Weve 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 youre a specialty-foods marketer, an up-and-coming restaurateur or just a curious passerby – were sharing our secrets to the plates and palates of, drum roll pleasethe future. 

Skip the food trends that are set to fizzle and dive deep into the taste habits that chefs, researchers and consumers alike claim are here to stay:

Rising Pulse in the Protein Market

Packed with protein and nutrients, pulses are elevated when paired with delicious ingredients. You’ve likely already been eating these legumes for years – think: chickpeas, lentils, dried beans, and peas. In fact, the United Nations is so certain that pulses will peak in popularity that it has dubbed 2016 the International Year of Pulses (IYP). The aim of IYP 2016 is to heighten public awareness of the nutritional benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production, aimed towards food security and nutrition. Not to mention – theyre an incredibly cheap alternative for protein. The sustainability piece is particularly important for millennials — who rank ‘corporate social responsibilityas a driving factor in their purchasing decisions. “Millennials want companies to tell them how they are striving to improve the world around them and more than 93 percent feel better about companies upon learning of those efforts,” says a study done by Sustainable Brands

Protein in general is going beyond the athlete. “The benefits of sports nutrition components such as protein and energy ingredients can be exploited by all demographic groups and manufacturers are therefore diversifying on the “healthy living” platform for everyone,” according to Innova Market Insights Top Trends. As part of the health and wellness lifestyle transition, consumers are looking for natural, less processed, better-for-you products. These ‘alternativeforms of protein, particularly in replace of meat for the growing vegetarian, pescitarian and vegan population, are popping up everywhere for use of the everyday consumer.