The Food Channel® presents its Top Ten Food Trends for 2009. The list is based on research conducted by The Food Channel in conjunction with the World Thought Bank found at www.neemee.com, and the International Food Futurists™. Here’s what to look for in the new year:
1. Home on the Range – The return to home cooking is no big surprise. In a downsized economy, people will be spending more time eating at home. The difference is, they know a lot more about cooking than they used to and want to apply that knowledge in the new economy. They’ll be learning more about cooking and flavors, turning to online sites and TV cooking shows, taking cooking classes, and sharing family recipes.
⋅ Expect to see more about slow and unattended cooking (Crockpot 2.0) and meals that offer convenience with economy and flavor.
⋅ Look for Wii and other cooking gaming vehicles that are both fun and instructional.
2. Foodie 2.0 – People want a community around food, and they are getting it on the virtual hearth.
⋅ More visitors to food websites with direct-to-Internet TV and greater interactivity; iPhone apps related to food and other mobile interaction.
⋅ Twitter exchanges, amateur restaurant reviewers on Yelp, and recipe widgets all take center stage.
⋅ The non-virtual community picks up too, though, with people returning to potlucks, cooperatives, food bartering and bulk buying/sharing.
3. Going, Going Green – We’ve seen ‘green’ get really focused in the kitchen, particularly because ‘green’ can mean efficiency and cost savings.
⋅ More restaurants will be seeking to gain ‘Certified Green’ status to attract eco-conscious customers.
⋅ Fair trade certified will continue to factor into food choices.
⋅ More grocery stores will give rebates for recycling or offer easy ways to go green starting at the checkout lane.
4. Living La Vida Locavore – This is all about eating locally, whether you are at home or patronizing a local restaurant that buys from local farmers.
⋅ Knowing the grower/celebrity farmers and having food literally branded to a region.
⋅ Eating seasonally, since local food equates with fresh, with an increase in urban gardening.
5. TMI? – Is seeing the calorie count in bold type on the menu Too Much Information (TMI), or will it lead to healthier choices?
⋅ More obesity-related legislation may be debated.
⋅ Expect to see the words ‘gluten free’ more frequently, along with more options for the diabetic.
6. FrankenFood This has several components, including the rise in bioengineering, more genetically modified food and a merging of last year’s trend toward functional food.
⋅ Look for food that has a medical boost in other ways, with medicines or enhancements built into the engineered food.
⋅ Food will be examined for its natural remedies.
7. Food Philanthropy – We see people and companies stepping up to incorporate food philanthropy, so that addressing the need becomes almost automatic.
⋅ Food drives will be enhanced by that $1 donation at the grocery checkout lane, or the purchase of a pink ribbon label product.
⋅ More websites, more grocery stores, more charities will tie purchases to giving.
8. Food Insecurity – After the tomato and jalapeno scares of ’08, Americans are looking for tighter controls around food. We’re also doing more preparation in case of disaster in light of the fires in California and hurricanes in the Gulf Coast.
⋅ Expect resurgence in home canning.
⋅ We’ll see more information provided to consumers about food sources and food handling along the way.
9. Brewing Business – Beverages are just part of the balancing act – we’re trying to retain select luxuries and dumbing down our choices when cost is an issue. So, fast food chains will continue to go after the specialty coffee crowd, but the Starbucks experience of an ‘affordable luxury’ will still have a certain cache.
⋅ Expect a greater divide between the exotic brews that are far removed from fast food, and the daily fix at a lesser price.
⋅ We’ll see it in other areas, particularly where exotic items (think chocolate) are competing with the day-to-day.
10. Where in the World . . . – . . . is the next flavor trend coming from? It’s all about globalization and variety now. While we’ll be making fewer trips abroad this year, we’ll still want to taste what’s new and exotic.
⋅ Peruvian and Middle Eastern flavors are moving into the mainstream.
⋅ We’ll step up our use of more spices to update flavors.
**Bonus:* Clandestine Cuisine – This compelling trend plays off the new mobility possible around food. It’s the underground restaurant, where you have to be ‘in the know’ in order to know where and when they are serving tonight. You may find yourself checking websites to see where the Skillet Street Food trailer is going to be parked.
Additional stories around these trends can be found by following the links.
For the additional trends, follow the links below: