Food Trends 2006
At this time of year trend analysts and marketers issue their forecasts of what’s to come in the next 365 days. Research and Markets, recently issued a report that "more than 90% of all new product development in the food and beverages industry fails." So let’s take a quick look into the crystal goblet.
According to the Washington Post, trend expert Faith Popcorn is predicting faith-friendly food products. We beginning to see this with Tyson Foods who offers a free downloadable prayer book on its web site. Another one of her observations is that women would prefer a more experiential grocery shopping experience. I’ve always thought it would be an rewarding outreach program to have a home chef posted at a central location in a Whole Foods poised to answer cooking related questions along the lines of "what can I eat tonight." The chef talks to the shoper, provides a recipe and off they go to get those ingredients. The shopper wins. The store wins. Where is that program?
Sara Moulton, executive chef at Gourmet shared her predictions that range from an increase in Middle Eastern food and the rise of ethnic regional foods in the form of Italy’s Tuscany and India’s Kerala regions.
Hotel Marketing, (a must read for me now!) talked with researchers who are responsible for identifying and implementing culinary trends for 2,700 hotels in many of the world’s greatest cities, reports breakfast is back. "Big, fluffy buttermilk, blueberry and apple streusel pancakes, sweet and savory waffles, and flavorful French toast are being seen more and more in restaurants and catering. New takes on breakfast basics, such as the Lemon Soufflé Pancakes, that are found at the restaurants of Renaissance hotels, are becoming more and more popular." They also report that a bartender should have training as a mixologist, and the rise of contemporary twists on foods from Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.
Another wave to ride is the super food one. Blueberries, avocados, green tea, beans, walnuts, chocolate, to name a few in this food roup will not only satiate you, but provide you with good health, longevity, perhaps even make you beautiful.
Personally I’m hoping that more diners step outside to Blackberry and talk on their phones, and for improved service at restaurants. I’d also be thrilled if the following happened: a decent sit-down style Mexican restaurant opened in San Francisco which is filled with a large Latin population; more awareness and support for local farms and regional artisan food products, more chef-farmer relationships, and more home and professional chefs experimenting in their kitchens. And one final one, eating healthy foods rather than diet foods.