We’ve combed through dozens of surveys, questioned hundreds of food trends and read through what felt like thousands of hours of data to bring you a food-trends blog series worth drooling over. Whether you’re a specialty-foods marketer, an up-and-coming restaurateur or just a curious passerby – we’re sharing our secrets to the plates and palates of, drum roll please… the future.
Skip the food trends that are set to fizzle and dive deep into the five taste habits that chefs, researchers and consumers alike claim are here to stay:
Old World Flavors Cater to a New Audience
Ancestral flavors are being brought back with new twists! Far East flavors from Korea, tropical Asian curries and Malaysian spices are drawing attention from ‘adventurous palates seeking bold new tastes.’ Even Fillipino street food, which incorporates the popular ‘ube’ vegetable – a purple yam used in everything from breakfast doughnuts to ice cream – is on the rise. “Modern dishes reconnect with native ingredients to celebrate food that tastes pure and satisfying” according to the 2016 McCormick Flavor Forecast. You can see the impact of this return to taste-roots with the Sriracha effect. An unassuming hot-sauce that rose into food fame with a massive cult following, showing up in the condiment rack of restaurant all across the U.S.
African and Middle Eastern flavors are heating up consumer’s taste buds, too. “African flavors” was the item with the biggest increase in chefs declaring it a hot trend — up by 20 percent, according to a recent survey by the NRA asking 1,575 chefs to rate 221 items as a hot trend. Kale, quinoa, underutilized fish and gluten-free food — not so much. In a world that’s more internationally connected than ever – our ‘palette passport’ is just trying to keep up.