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Top Food Trend Predictions for 2015

Top Food Trend Predictions for 2015



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2014 has come and gone, and with it a slew of culinary trends. Far from simple flashes in the pan, these represent a larger shift in American culinary preferences that shows no signs of abating. We reached out to a handful of chefs and also put our collective heads together, and gathered predictions for what to expect from the culinary world in 2015.

Top Food Trend Predictions for 2015 (Slideshow)

We made 20 predictions heading into 2014, ranging from seeing an uptick in biscuits, sunchokes, tartares, and micro-distilleries, to more chefs owning full-scale farms and cooking invasive species. While some of these hit the nail right on the head — traditional French bistros and brasseries made a comeback as we predicted, with the opening of restaurants like Keith McNally’s Cherche Midi and Major Food Group’s Dirty French in New York, for example — but others didn’t fare so well; we’re still waiting for Richmond, Va. to have its moment and for sous-vide at home to really catch on.

One culinary trend that caught on like wildfire in 2014: Non-traditional reservation practices. Taking a cue from restaurants like Momofuku Ko and Next, plenty of in-demand restaurants also experimented with ticketing systems, including Trois Mec in Los Angeles, San Francisco’s Coi, Philadelphia’s Volver, and dozens of other restaurants nationwide, many using a system developed by restaurateur Nick Kokonas. As Grant Achatz’s business partner, Kokonas pioneered the system in 2011 and uses it at his three restaurants in Chicago, Next, The Aviary, and Alinea.

So where will 2015 take us? It’s obviously impossible to tell (nobody would have predicted that a cross between a croissant and a doughnut would have been the hottest food item of 2013), but we have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Read on for predictions for hot dining trends that we believe you can look forward to in 2015.


“I think a back-to-the-basics trend is impending,” Chris Marchino, the executive chef at Chicago’s Spiaggia, told us. “People are now beyond the overly processed, overly showy presentations and preparations. People are going back to food that is simply prepared, tastes great, and makes you feel warm and cuddly inside." Eric Miller, chef/owner of East Hampton’s Bay Kitchen & Bar, agreed. “Regional cuisine and great old-school technique will make a comeback in 2015,” he predicted. “Long live slow food and warm hospitality!”


Bone broth is definitely having its moment right now, with New York’s Hearth offshoot Brodo and Northern California’s Belcampo earning a write-up in The New York Times. A favorite of paleo enthusiasts and cold people alike, and with a higher percentage of collagen, amino acids, and minerals than regular broth due to more bones being involved in its cooking, expect this comforting elixir to appear at more restaurants soon.


Top Food Trends for 2015. Are You Ready?

There is a lot to look forward to in the New Year for food trends and the evolution of supermarkets. Expect to see smoked as this year's key flavor and a huge rise in popularity for fermented foods. Online grocery shopping will continue to expand to even small markets around the country and supermarkets will evolve into one-stop-shops to win back customers. We're already starting to see top trends like these emerging in the media, in the supermarket aisles in restaurants and on popular cooking shows so expect to see these trends take off big in 2015.

For the last ten years, I've worked closely with ConAgra Foods to produce the annual food trends forecast for the coming year in order to share these with supermarkets across the country to insure they have what you want when you shop their stores. Here are the top trends on my radar:

Grazing Golden-Agers
Ninety-one percent of people say they snack daily, according to Nielsen. While snacking is on the rise among all ages and genders, research shows that snacking among consumers over the age of 65 could contribute to additional years with a higher quality of life. We'll see more boomers - those raised in the "three square meals a day" era - employ a "grazing" approach to eating next year. When boomers snack, they'll focus on foods rich in nutrients like protein, fiber and Omega3s that can help promote bone health, like sunflower seeds, nuts and whole grain popcorn.

Grocery Shopping Goes 24/7 Online
Online grocery shopping and delivery has become a crowded space, with a number of services competing for consumer attention. Once online grocery delivery was considered a luxury for those living in urban areas, but revenue gains among these delivery services indicate the trend will expand to mainstream consumers living in both urban and rural areas next year. Previously, major e-commerce players like Amazon would only deliver non-perishable items, but other services like Peapod, Fresh Direct, Amazon Fresh and Instacart make it possible to have perishables delivered as well.

Everything Smoked
Just when you thought the bacon trend had cooled off, restaurateurs and at-home cooks are continuing to turn up the heat. The demand for smoked foods has risen as chefs begin to apply smoking and grilling to add some sizzle and impart new flavor to other proteins and alternatives like vegetables, butters, and even cocktails. And, with smokers gaining in popularity in backyards across America, at-home cooks are also experimenting with smoking non-traditional foods.

The Rise of Fermented Foods
2015 will be the year fermented foods - foods like yogurt, tempeh and sauerkraut take center stage. These foods contain live cultures, or are preserved in liquid so their sugars and starches can become bacteria-boosting agents. After multi-year growth of gluten-free foods, many consumers have found their digestive health improved. Nearly 50 percent of Americans have changed their diet to help improve digestion, with nearly 20 percent doing so in the past year, found a recent survey by ConAgra Foods. Gluten-free will continue, but also evolve into a focus on fermented foods as people continue to look for foods to aid digestion. Once toppings or side items, these foods will become commonplace in meals this year.

Gen Z: Chefs Everyday
Millennials' passion for food-related adventures is undeniable, but Gen Z, the demographic group born after Millennials (1995 to present day), brings an entire new set of food values to the kitchen table. Exposed at a young age to more flavors and variety than previous generations, Gen Z's collective attitude toward food is simplicity and health. They tend to use stove tops rather than microwaves for cooking meals and fresh ingredients to prepared foods. Research by NPD Group indicates some of their favorite foods to cook include eggs/omelets, hot dogs, potatoes and chicken, which they can "dress up" with their own unique touch.

Craft Foods Make its Way into Kitchens Everywhere
Typically associated with foods made in small batches with specialized, local ingredients, major companies are finding ways to produce craft foods in larger quantities. The phenomenon of craft beer brought new excitement, flavors and sales to the struggling beer industry. In 2015, look for this trend to extend to other beverages and food, as Millennials in particular continue to seek unique tastes and foods with authentic origin stories.

Nutrition Labels: No Longer Just on Packaged Foods
As consumers want more information about their foods, innovative devices like Prep Pad will soon offer this information instantaneously. The Prep Pad pairs with an iPad app to calculate the exact nutritional content of your meals, including the carbs, fats, protein and calories by scanning the bar code of food packages used as ingredients or the items on your plate. Information about a food's ingredients, chemical makeup or nutritional values will become more readily available and commonplace in the supermarket and our kitchens.

Supermarkets Convert into Socializing Spaces
Supermarkets have evolved from straightforward centers where consumers could buy groceries to purveyors of lifestyle. Present day supermarkets are developing a variety of services that help set them apart and establish each outlet as an ambassador of niche lifestyle trends. In the near future, we can expect supermarkets to further specialize in order to present their customers with a unique experience that showcases their personality and philosophy toward foods - instead of presenting themselves solely as vendors of goods.


Top 20 Food Trends for 2020

Food and fashion trends come and go… who can forget bell bottom jeans, pet rocks and just-add-water mashed potato?

Avocado toast has become synonymous with the 2010s and millennials, while milk alternatives had baristas scratching their heads over soy, almond and lactose-free lattes and cappuccinos. Acai bowls ruled as a popular wellness trend, while kombucha cemented itself as the go-to health drink.

Activated charcoal turned everything from ice cream to cocktails black and matcha turned everything green! So, what does 2020 have in store? We asked 10 top Chefs for their trending ingredient predictions for this new decade, along with 10 suggestions of our own:

"Sustainable and local ingredients are trending right now and will continue to do so. More and more people are concerned about the planet, climate change, the destruction of ecosystems and diminishing natural resources.

"People want to know where their food is coming from and want to ensure what they are eating is not only ensuring their health and well-being but also taking care of the environment for the years to come.”

Chef Arte Assavakavinvong of iconic Melbourne restaurant Longrain.

Venison tartare with celeriac, cocoa nibs, beetroot and black garlic on Terry Clark's new menu at The Source, MONA.

Game Meat for Sustainability

"I'm hoping to see Wild Shot venison make an appearance on menus in Tasmania in 2020 for a number of reasons firstly, it’s so delicious and secondly, it’s ethical and sustainable.”

Chef Vince Trim of MONA’s Faro restaurant.

Matt believes ugly fruit and vegetables – basically imperfect produce – will become popular in 2020 as people embrace authenticity while the one ingredient he can’t live without is mushrooms.

"They are incredibly versatile. I like them simply sautéed and served on char-grilled sourdough, with crème fraiche and a drizzle of truffle oil.”

Group Executive Chef, Matt Haigh for caterer Peter Rowland .

Vegetables with a Side of Meat

"I think generally, trending ingredients would be vastly vegetables and zero-waste cooking. Kudos to Matt Preston for preaching the undervalued vegetable! I think people are not only starting to realise that eating meat every day isn’t good for them, but that vegetables can make for a sustainable meal that we don’t have enough of!

"Instead of meat with a side of vegetables, why not vegetables with a side of meat? Zero-waste cooking is huge now and it’s only going to get bigger! This applies to many ingredients, for meat, it’s utilising everything from head to tail, vegetables from root to stem and fish from fin to fin (thanks to Josh Niland).”

Larissa Takchi, MasterChef 2019 winner.

"Organic produce is definitely on-trend at the moment. People are more aware of how food contributes to their own gut health and sourcing wholesome and organic produce is becoming very fashionable right now.”

"Fish butchery, with the release of Josh Niland’s book and him leading the way on seafood sustainability, I think we will see a lot of Chefs following suit.”

Executive Chef Daniel Armon at McLaren Vale dining destination Serafino Restaurant.

"Fresh, really good quality and well researched ingredients and back to basics with artisanal produce and ingredients.”

Head Chef Terry Clark of MONA’s fine dining restaurant The Source.

"The holy grail of reef fish, coral trout and red emperor, which we source from Chris Bolton Fishing. Chris showcases some of the finest line-caught reef fish in North Queensland. Also, it’s not uncommon for our guests to cast a line in the fringing reefs and bring back incredible fish for us to cook to their liking, such as Spanish mackerel and nannygai (red snapper).”

Executive Chef Sam Moore at Orpheus Island Lodge.

"Native! Full stop. I’m excited for their discovery in kitchens across the country and the more prominent use of these stunning ingredients which are good in many ways, besides just being delicious.”

Head Chef Charlie Carrington of Atlas Dining and LOMAH.

Cumin and coriander spiced Kofta burgers.

With plant-based burgers already hitting the takeaway market in Australia, the trend towards meat-plant blends is sure to continue in 2020. Blended meat products aim to reconcile our love of animal protein with a need to eat more plants there’s no denying the popularity of alternative meat products for health and environmental reasons.

Millennial parents are raising a generation of little foodies, with kids reaching for California rolls alongside their parents at the sushi bar. School canteens, restaurants and food brands are upgrading old-school kids’ menus to include things like fish sticks, organic chicken nuggets, salads and healthy protein balls.

Oat milk has emerged as the golden child of alternative milk – it’s great in coffee and for a time, baristas could barely keep it in stock. This vegan alternative to dairy milk is made by blending water and oats, then straining out the liquid some recipes call for soaking the oats for 30 minutes prior to blending to make the texture a little thicker.

As a 100% whole grain, oats are filled with fibre, plant-based protein, B vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium and magnesium they’ve also been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, improved immunity and gut health.

People want to know where their food comes from, bridging the gap between the farm and fork. They want to know it has been farmed or produced ethically and sustainably and no harmful additives have been included they want to open their fridge, take out a bag of vegetables and know they are natural, organic and delicious.

More people will consider themselves flexitarians in 2020 – those who eat meat and fish on occasion - a trend inspired by the plant-based meat fad and other alternative options. This ‘casual vegetarianism’ claims to reduce your carbon footprint and improve health with an eating regime that’s mostly vegetarian, yet still allows for an occasional meat dish.

The rise of the flexitarian diet is a result of people taking a more environmentally sustainable approach to what they eat, by reducing meat consumption in exchange for alternative protein sources.

With more of us caring about sustainability, local food from markets and farms will have their time to shine in 2020. Buying local is a major factor that consumers equate with freshness, social responsibility, high quality, health and food with a story.

Executive Chef at Peppers Noosa Resort & Villas’ signature View restaurant, Matt Golinski champions local producers in his quest to source sustainable ingredients for his seasonal menus.

"My brief when I [started working with] Peppers was to develop menus using as much local produce as possible. In 12 months, we have gone from having six or seven suppliers to more like 50. Eggs, milk, cheese, nuts, olives, tomatoes, garlic, strawberries, limes, honey and finger limes – just to name a few – are all dropped directly to the back door of the kitchen, by the people who grow or make the product.

"This means the kitchen staff have an opportunity to build relationships with our producers as well. That’s the thing I am most proud of achieving since I started, because even if I wasn’t here anymore that philosophy would continue.”

You already bring your own shopping bags to supermarkets, but more and more zero waste practices will emerge in 2020. Compostable produce bags and less packaging will become the norm, as we switch on to actively reducing our waste consumption, designing our lives to avoid acquiring things that will end up as trash – especially disposable and non-recyclable products and packaging.

Even Hollywood A-listers aren’t immune to zero waste guilt with Aquaman Jason Momoa recently calling out fellow Superhero Chris Pratt (Star-Lord, Guardians of the Galaxy) for drinking from single-use plastic water bottles.

You, or someone you know, has probably already tried a delivery meal kit in 2019. Having all the ingredients, pre-measured right at your doorstep to cook a meal is too convenient to give up – this trend is sure to grow in 2020, as we juggle family life and busy work lifestyles.

Lotus seeds are great snacks that are loaded with antioxidants and their addictive crunchiness and flavour makes them a hit especially when flavours like barbeque, sea salt and tomato are added – sort of like popcorn. Peel away the bitter pith to reveal a milk-white, slightly sweet seed with a taste between pine nuts and green almonds.

Chinese medicine regards lotus seeds as a regular natural food for health maintenance as it is reported to reduce fever, provide protein, vitamins and amino acids to help strengthen the immunity system.

Almond and coconut flour are out, banana and cauliflower flour are in! American trends show that fruit and vegetable flours with protein and fibre are proving extremely popular, as many of us seek gluten-free dietary options.

Alternative flours made from fruit and vegetables will continue to show up in the baking aisle this year, along with snacks made from them such as corn chips, doughnuts and baked goods.

Think beyond nut butters like almond and cashew, 2020 will bring chickpea, watermelon seed and other unique types of butter. Look out for varieties that either use sustainable palm oil or none at all.

Peeled watermelon seeds are stone ground at low temperature into a silky-smooth seed butter with a creamy taste and hints of sweet cashew and earthy sesame while chickpea butter is made from aquafaba, the cloudy liquid you likely pour off when you crack open a can.

Here’s to a new year full of new trends, challenges and plenty of good food. Message us of any emerging trends you’re seeing in your day-to-day life, we’d love to know!


Matcha, regional grains, coconut sugar & cannabis cuisine: What are the top 10 culinary trends for 2015?

Culinary trendsetters? Local grains, Matcha green tea, and ancient grain granola with coconut sugar.

Related tags: Sugar

As for overarching themes, says SRG, look out for “deeper explorations of global cuisines and cooking methods, especially Asian continued efforts to reinforce community connections and adopt buying habits that promote sustainability and new foods and flavors that meet our demands for balanced nutrition as well as adventurous… eating experiences…”

1.REGIONAL GRAINS: ​Expect more farmers to grow small-scale alternative grain varieties and sell them to local bakers, brewers, chefs, and consumers.

Example​: Community Grains flour and pasta.

2.ADVANCED ASIAN:​ Look out for more complex, “spicier and funkier​” and “true-to-region” ​Asian foods, from Northern (Issan) Thai cuisine, and Japanese okonomiyaki pancakes, to Filipino foods.

3.CANNABIS CUISINE:​ Cannabis will move beyond pot brownies to confections, bars, simple syrups, and bottled cold-brewed coffee.

Examples​: Mirth Provisions Legal cold-brewed coffee, Craft Elixirs flavored TCH-oil-infused simple syrup.

4.CHARCOAL:​ With growing interest in grilled Asian foods, more chefs are turning to ancient styles of charcoal, says SRG. “Japanese charcoal, or binchotan, is kilned oak that burns at 1,652° to 2,192°F in a clean, odorless, and smokeless way that allows food to cook fast and retain natural flavors. Thai charcoal performs a similar feat. Charcoal is also coloring breads, crackers, and lemonades.”

Examples​: Fine English Charcoal Squares, The Fine Cheese Company.

5.HOP-FREE BEER: “Craft brewers are taking a cue from their medieval predecessors and using herbs, spices, and other bitter plants to provide flavor balance and aroma to beer instead of hops.”


These Predicted 2025 Food Trends Prove The Future's Looking. Interesting?

Um, could cricket burgers be the next Impossible Burger?

At the beginning of the aughts, kale was a nobody. You didn&rsquot know how to pronounce kombucha. (Maybe you still don't?) Pumpkin spice was just a new Starbucks flavor, not yet a way of life.

As 2020 gets going&mdashthe start of a brand new decade&mdashwe wanted set out to discover what the next five years of food would look like. because it&rsquos fun to know stuff before anyone else does. Here's what the experts had to say, plus a few educated guesses of our own.

Don't judge a fruit by its cover.

Rather than choosing produce that looks good to the naked eye, we&rsquoll be able to choose vegetables based on the nutrients they have in them. TeakOrigin, a food data company, uses spectroscopy&mdashthe interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation&mdashto measure the nutrient levels in a fruit or vegetable. &ldquoNutrients are gone if produce sits too long on the shelf,&rdquo says Hilary Cunningham, Product Director at TeakOrigin. &ldquoWe can take a specific apple and tell you the exact amounts of nutrients it has.&rdquo

Personalized diets trump one-size-fits-all ones.

Grocery stores are already packed with foods for specific ways of eating: keto, South Beach, Paleo, low-cholesterol. But what if a diet was specific to you and no one else? &ldquoThere are companies that create metabolic challenges to see how your body handles and processes food. Eat this shake or muffin with specific known nutrients and send blood samples in before and after. They analyze them and can understand the way your body reacts to give you feedback on what you should eat,&rdquo says Andy Narotsky, a Product Development Scientist at Campbell&rsquos Soup Company. From this information, companies could develop eating &ldquoprofiles,&rdquo then label foods according to which profile the levels of protein, carbohydrates, and fats work best with.

Crickets are. delicious?

Maybe you know someone who ate a cricket in another country once. But as agricultural land becomes sparse and the environmental consequences of producing animal proteins worsen, you might find yourself biting into a cricket energy bar. &ldquoThe advantage with cricket protein is that you don&rsquot need any land. With increased urbanization, you can have a vertical cricket farm in an office building. It can be an incredibly local source of protein, and they barely need any food or water, so it&rsquos great for sustainability,&rdquo says Narotsky. By grinding the crickets into cricket flour, food makers could add complete protein to just about anything: pancakes, breads, even pasta sauces. While today you can buy Chirps Chips, Exo Cricket Protein Bars, or Salsa Verde Chiridos, its not unreasonable to think we cricket burgers could eventually be the new Impossible Burgers.

Eastern medicine goes even more mainstream.

While Ayurveda is currently &ldquodefinitely California stuff,&rdquo as one expert put it, the natural style of medicine that started in India about 3,000 years ago may well make its way to all of our kitchens. Johns Hopkins Medicine&rsquos online Health Library explains it: &ldquoBased on the idea that disease is due to an imbalance or stress in a person's consciousness, Ayurveda encourages certain lifestyle interventions and natural therapies to regain a balance between the body, mind, spirit, and the environment.&rdquo People who believe in Ayurveda medicine believe food plays a large part in your overall well-being and can even put you in a specific mood. While teas and supplements can be found in specialty stores, be ready for cookbooks telling you how to cook an entire Ayurveda diet and prepared foods of any kind promising to balance your Dosha (your body&rsquos energy).

Food for every occasion.

After you work out, you drink protein. After a night out, you eat a bacon and egg sandwich. In five years, we&rsquoll have specific foods to eat after doing&hellipanything. &ldquoWhen you get a cold? Here is a product specially designed to deliver those nutrients you need to recover. Pregnant women need certain nutrients, here is the precise food that delivers that,&rdquo says Cunningham. Companies like Agni Provision are already working on creating postpartum foods. Narotsky adds: &ldquoThis is part of the continuing trend toward functional everything: I want everything I consume to do something for me.&rdquo

The world is on your plate.

As the world changes, so too will things we are able to get on our plate. When you&rsquore trying to anticipate what is going to come, you have to think about what the big social macro changes coming are, too. Things like global warming, economic change, or international strife could change our values&mdashand what&rsquos available to us. Fish may become less available and as growing regions may change leading us to ditch more resource intensive crops for &ldquoMore pulses and legumes, for the proteins and fiber. They&rsquore much easier to grow,&rdquo says Nielsen. Economic changes and conflict can also change our diets, &ldquoWe&rsquove seen a real growth of food of Syria in part because of refugees who are finding their way to the United States and participating in programs helping them make food for their communities and to make a living in food halls and little catering programs.&rdquo Whatever happens in the world, we will see it in the news, and on our plates.

Cold, very cold, or extra cold.

As summer gets hotter and winters get colder, the temperature of our foods might make them more expensive. Says Narotsky, &ldquoTemperature is a lever that we traditionally don&rsquot charge for. But as climate change continues, will the demand for cold bottled water increase in hotter summers? Then the prices might.&rdquo You might pay more for a &ldquosuper cold&rdquo popsicle when &ldquostandard cold&rdquo isn&rsquot enough.

The next pumpkin spice is.

Actually, if we knew what the next insane (and insanely lucrative) flavor trend would be, we wouldn&rsquot tell you. But it ain&rsquot horseradish, and it&rsquoll likely come from somewhere farther than Starbucks: &ldquoWe keep digging deeper into the cultures that we are familiar with, Mexican regional food, central American, possibly even South American with a deeper understanding of what&rsquos unique and specific,&rdquo says Kara Nielsen, a food trend expert from Oakland, CA. While the differences may not be massive, we&rsquoll come to appreciate the intricacies of Indonesian versus Malaysian versus Micronesian food. &ldquoKind of like barbecue, when we think about American barbecue someone from Tennessee and North Carolina will really beg to differ about the styles.&rdquo So, look for Chicken Micronesia sandwiches with pineapple, onion, and coconut, or spicy cheesy Peruvian potatoes, papas a la Huancaina.

Garden variety vegetables are so yesterday.

You want an apple? Choose your varietal: Red Delicious, Gala, Fiji, the recent Cosmic Crisp, ten others. But you want zucchini? The &ldquozucchini&rdquo is over in that bin. No more. As consumer interest in food continues to increase so too will our options. &ldquoThere has been a lot of progress in the past decade in standardizing agriculture, but I think there is going to be a bigger market for different varietals of vegetables,&rdquo says Narotsky. Your simple search for cauliflower will soon lead you to Depurple (which has the same anti-oxidants as red wine), Self-Blanching Snowball (with leaves that self-wrap around the head to protect it and keep it pure white), or Cheddar Hybrid Cauliflower (bright orange with 25 times the beta carotene of white cauliflower).


Carob sweetener

Global luxury boutique brand, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, has also shared their predictions on what we'll eat and drink in 2021.

The natural sweetener, carob, is expected to be huge &ndash it's plant-based, low in sugar and antioxidant-rich.

Carob pods and beans

"If there&rsquos one trend from 2020 that we know will continue it&rsquos that we&rsquoll continue to give a lot of attention to health-conscious and plant-based cuisine, so 2021 will be a carob-covered year indeed,&rdquo says Justin Dunne, General Manager of Restaurants & Bars at Kimpton® Maa-Lai Bangkok.


. to Istanbul and beyond

As with Japanese cuisine, our knowledge and yearning for quality Middle Eastern food has gone beyond buying a pot of harissa-spiked hummus in the supermarket. Greek food has long been popular in the UK, but a recent growth in more specialised Turkish, Lebanese, Iranian and Levantine restaurants and cookbooks has seen demand soar. Yotam Ottolenghi perhaps led the original charge with his chain of restaurants and acclaimed cookbooks, but Israeli venue Honey & Co. have recently sparked a passion for Middle Eastern baking with their plentiful cafés and recent book, and the Levant-inspired The Palomar restaurant just won a Michelin Bib Gourmand and sought-after Observer Food Monthly award.

You know this is bang on trend when Alan Yau – founder of the Hakkasan and Wagamama groups – has got his sticky mitts around it, having just opened Babaji, a speciality pide restaurant in London. Having spotted the Japanese trend years ago, it’s a sure sign that it’s on the up. Our love affair with kebabs has also had a makeover from greasy takeaways to dining destinations, with Berber & Q, Black Axe Mangal and Chifafa leading the way.


Check out the food trends of 2015

When it comes to food, 2015 is forecast to be the year of fermented, smoked, and craft items that will either be quickly delivered to a doorstep or consumed in a grocery store that feels more like a restaurant.

So says the Supermarket Guru, aka Phil Lempert, who conducted research with ConAgra, the company behind brands such as Chef Boyardee, Egg Beaters and Slim Jim.

Supermarket operators will need to pay attention, if they want to hold on to their shoppers who have more options than ever at their disposal.

"If you take a look the past 10 years, supermarkets have lost about 15 percent market share to drug chains, to warehouse clubs, to Bed Bath & Beyond, to everybody that's selling food," Lempert said. "As a result of that, they're really challenged."

Here's a look at the food trends Lempert predicts will gain steam in 2015:

Grazing golden-agers: Many baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, are cutting back on massive meals, instead looking to snacks and smaller meals to help maintain energy and keep from feeling too full. "The antiquated idea of three square meals a day probably was never that healthful," Lempert said.

More same-day delivery: Grocery delivery is stretching into new areas and formats, with services such as Instacart offering delivery in as little as an hour. And Google Express recently rolled out a subscription costing $95 a year, or $10 a month, to receive same-day deliveries in Chicago and other select markets from a wide range of shops.

"This concept of going grocery shopping 2.2 times a week goes away," Lempert said.

Everything smoked: After the rise of hot sauces such as sriracha, Lempert sees smoky flavors gaining the attention of cooks. Some may go out and buy a backyard smoker, while others will add liquid smoke to a recipe or look for smoked canned vegetables or smoked cheese at the store.

The rise of fermented foods: Fermented foods — think yogurt, kimchee and sauerkraut — contain live cultures, or are preserved in liquid so their sugars and starches can become bacteria-boosting agents, which is said to aid digestion.

"We're going to see much more attention on packaging (devoted) to digestive health," said Lempert. "We're going to start pickling all kinds of things."

Gen Z, chefs everyday: Those born after millennials, or starting in 1995, crave more flavors and variety than earlier generations yet also have a focus on simplicity and health.

"If you look at their food values it's almost like they're going back to their grandparents' day," said Lempert, pointing to their desire to dress up basic foods such as chicken and eggs.

Craft foods make their way into kitchens everywhere: Craft beer has been chipping away at bigger beer brands for years. Now big food companies are diving deeper into the craft business, buying smaller companies known for using local ingredients and creating products that have an artisanal feel.

Lempert points to examples such as Pepsi's new cane sugar soda, Caleb's Kola, as well as ConAgra's acquisition of the Alexia potato line and Hillshire's acquisition of West Coast sausage company Aidells.

Nutrition labels: Lempert sees people looking beyond nutrition labels to find out more about what they are eating. He points to the Prep Pad, a roughly $150 countertop scale that links up with an iPad to give detailed nutritional information.

Supermarkets convert into socializing spaces: Supermarkets are under pressure from rivals ranging from other grocery stores to dollar stores, farmers markets and restaurants. Shoppers want convenience but they also want to know more about what they're buying, Lempert said. That's why retailers are hiring chefs, registered dietitians and other experts to stand out.

"They're looking to build a relationship with shoppers that transcends price," Lempert said. "There are chains around the country that are really getting it, and other ones are going to go out of business."


Reusable products

Shutterstock

Expect to see more reusable cup days at Starbucks (which already gives a discount for bringing your own), plus strawless lids and sustainable utensils, Food Business News says. The trend allows consumers and customers to promote environmentalism, but also a ploy to get consumers to come back.


Hummus is nothing new, and neither is falafel, but thanks to the likes of Ottolenghi and Sabrina Ghayour, we're experimenting more than ever with Middle Eastern flavours in the home. Waitrose has seen a rise in sales of ingredients such as sumac, baharat and zaatar.

Yep, it seems salt isn't a popular ingredient to add to the dining room table anymore. Instead, research found that condiments such as hot sauce, as well as chilli flakes and ground pepper.