The Weekly: December 28, 2016

December 28, 2016

IFT Top Story

Food Technology editors predict trends for 2017
The editors at Food Technology magazine, published by the Institute of Food Technologists, have announced their predictions on hot food trends for 2017. Here’s what they’re forecasting for next year.

Bob SwientekFood Taxes: Mo’ Money for Local Governments
If the recent November elections in the United States are any indication, “junk” foods like sugary beverages may become a bigger target for local governments to raise revenue through special taxes. Voters recently passed laws that raise the price of sugar-sweetened drinks by 1 or 2 cents per ounce. While the proponents claim that these taxes are designed to reduce consumption and improve public health, many folks suspect that the real aim is to raise revenue to pay for government programs or to fill a budget gap. Foods and beverages are an easy target for local taxing bodies, and the recent sugary drink tax victories will likely embolden other municipalities to move to enact similar taxes on soft drinks, sweetened teas, sports drinks, and energy drinks. But don’t expect them to stop there. With red meat linked to cardiovascular disease and cancer and contributing to greenhouse gases and climate change, it’s probably only a matter of time before some well-meaning local legislator proposes a special tax on beef.
—Bob Swientek, Editor-in-Chief

Mary Ellen KuhnIt’s All About Me!
When it comes to matters of health and nutrition, today’s consumers can be know-it-alls, trusting in their own judgment about what’s best for themselves and their families. As individualized nutrition moves further into the mainstream with the debut of a personalized nutrition startup funded in part by Campbell Soup Co., watch for consumers to feel ever more comfortable with making their own dietary decisions and less interested in the recommendations of government and public health authorities.
—Mary Ellen Kuhn, Executive Editor

Kelly HenselFood Waste in the Spotlight
Food waste will come front and center for companies’ sustainability efforts. In 2017, consumers will begin to move past the stigma surrounding imperfect produce and companies, especially startups, will debut creative efforts to make use of ingredients that would have otherwise gone to waste. For example, Renewal Mill is a startup that creates products using discarded material from industrial food production to deliver nutritious and wholesome ingredients.

In addition, 15 food companies have publicly committed to reducing their food waste by 50% by the year 2030. These companies, which include Walmart, PepsiCo, Conagra, Kellogg, General Mills, Sodexo, and Campbell Soup, realize that not only does reducing food waste benefit the environment, but it can help the bottom line. Indeed, analysis by ReFED (Rethink Food Waste Through Economics and Data) estimated that businesses stand to generate $1.9 billion of profit each year by adopting strategies like food waste tracking and analytics to measure and prevent food waste, right-sizing portions, and improving inventory and cold chain management.
—Kelly Hensel, Senior Digital Editor

Toni TarverPlant Popularity
The demand for plant-based foods will increase as more consumers try plant-based dietary patterns (vegetarian, vegan, etc.) and/or seek out foods that are minimally processed.
—Toni Tarver, Senior Writer/Editor

Karen NachayA Sweeter Balance
Expect to see continued interest from both consumers and food manufacturers in the amount of sugar used in formulations as scientists study the potential links between sugar intake and obesity and other diseases. Something else that is fueling this interest is the updated Nutrition Facts label, which will go into effect July 2018 and require food manufacturers to declare the gram amount of “added sugars” in a serving of a product and list it below “total sugars” on the label. Critics of the change say that listing added sugars will confuse consumers, but supporters of the change believe it to be important in educating consumers about how much sugar is added to their favorite foods and in encouraging food manufacturers to reformulate their products with less sugar.
—Karen Nachay, Senior Associate Editor

Melanie Zanoza BartelmeConvenience Becomes Personal
Convenience has long been a crucial consumer consideration, but in 2017, this will play out in even more meal kits and delivery services designed to target consumers' individual tastes, diets, and even microbiome and allow them to create delicious meals or experience restaurant-quality food at home.
—Melanie Zanoza Bartelme, Associate Editor

Elizabeth SloanFast Forward, Fresh!
Better alignment with today's food lifestyles—single-serve/on-the-go packaging, fresh snacks, health claims on fresh products, precooked/heat-and-eat meats and gourmet ingredients—will drive explosive incremental growth in the fresh food marketplace.
—A. Elizabeth Sloan, Contributing Editor, Consumer Trends

Linda Milo OhrIntentional Snacking
Snacks will continue to evolve into more snacking with a purpose. Consumers want more from their snacks than just satisfying a craving. This will open the door to increased use of nonconventional snack ingredients like sprouted grains, ancient grains like sorghum and teff, and alternative flours like pulse-based flours. Also, look for an increased interest in microalgae ingredients as they are an example of a whole ingredient that is both sustainable and a healthy source of beneficial fatty acids and protein.
—Linda Milo Ohr, Contributing Editor, Nutraceuticals

Neil MermelsteinEven Safer Food
Menus of more chain restaurants and other retail food outlets will be listing nutrition information per serving for the products they offer, and analytical laboratories and software companies will help in providing this information. Also, food companies in the United States and abroad will increase their efforts to comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act regulations, leading to improved safety of foods. And as always, universities, analytical laboratories, and suppliers will continue to develop new and improved methods of analysis and instruments, as well as specific applications, particularly with respect to food safety; nanotechnology will feature in many of these developments.
––Neil H. Mermelstein, Editor Emeritus

Claire Koelsch SandFlexing for Shorter Shelf Life
Intelligent packaging will enable manufacturing, distribution, and retail networks to flex and deliver foods with minimal shelf life directly to consumers. Products with a 24-month shelf life will dissipate! This is in response to the rising cost of packaging for clean label products and the intense need for personalized choices that retailers struggle with in an already crowded marketplace. Products will be tracked and traced using intelligent packaging.
—Claire Koelsch Sand, Contributing Editor, Packaging

Tara McHughPersonalized Smart Bars
As Google develops needle-free blood-drawing technologies, we will have real-time access to our micronutrient levels on smart phones and watches. These smart technologies will analyze our micronutrient needs each day and communicate them to novel home processing devices. These devices will then custom process smart bars containing personalized micronutrient levels in order to meet our daily needs. 
—Tara McHugh, Contributing Editor, Processing

Flavor Forecast

McCormick predicts the future of flavor
McCormick has released its Flavor Forecast 2017—the guide for trends and ingredients set to excite taste buds around the world in the coming year. For nearly two decades, this annual report has predicted emerging flavors—like chipotle chilies, coconut water, and peri sauce—that are now found everywhere from restaurants to retail shelves and kitchen cabinets.

“This year, the Flavor Forecast identifies cutting-edge flavors that help chefs, tastemakers, and home cooks refresh their menus,” said Kevan Vetter, executive chef, McCormick. “Discover a new all-purpose seasoning—Baharat. It’s a fragrant, Eastern Mediterranean blend of spices such as cumin, cardamom, black pepper, nutmeg, and more. Sprinkle over warm, seasonal soups, stir into tomato-based sauces, or add to your favorite chicken dish.”

Here are the five flavor trends the chefs, culinary professionals, trend trackers, and flavor experts at McCormick have identified for 2017:

  • Rise & shine to global tastes: Breakfast options with big, global flavors are being sought after by a generation of flavor adventurists not content with the same boring bowl. Try warm, sweet congee or a Middle Eastern-inspired breakfast hash topped with a spicy skhug sauce.
  • Plancha – Flat-out grilling: Hailing from Spain, France’s Basque region, as well as Mexico, the plancha (a thick, flat slab of cast iron) is growing in popularity around the world for creating a sizzling, smoky sear and flavor crust. Grillers can easily use the plancha with meats, seafood, and vegetables, paired with bold sauces, rubs, and glazes.
  • Egg yolks – The sunny side of flavor: Egg yolks leave breakfast behind. Whether poached, fried, or cured, chefs are pairing these indulgent golden gems with a range of spices, herbs, and sauces on lunch and dinner menus.
  • Modern Med: Discover the new cuisine for the 21st century—melding Eastern Mediterranean ingredients with Western European classics.
  • Sweet on pepper: Enter the new sweet heat. With an up-front bite and lingering sensation, peppercorns are finally capturing the spotlight. Their cedar and citrus notes pair perfectly with up-and-coming naturally sweet ingredients like dates and dragon fruit.

Press release

Firmenich names cucumber the 2017 ‘Flavor of the Year’
Firmenich has announced that cucumber is the Flavor of the Year for 2017 based on the growing appeal of this refreshing flavor. According to Chris Millington, president of Firmenich’s Flavor Division, the growing demand for refreshing, clean, and healthy food and beverages is driving cucumber’s surge in popularity.

“Our trend insights show that consumers are really enjoying lighter, refreshing ‘green’ flavors, such as cucumber,” said Millington. “Vegetables in general are becoming more accepted as flavors and ingredients, sometimes even replacing fruit in traditionally sweet categories such as ice cream and cereal. This is why we predict that 2017 will really see the mild cucumber become a big-hitting new favorite.”

At first glance, the cucumber may appear to be just a simple salad staple, yet it is gaining traction around the world, with a 392% increase in the use of cucumber as a flavor globally between 2011 and 2016. In recent years, cucumber has appeared everywhere from potato chips and confection, to yogurt and dumplings. As well as delivering a healthy clean taste, the natural notes of cucumber reflect the new shift in consumer preferences toward products that offer a sense of well-being and refreshment in a busy world.

Firmenich predicts that cucumber’s popularity will grow throughout 2017 because of its relevance to three global meta-trends that the company is monitoring:

  • Refreshment: In recent years, refreshment has become a major driver in many beverage and sweet goods categories and cucumber perfectly matches this new desire. Cucumber enhances the refreshing characteristics of whatever it is used in, and as a result has become a “go-to” flavor for product developers.
  • Health & natural: Consumers today actively seek products that contain natural flavors and ingredients and which are associated with health and wellness. Cucumbers have long been used as a natural way to heal ailments, from reducing puffy eyes to hydrating skin. It’s use as a digestion aid and to reduce the effects of alcohol further drive popularity. Incorporating cucumber into food and beverage products taps into the consumer’s desire to have products that not only taste good, but are also good for them.
  • Fermentation & pickling: Pickling as a culinary and health trend has been on the rise for many years, and today, fermented food is recognized as beneficial for gut health. Cucumbers have been used in this process for centuries and with the fermentation trend showing no sign of slowing, cucumbers are a trend-follower’s perfect match.

Press release

Comax Flavors 2017 Flavor Forecast
Innovation does not cease as a dizzying amount of new food and beverage products launch. Today’s consumers continue to seek better-for-you products and engaging culinary experiences. In response to the ever-changing demographics and multicultural consumers, Comax Flavors has introduced its 2017 Flavor Forecast with four flavor collections:

  • Flower power: Compared to other countries, the United States tends to shy away from using flowers or floral flavors in a dish, unless they are used as a garnish. However, floral flavors are popping up and making their way into food and beverages including alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and dairy products such as yogurt and ice cream. Comax Flavors predicts floral flavors will be the next generation of better-for-you products.
  • Spice is nice: Driven by globalization and the growing multicultural population, spices that were once exotic and unfamiliar are becoming familiar and ubiquitous. Spices are now mainstream and accessible and consumers are now open and willing to experiment with them to experience new flavors.
  • Smoke out: Smoking is no longer reserved just for meat and fish. Smoking, both hot and cold, is experiencing an uptick. It is appearing in dairy, fruits, vegetables, desserts, and even cocktails. In packaged foods, inspiration from smoked foods can be seen in unexpected applications such as beer, snacks, and chewing gum. Charcoal is on the rise as more and more chefs incorporate it into their repertoire. Consumers crave smoked flavors and it’s not just for savory applications—smoked flavors add texture and dimension to food and beverages.
  • Nostalgia remix: As consumers seek comfort foods and positive experiences, throwback flavors are gaining momentum because they take us back to childhood and fond memories. Classic and nostalgic flavors are finding their way into new and unexpected applications. From root beer floats to grilled cheese, these flavors are getting a makeover as chefs and food and beverage manufacturers are experimenting with reinterpretations.

Press release

Featured Links

CPG Forecast

Global beverages, U.S. packaged foods makers to fare well in 2017
According to Moody’s Investors Service, the 2017 outlook for global beverage companies is stable, while the outlook for the U.S. packaged foods sector is positive.

In terms of beverages, sales of premium brands will continue to be strong, although growth in some developed markets will remain challenged and in emerging markets it will continue to be slow. Industry EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) is expected to increase 4% to 5%. Among companies, Constellation Brands will continue to deleverage after investing in glass and further capacity expansion at its Mexican brewery. In addition, the rating service predicts that Diageo’s credit metrics should strengthen on the back of improved performance and weakness in the British pound.

In the U.S. packaged foods sector, consumer spending on food will be relatively flat, at 1% to 2%, but cost-cutting will improve companies’ profitability and cash flows, as will plant rationalization. In 2017, product innovation will give way to renovation, which will include upgrading packaging, ingredients, flavoring, and labeling.

Among companies that face near-term changes or challenges are Kellogg, with no significant growth in sight for its U.S. cereal business. Performance in its U.S. snacks business is mixed, which ups the stakes for achieving targeted “Project K” cost savings. In the coming year, TreeHouse Foods will face integration challenges with Private Brands as key operating and IT systems are taken in-house. Finally, Moody’s predicts that Chobani, CSM Bakery, and Del Monte Foods will need to significantly improve their operating performance to sustain their current credit profiles.

In general, mergers and acquisitions will be slow in the packaged food business, although companies including Kraft-Heinz, Tyson Foods, Pinnacle Foods, and Mondelēz International could look to make strategic purchases.

Press release

A clean supply chain, plant power drive industry in 2017
Innova Market Insights has revealed its top trends likely to impact the food industry in 2017 from its ongoing analysis of key global developments in food and drinks launch activity worldwide. Growing calls for transparency throughout the supply chain are taking clean and clear labeling to a new and supreme level. This comes as the inherent benefits of plant-based products are being actively marketed to a more health-conscious consumer.

The top five trends for 2017 are:

  1. Clean supreme: The rules have been rewritten and clean and clear labeling is the new global standard. The demand for total transparency now incorporates the entire supply chain, as a clean label positioning becomes more holistic. Trending clean supply chain claims include “environmentally friendly,” which has shown a CAGR growth of +72% from 2011 to 2015 and “animal welfare,” which has grown at +45% per year during this period.
  2. Disruptive green: As plant-based milks, meat alternatives, and vegan offerings have rapidly moved into the mainstream, consumers are looking for innovative options to take the inherent benefits of plants into their daily lives. Innova Market Insights has reported CAGR of +63% for new product launches with a plant-based claim from 2011 to 2015.
  3. Sweeter balance: Sugar is under pressure, although it remains the key ingredient delivering the sweetness and great taste that consumers are looking for. The quest to combine taste and health is driving new product development, as the industry faces the challenge of balancing public demand to reduce added sugars and create indulgent experiences, while at the same time presenting clean label products.
  4. Kitchen symphony: The connected world has led consumers of all ages to become more knowledgeable of other cultures. As a result, there is growing demand for greater choice and higher levels of authenticity in ethnic cuisines. At the same time, pride in local and regional foods is also seeing an upsurge in some countries, with a resulting rise in availability and authenticity of local cuisine.
  5. Body in tune: Consumers are increasingly personalizing their own nutrition intake, making food choices based around what they think will make them feel better. They are also experimenting with “free from” products and specific diets like paleo and low FODMAP. At the same time, consumers continue to increase their intake of foods and beverages with ingredients that they consider to be healthy, like protein and probiotics.

The other trends identified by Innova Market Insights are: Plain Sophistication, Encapsulating Moments, Beyond Pester Power, Fuzzy Borders, and Seeds of Change.

Press release

Whole Foods Market serves up top nine trends for 2017
Whole Foods Market’s global buyers and experts have announced the trends to watch in 2017. Wellness tonics, products from byproducts, and purple foods are just a few top predictions according to the trend-spotters, who share more than 100 years of combined experience in sourcing products and tracking consumer preferences.

Whole Foods Market’s top nine food trends for 2017 include:

  • Wellness tonics: The new year will usher in a new wave of tonics, tinctures, and wellness drinks that go far beyond the fresh-pressed juice craze. The year’s hottest picks will draw on beneficial botanicals and have roots in alternative medicine and global traditions. Buzzed-about ingredients include kava, Tulsi/holy basil, turmeric, apple cider vinegar, medicinal mushrooms (like reishi and chaga), and adaptogenic herbs (maca and ashwagandha). Kor Organic Raw Shots, Suja Drinking Vinegars, and Temple Turmeric Elixirs are just a few products leading the trend.
  • Products from byproducts: Whether it’s leftover whey from strained Greek yogurt or spent grains from beer, food producers are finding innovative—and delicious—ways to give byproducts new life. Eco-Olea is using water from its olive oil production as the base for a household cleaner line; condiment brand Sir Kensington’s is repurposing leftover liquid from cooking chickpeas in a vegan mayo; and Atlanta Fresh and White Moustache are using leftover whey from yogurt production to create probiotic drinks.
  • Coconut everything: Move over coconut oil and coconut water—coconut flour tortillas, coconut sugar aminos, and more unexpected coconut-based products are on the rise. Virtually every component of this versatile fruit-nut-seed (coconuts qualify for all three) is being used in new applications. The sap is turned into coconut sugar as an alternative to refined sweeteners; the oil is used in a growing list of natural beauty products; and the white flesh of the coconut is now in flours, tortillas, chips, ice creams, butters, and more.
  • Japanese food, beyond sushi: Long-celebrated condiments with roots in Japanese cuisine, like ponzu, miso, mirin, sesame oil, and plum vinegar are making their way from restaurant menus to mainstream American pantries. Seaweed is a rising star as shoppers seek more varieties of the savory greens, including fresh and dried kelp, wakame, dulse, and nori, while farmhouse staples like Japanese-style pickles will continue to gain popularity.
  • Creative condiments: From traditional global recipes to brand new ingredients, interesting condiments are taking center stage. Once rare and unfamiliar sauces and dips are showing up on menus and store shelves. Look for black sesame tahini, habanero jam, ghee, pomegranate molasses, black garlic purée, date syrup, plum jam with chia seeds, beet salsa, Mexican hot chocolate spreads, sambal oelek or piri sauce, and harissa.
  • Rethinking pasta: Alternative grain noodles made from quinoa, lentils, and chickpeas are quickly becoming favorites, while grain-free options like spiralized veggies and kelp noodles are also on the rise. That said, more traditional fresh-milled and seasonal pastas are having a moment too, which means pasta is cruising into new territories with something for everyone.
  • Purple power: Richly colored purple foods are popping up everywhere: purple cauliflower, black rice, purple asparagus, elderberries, acai, purple sweet potatoes, and purple corn. The power of purple goes beyond the vibrant color and often indicates nutrient density and antioxidants.
  • Flexitarian: In 2017, consumers will embrace a new, personalized version of healthy eating that’s less rigid than typical vegan, Paleo, gluten-free, and other “special diets” that have gone mainstream. Instead of a strict identity aligned with one diet, shoppers embrace the “flexitarian” approach to making conscious choices about what, when, and how much to eat.
  • Mindful meal prep: People aren’t just asking themselves what they’d like to eat, but also how meals can stretch their dollar, reduce food waste, save time, and be healthier. Trends to watch include the “make some/buy some,” approach, like using pre-cooked ingredients from the hot bar to jumpstart dinner, or preparing a main dish from scratch and using frozen or store-bought ingredients as sides.

Press release

Mintel predicts 2017 to be the year of extremes
Mintel, a market intelligence agency, has announced six key trends that will influence the global food and drink market—highlighting ingredient and food and drink product trends set to make an impact over the coming year. According to the agency, 2017 will be a year of extremes, from “ancient” products including grains, recipes, practices, and traditions to the use of technology to create more and better tasting plant-enhanced foods.

Expect to see a rise in both “slow” and “fast” claims as well as more products designed to help people calm down before bedtime, sleep better, and restore the body while they rest. Opportunities will exist for more products to leverage the reputation of the tea category and use chamomile, lavender, and other herbs in formulations as a way to achieve a sense of calm before bedtime. There will also be a valid excuse for nighttime chocolate indulgence. In 2017 and beyond, expect to see more of the unexpected, including fruit snacks made with ugly fruit and mayonnaise made with the liquid from draining chickpeas, which has been dubbed aquafaba.

The top food and drink trends for 2017 are:

  1. In tradition we trust: Consumers seek comfort from modernized updates of age-old formulations, flavors, and formats. The trust in the familiar emphasizes the opportunity for manufacturers to look to the past as a dependable source of inspiration such as “ancient” product claims including ancient grains and also ancient recipes, practices and traditions.
  2. Power to the plants: The preference for natural, simple, and flexible diets will drive further expansion of vegetarian, vegan, and other plant-focused formulations. More packaged products and recipes for home cooking will leverage fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, botanicals, and other plants as a way to align with consumers’ nearly omnipresent health and wellness priorities.
  3. Waste not: The focus of sustainability zeros in on eliminating food waste. In 2017, the stigma associated with imperfect produce will begin to fade, more products will make use of ingredients that would have otherwise gone to waste, and food waste will be repurposed in new ways, such as power sources.
  4. Time is of the essence: The time investments required for products and meals will become as influential as nutrition or ingredient claims. Time is an increasingly precious resource and our multitasking lifestyles are propelling a need for short-cut solutions that are still fresh, nutritious, and customizable. In 2017, the time spent on—or saved by—a food or drink product will become a clear selling point, inspiring more products to directly communicate how long they will take to receive, prepare, or consume.
  5. The night shift: The increasingly hectic pace of modern life is creating a market for food and drink that helps people of all ages calm down before bedtime, sleep better, and restore the body while they rest. Ahead, there is potential for more evening-focused innovations formulated for relaxation, satiety, and, taking a cue from the beauty industry, food and drink that provide functional benefits while the consumer sleeps.
  6. Balancing the scales—Health for everyone: Healthy food and drink are not “luxuries.” Many lower-income consumers want to improve their diets but the access to—and the cost of—healthy food and drink is often an impediment. More campaigns and innovations are to be expected that will make it easier for lower-income consumers to fulfill their healthy ambitions, including apps to help people make use of ingredients that are on sale.

Press release

Foodservice Forecast

Chefs predict top menu trends for 2017
The National Restaurant Association (NRA) annually explores the top menu trends for the coming year. For this year’s “What’s Hot” culinary forecast, the NRA surveyed nearly 1,300 professional chefs to find which foods, beverages, and culinary themes will be hot on restaurant menus in 2017.

Among the top 20 food trends identified by the surveyed chefs are:

  • New cuts of meat (e.g., shoulder tender, oyster steak, Vegas Strip Steak, Merlot cut)
  • Street food-inspired dishes (e.g., tempura, kabobs, dumplings, pupusas)
  • Healthful kids’ meals
  • Sustainable seafood
  • Ethnic-inspired breakfast items (e.g., chorizo scrambled eggs, coconut milk pancakes)
  • House-made condiments
  • Ethnic spices (e.g., harissa, curry, peri peri, ras el hanout, shichimi)
  • House-made sausage
  • Protein-rich grains/seeds (e.g., hemp, chia, quinoa, flax)
  • Savory desserts

“Among the top trends for 2017, we’re seeing several examples of house-made food items and various global flavors, indicating that chefs and restaurateurs are further experimenting with from-scratch preparation and a broad base of flavors,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research, NRA.

NRA What’s Hot

SRG: Top 10 culinary trends for 2017
Sterling-Rice Group (SRG) has identified its top 10 culinary trends that will stand out on restaurant menus, expand onto grocery shelves, and attract consumer attention across the United States in 2017. Broad and growing interest in wellness and the environment, as well as a strong desire to connect with international cultures, continue to be significant key factors influencing the way U.S. consumers eat and drink. In 2017, chefs and foodies alike—seeking authenticity—will be inspired by ancient wellness philosophies and traditional cooking methods to create new and exciting menu items and elevated dining experiences.

Compiled by an in-house culinary team and SRG’s Culinary Council—175 famous chefs, restaurateurs, and foodies—the following culinary trends are expected to expand and grow next year as they move from cutting edge to mainstream.

  • Wake and cake: A February 2016 study published in the journal Appetite links chocolate consumption with better cognitive function. Perhaps eating a piece of chocolate cake at brunch will make people more productive the rest of the day.
  • Dosha dining: Long recommended as medicine by Siddha doctors (traditional Indian physicians), turmeric came into the spotlight in 2016 boasting its mega-health benefits and savory flavor. With sustained interest in food as medicine, consumers will take a deeper dive into the ancient practice of Ayurveda and eat for their doshas.
  • Plant butchery: Meat substitutes have graduated from seitan and soy with new options made from chickpeas, legumes, and fungi. Mock meats are popping up in their own butcher-style storefronts.
  • Food waste frenzy: With approximately 40% of food in the United States going to waste, restaurants, and innovative food companies will increasingly serve up delicious food options using the whole fruit and vegetable—from seeds to rinds.
  • Snackin’ sardines: In 2017, consumers will fish for more protein-rich snacks. High in omega-3s, protein, and umami flavoring, sardines will move to the forefront as an uncomplicated yet elegant addition to any snacking situation.
  • Noodle on this: As Japanese ramen becomes more common, consumers will begin to rediscover Chinese lamian—or hand-pulled noodles—for both their taste and entertainment value.
  • Mocktail mixology: From nonalcoholic happy hours to standalone mocktail menus, beverages are being positioned as intricate and unique experiences that can be had without the hangover.
  • Goat: Low in calories, fat, and cholesterol, goat is poised to become the next go-to protein in 2017.
  • Cook and connect: Chefs, home cooks, and foodies are taking advantage of the sharing economy and coming together in a big and innovative way—from communal pizza ovens and outdoor kitchens to the fleet-farming movement.
  • Migratory meals: By celebrating their rich heritages and cuisines, large refugee populations are beginning to make culinary connections with their new home countries.

SRG’s 10 Cutting-Edge Culinary Trends for 2017 (pdf)

James Beard: 13 food trend forecasts for 2017
Through its educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships for culinary students, publications, and chef advocacy training, the James Beard Foundation has its finger on the pulse of the culinary scene. With that in mind, it has reached out to some of its expert eaters to forecast the food trends destined to be hitting your plates in the coming year. From the triumphant return of French cuisine to the frenzy over fermentation to the new “it” vegetable, here’s the James Beard Foundation’s roadmap to 2017:

  1. Everything is French again: We saw classic French cuisine pop up in Los Angeles a couple years back, when Ludo Lefebvre opened Petit Trois, his homage to Parisian bistro culture. This year the stateside revival of la grande cuisine continued in New York City, with Le Coucou, Mimi, and Augustine leading the way.
  2. Make way for whey: As Bon Appétit reported last year, bottles of whey have been popping up on the shelves of health food stores and markets like Whole Foods, but recently we’ve been seeing an uptick of the ingredient on menus, both in traditional preparations or caramelized in both sweet and savory dishes.
  3. Cauliflower is the new kale: Cauliflower’s mild flavor makes for a stellar blank canvas and its comforting, starchy consistency makes it optimal for standing in for rice or pizza crust. From whole-roasted versions served in cast-iron skillets at the Florence in Savannah, Ga., and Shaya in New Orleans, La., to cauliflower “steaks” serving as stand-alone entrées, we’re devouring the cruciferous veg all over the country.
  4. Kalettes will be next: A cross between kale and Brussel sprouts, this new vegetable is cropping up at farmers’ markets all over the United States. Kalette hasn’t made its way onto many U.S. menus yet, but it was recently spotted on a trendy menu in Oslo, Norway. And if history is any indication, then that means it’s only a matter of time.
  5. Sorghum becomes the new “it” grain: Sorghum grain resembles Israeli couscous, but it is chewier and slightly sweet. Check out dessert guru Alice Medrich’s Flavor Flours cookbook, which has an entire chapter dedicated baking with milled sorghum. We’d wager that it’ll become the new gluten-free, ancient grain of the moment.
  6. Frybread jumps from state fairs to fine dining: Whether it’s the Native American classic appearing at Marc Forgione’s American Cut, or the Eastern European iteration popping up at John Fraser’s Nix and Tim Cushman’s Covina, these days it seems you can’t open a restaurant in New York City without included some sort of fried dough topped with all sorts of decadent accouterments.
  7. Where’s the beef? Whether a function of the increased costs, more interest in sustainability, or a change in consumer tastes, chefs have increasingly made beef less of the star of their menus and more of a supporting player. So while we’re not seeing beef disappear, we are seeing it less as a main course, and more (and in smaller portions) as a canapé.
  8. Delivery-only restaurants take root: You no longer have to choose from brick-and-mortar restaurants when ordering in. Startups like Maple, David Chang’s Ando, and home-cook delivery service Umi Kitchen have proven that with consistently well-executed food, you don’t need a dining room to develop a steady stream of customers who will return time and again.
  9. Fermentation gains traction: A new magazine Cured will cover a large number of topics about aging and fermenting food, and cookbooks like Bar Tartine give explicit instructions about how to ferment your own condiments. Even the current directive to minimize food waste will likely play into the growing notion that older, bubbling, cultured, and fermented foods are better for your health, for flavor, and for the planet.
  10. Vegetables as king: This growing trend has quickly gained steam, with vegan restaurants like Ravi DeRossi’s hot spots Ladybird and Avant Garden pulling in eaters of all varieties. Veggies are taking the spotlight, whether its showcasing a regional specialty like leather britches (where beans taste suspiciously like bacon), or presenting a vegetable centerpiece like a preserved whole tomato with animal-based garnishes.
  11. Sprinkles and technicolor desserts take the cake: From local bakeries to Pinterest boards, the sweets world is exploding with color. Cakes filled with the tiny, bright confections are flooding our feeds, homemade versions are featured on menus everywhere, and recipes are shared in major news sources. Put on your sunglasses, because our collective dessert future looks pretty bright.
  12. Waste not, want not: Restaurants, chefs, and even home cooks are getting smart and learning to create delicious dishes with parts of the animal, fruit, or vegetable that would normally end up in the trash. Make no mistake, this concept is skewing more haute cuisine than dumpster diving: The Beard Award–winning and Michelin-starred Blue Hill had a pop-up restaurant devoted entirely to the theme of food waste and re-use for three weeks last year; top toques Mario Batali and Tom Colicchio spoke out about how we can all reduce waste in our own kitchens; and recipes for the waste-less novice have been everywhere from Epicurious to Tasting Table.
  13. Tataki it or leave it: Tataki is the cold appetizer that is going to sweep the United States and land on every menu from coast to coast. Combining the tender, unadulterated meat of a tartare and the smoky, seared edges of negimaki, tataki is quickly seared, then thinly sliced, brushed with a bright vinegar, and presented with a host of east-meets-west accompaniments.

Press release

Grubhub: 2016’s top delivery trends, popular dishes for 2017
Grubhub, the U.S. online and mobile food-ordering company, has launched “A Year in Delivery,” a comprehensive analysis of delivery trends throughout 2016. Using the year-over-year analysis methodology, Grubhub was able to reveal the most popular dishes in 2016 and predict the 10 dishes it expects to be popular in the coming year.

Five most popular dishes in 2016 (in comparison to orders in 2015 and 2014):

  1. Mac and cheese: 373% increase in orders
  2. Chicken and waffles: 234% increase in orders
  3. Tonkotsu ramen: 223% increase in orders
  4. Southern fried chicken: 218% increase in orders
  5. Oxtail: 161% increase in orders

10 dishes expected to rise in popularity in 2017 (based on orders in 2016):

  1. Ternera
  2. Tamales
  3. Poke
  4. Spam musubi
  5. Takoyaki
  6. Sancocho
  7. Brisket
  8. Tater tots
  9. Pho
  10. Patacones

Press release

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