By Suzy Badaracco, Foodable Industry Expert
This is the second part in a 2-part series. Read Part One here.
Last month, I offered up five trends missed by forecasters for 2015, but couldn’t ignore another set of five that have been on my mind and showing up in front of consumers.
When combing through the 210 trends forecast Top 10 lists for 2015, offered up by trends forecasters, several gaps appeared that should be shared and considered including this second set of five. Forecasts for 2015 fell into distinct patterns with either the same predictions named again and again or general predictions offered like “sustainable,” which are utterly useless to consumers and the industry in the end.
To understand why food and flavor trends are born, or step into the spotlight for any given year, one must also understand their surrounding Couriers and influencers. A Courier acts to shuttle a trend in from a neighboring focus, while an influencer can be seen as an ally to a trend.
Consumer, Health, and Technology trends impact and shift trends that are expressed in the food industry. They move as a dance — when one arena experiences a shift, the other areas will shift in response. Without understanding what is influencing a food, flavor, or beverage trend, you have little hope of predicting where it will go next. And that is the difference between tracking trends and forecasting them.
With that said, overlooking key trends is akin to having a puzzle with missing pieces which means the picture remains incomplete and can be misunderstood. Here are a few more of the overlooked patterns to round things out a bit to help complete this year’s puzzle.
The Unmentioned Top 5 Trends Affecting the Food Industry
1. Food & Flavors — Chip Nouveau: Chips are coming in well beyond the usual potato and corn varieties (nothing against potato and corn – love you!). But the next gen involves expanding the boundaries into beans, hummus, sweet potato, quinoa, kale, carrot, black sesame, and on and on.
2. Foods & Flavors — What a Jerk: The dried meat cult has gone public and no protein is off limits. There is prosciutto wound around into a rope, turkey, spare ribs, bacon, salmon, white fish, buffalo, rabbit, and duck to name a few. And the flavor combos are just as exhilarating with Caribbean Jerk, Sriracha, Pale Ale, and ginger sprinkling the mix.
3. Foods & Flavors — 3-D Dairy: Cheese, yogurt, milk, and dairy-based smoothies are more complex than they used to be, more 3-Dimensional. Cheese is now peppered with herbs, fennel, truffles, chili, garlic and other delicious add-ins. Yogurt is moving more savory with cucumber, basil, and olives. And smoothies are a grain’s best friend right now as they have been seen mixing it up with chia, oats, and quinoa.
4. Foods & Flavors — Alcohol Spills Out of the Bar: Spirits have moved out of the bar and into the kitchen. There has long been rum in cakes and brandy in chocolate sauce, but now they are joined by Jack Daniels mustard, beer peanut brittle, merlot cherry ice cream, maple syrup made in bourbon barrels, and IPA pickles.
5. Beverage — Drinkable Soups: Gazpacho seems to be the poster child, but the secret is out… drink your soup for health, satiety, and deliciousness!
Enjoy the upcoming shifts the patterns you know are taking – and think of them more like travel experiences, love the moment but don’t get caught up in it.