Someone once told me that the beauty of how we work at The Food Channel is that we are able to bring our ideas to life. It’s a great thing to be able to have a vision, and work hard to make it happen.
Well, in researching piles of data for our predictions of the 2011 Top Ten Food Trends, we found that we aren’t the only people who like working that way. It seems that the new economy has created boldness and a willingness to change how we work, how we cook, and how we eat. And our 2011 trends all reflect that in some way.
Each of the Top Ten Trends stories is a quick read, but here are a few of my favorites:
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” says “don’t tell me how bad this burger is for me—I just want to enjoy it.”
“Local Somewhere” caters to our desire for specialty foods, no matter where they come from. We feel good about supporting a local grower, a small business entrepreneur, or someone with a “small batch” product.
“Fresh Everyday” is something we’ve seen across the country. There was the garden outside the front door of La Grande Orange in Los Angeles, where herbs were clipped as needed for the meals. There was the garden on top of the Highline Trail in New York, demonstrating a great reuse of formerly abandoned land. And there are rooftop gardens springing up all over, giving us the opportunity to have fresh food almost at our fingertips.
I also think you’ll enjoy “Foods for Sex and Other Things.” Did you know nutmeg—such an everyday spice—can spice up your sex life? We piled it on our oatmeal the day we found that one out!
This year we changed our trend report, dividing it into the “big idea” trends that are really more market-based, and then listing out the top “foods to watch” that we believe will be interesting in 2011. These are foods that may not be on people’s radar just yet, but that we think will gain prominence.
Our separate food list represents a variety of categories and should really make you think. If grits is the new starch, what will that look like the next time I go out to eat? Just as sweet potato fries have been edging regular fries off the plate, what is the next rendition of the sweet potato that we’ll rush to order? Is cupuaçu the next antioxidant-laden food that we’ll crave, and can I get it in candy form? What’s really in a local moonshine—and do I care?
They are all questions that our “Foods to Watch” list will raise for you . . . and that 2011 may answer.
Regardless of the future, there is a big willingness to take risks with food these days, and at The Food Channel, we embrace that wholeheartedly.