This time of year is full of reflections on the past year’s food trends, as well as predictions of what we will eat in 2016. Forbes and Fox News weigh in on the trends they want to fade away and what they want to shine in the New Year.
Food trends come and go every year. What were the food trends that experts hope to see in 2016 and which trends do they hope will go away? Forbes and Fox News make predictions what will be popular in restaurants, on menus, and at home for 2016.
The 2015 food trends that experts from Fox News do NOT want to see continue into 2016 include:
Mashups everywhere: From lobster donut rolls to Girl Scout Cookie-flavored beer, we saw foods that should never have met explained Fox News. Mashups can be a beautiful thing, when done correctly.
Overhyped waters: H2O is the building block of life. In 2015, there was Bulletproof’s FATWater, fruit flavored water with droplets of MCT oil derived from coconut oil. Then there was birch water, touted as the next coconut water. While these products, and many others, taste pretty good according to Fox News, science has pretty much confirmed that the best thing to quench to your thirst is plain old water.
Kale: The kale fad is over. It’s not even the most “nutritious” vegetable you can buy per ounce. In June, the CDC ranked 47 of America’s most common fruits and vegetables and watercress, Chinese cabbage, swiss chard, beet greens and spinach all blew kale away.
What food and restaurant trends will gain in popularity for 2016? Forbes and Foxnews.com offers some suggestions:
The end of tipping: It isn’t that tipping at restaurants will become obsolete in 2016, but David Corsun, director of the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management at the University of Denver’s Daniel’s School of Business, makes a good argument that tipping is going to become less and less popular throughout the year.
“In 2015, we saw the beginning of the end of tipping with Danny Meyer’s move in this direction,” said Corsun. When referencing Danny Meyer, Corsun is referring to the CEO of the New York City-based Union Square Hospitality Group, which employs about 1,800 people and owns a number of prominent restaurants.
“We’ll see this become a true trend in 2016,” Corsun predicted. “Higher minimum wages, the cost of healthcare, and threats to the tip credit will all be influential. The challenge will be for restaurants to maintain service standards as servers are no longer working on commission, or tips.”
Salumi will come to the forefront: Salumi will get its due in 2016. It’s a super spicy, spreadable mix of meats, mostly pork. Corsun said the “nose to tail” movement in restaurants will influence buying salumi for at home preparation.
“People are going to buy cuts of beef and pork they wouldn’t have considered cooking at home a couple of years ago. This trend will be driven by cost considerations and concerns about sustainability,” Corsun said.
Bacon will continue to be popular: Every year, Schweid & Sons, a family-owned and fourth generation ground beef processor based out of Carlstadt, New Jersey, comes out with its Burger Trends Report. In 2016, as no surprise, bacon isn’t going anywhere, said the report and Jamie Schweid, executive vice-president of Schweid & Sons.
“Bacon will continue to thrive as the most-used protein to top burgers, but we anticipate we will see a shift to trying a variety of smoked bacons instead,” Schweid shared with Forbes. He adds that bacon jams are also on the rise as toppings.
Artisan soft drinks: Last September, the National Restaurant Association conducted an online survey of 1,575 members of the American Culinary Federation and its members listed artisan sodas as the nation’s current number one non-alcoholic beverage trend, Forbes reported.
Cold brewed coffee: The Gourmet Retailer recently declared that “cold-brew coffees are the hot new thing.” You can drink a cold-brew coffee hot; it’s just that the brewing process doesn’t require heat, according to GourmetRetailer.com. Or as a food biologist told an ABC affiliate, “It’s where you grind the grounds, and you actually steep it in room temperature water for 15 to 24 hours and then you drain off the grains and you have a concentrated brew.”
Forbes reported the flavor is bolder and sweeter and the caffeine content is double that of a regular cup of coffee and many energy drinks.
Healthier menu options: Every year, restaurants and supermarkets are highlighting healthy food items. On December 1, 2016, new regulations pushed by the FDA will be enforced at restaurants and food establishments around the nation, that have 20 or more locations operating under the same name and serving basically the same menu items. (Smaller restaurants may comply voluntarily.) Fox News reported calories will have to be posted for standard menu items and, if guests ask for it, offer additional nutrition information upon request.
International flavors: Fox News predicted that food trucks and mom-and-pop shops aren’t going anywhere anytime soon but they are ready to try some ethnic cuisine sitting down. According a chef survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association, “authentic ethnic cuisine” was named by 14 percent of chef respondents as one of the top trending items. Look for exciting things in Greek, Middle Eastern and Mexican food.
Craft distilleries: Craft beer had an undeniably successful year. Earlier this month, the Brewers Association declared that the number of United States breweries was at a record high at 4,144 different beer makers. Artisanal spirit producers are getting into the game according to Fox News. In 2005, there were about 50 craft distilleries in the United States. Today, American Craft Spirits Association says there are 769 and that figure is growing. While these small batch spirits are typically pricier than the average bottle of Jack Daniel’s or Captain Morgans, distilleries are cranking out some amazing concoctions that are changing the booze landscape.
Alternative proteins: From cricket bars to centipede vodka, crafty advertising and high-end chefs experimenting with the creepy crawlers are chipping away at America’s aversion to these creatures reported Fox News. Even if bugs aren’t really your jam, Whole Foods’ trend forecasters are predicting that lesser-known meat cuts and different, more sustainable seafood, will likely begin popping up on restaurant menus soon. Chefs are becoming more conscious of ways not to waste and using a more nose-to-tail approach may be one way to cut down on what’s being tossed.