From MediaPost.com: Back-to-basics -- meaning a focus on buying quality, basic ingredients
and building a menu from there -- leads the Food Channel's list of top
food trends for 2010.
This version of back-to-basics "isn't about retro, or comfort food, or
even cost -- it's about determining the essentials and stocking your
pantry accordingly," say the channel's food gurus.
In fact, in addition to more of the eating-at-home trend, they predict
a shift away from convenience foods and toward real, from-scratch
cooking, "now that we have more time than money, and more food
knowledge and concerns."
When people do go out to eat, they'll be experimenting more than ever.
Restaurant concepts are in flux as people redefine what going "out" to
eat means, they note. New formats/concepts that are likely to do well
include gastropubs, fusion dining, "shareables" and communal tables,
and those built around "fresh" and do-it-yourself themes.
Grocery stores will continue to see growth in private label and a
revival of emphasis on the in-store butcher, as well as upgraded delis
and fresh take-out sections, say the trend-watchers. Bulk buys will
continue, but frequent -- even daily -- purchases of fresh meal
ingredients will become more common as a means of making meals special
and minimizing waste. Using social media, apps and online sources to
get real-time tips on where the best grocery deals are and to score
coupons will become more prevalent.
- Redefining "ethnic" ("American, The New Ethnic"). American food is
made up of a growing number of ethnic staples and favorites. We're also
adding individual dashes of creativity as we share these favorites and
learn to cook them at home.
- Food vetting. Food sourcing issues ranging from Fair Trade to
organics to mercury-free fish will continue to grow in importance.
- Mainstreaming sustainability. Growing numbers of Americans will
continue to adopt sustainable practices out of a desire to make a
difference, including eating locally sourced, seasonal foods and buying
products with sustainable/biodegradable packaging. Food manufacturers
will continue to expand sustainable operational and packaging
- Food with benefits. "Functional" foods with added nutrients or
health/beauty benefits claims will continue to proliferate, as will
gluten- and allergy-free foods. Nutritional labeling will get sorted
- The "new" foodie. Today's foodies are less obsessed with snob appeal
and more interested in fun experimentation, such as combining exotic or
expensive ingredients with everyday items like hamburgers or mac and
- Bartering for consumables. With community-supported agriculture
(CSA's) as well as farmers' markets and roadside stands in vogue, the
next step is using our new online communication capabilities to make
connections (even with strangers) for swaps that include food. These
analysts predict more trading of skills/time for food, and vice versa
("think a box of tomatoes in exchange for babysitting"), as well as
more homemade food as gifts.
- Personalizing and individual portions to express individuality. The
parallel trend to collectives and communal eating is individualism,
reflected both in practices like making cheese at home and in the
growing number of individual-size foods (cupcakes, pizzas, etc.).
Individual portions also enable cooks and restaurants to let people
choose their own ingredients and express their personalities. Chains
such as Flat Top Grill, where customers can choose their own
ingredients for items served at every meal, will grow in popularity.