of spices used in everything from foods, cocktails and desserts
- Bowls – anything in a bowl for ease of eating, mindfulness, flavor savoring and variety of cuisine
Eating healthy shouldn’t have to be trendy.
We know planning, choosing and creating our own family meals (whether at home or away) will lead us to the health we seek.