But why bother?
Before I even open up one of these stories, I can enumerate several so-called trends:
1. local food
4. food you’ve never heard of
5. more of #4
6. more of #2
7. more of #1
Yes, “food trends” are too predictable. But let’s explore further.
From the NRA and ACF:
Top 10 food trends for 2014:
Locally sourced meats and seafood
Locally grown produce
Healthful kids’ meals
Hyper-local sourcing (e.g. restaurant gardens)
Non-wheat noodles/pasta (e.g. quinoa, rice, buckwheat)
Farm/estate branded items
From the story:
Vegetables continue to be centre of the plate, edging out meat.
“I would say that cauliflower is the new kale and will definitely surpass kale this year,” says Christine Couvelier, executive chef and global culinary trendologist.
“Kale had that buzz and everybody loves kale chips and how many restaurants have we seen that have kale on the menu, but cauliflower is certainly the huge buzz this year. Bigger than ever.”
16) Sunchokes Have Their Moment
Sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem artichokes, are nutty, healthy, versatile, easy to cook, and delicious. Expect to see them in far more dishes than you currently do in 2014.
9) Vegetarian Dishes in Non-Vegetarian Restaurants
As recently as a couple of years ago, if you wanted a meat-free dish at a restaurant that wasn’t vegetarian you were stuck with a salad or boring appetizer. In 2014 you’ll see chefs embracing more vegetable-forward menus, making grains and vegetables the stars of the dish and doing away with meat entirely.
1) More Chefs Owning Full-Scale Farms
The farm-to-table trend will reach its inevitable next step, as leading chefs and restaurateurs cut out the middleman entirely and buy their own farms on their quest to become completely vertically integrated. 1) More Chefs Owning Full-Scale Farms
The farm-to-table trend will reach its inevitable next step, as leading chefs and restaurateurs cut out the middleman entirely and buy their own farms on their quest to become completely vertically integrated.
From the list:
2. Heirloom beans, peanuts and field peas
Go ahead, get the elementary school jokes outta your system because more chefs are singing the praises of hearty, healthy, protein-rich legumes. Cranberry, lima and butterbeans, as well as blackeye and crowder peas and un-roasted peanuts are taking a star turn in main dishes and standalone sides, often without a speck of meat in sight. These heirloom varieties are packed with nutty flavor, and adapt well to stews, soups, salads, succotash and spreads, and take well to marinating, baking, mashing and even deep-frying.
And bonus: chefs and home cooks are rapidly discovering that heirloom legumes grow like gangbusters in many different climates and soil types, are GMO-free (a selling point for an increasingly conscientious dining public), dry gorgeously for use throughout the year and are an excellent alternative to pricey and potentially dubiously-raised meat.
From the story:
NEW TREND: DRIVE-THRU GROCERY STORES
Consumers already rely on their mobile phones when shopping for groceries, so Supermarket Guru takes it one step further by predicting a streamlined shopping experience. In the future, shoppers may be able to select a recipe, order ingredients and check out directly on their phone, and grocery stores might have drive-thru windows for pick-up.
NEW TREND: MIDWESTERN FOOD MOVEMENT
Topping The Food Channel’s list of top food trends is the Midwestern food movement, which is all about the simple and hearty cooking of root vegetables, steak and other locally sourced ingredients.
NEW TREND: HEIRLOOM VEGETABLES
Innova Market Insights also predicts a revival of interest in heirloom varieties of vegetables like parsnip, artichoke, kale and salsify.
There you have it. I’ll admit the food trends of 2014 have more substance than just “local” and “organic.” Still, changing the pattern of consumer behavior is more easily written about than actually accomplished. That makes 2014 food trends just as overly ambitious as the 2013 edition.