As we approach the end of 2012, I’d like to share with you what others are predicting as the top food and nutrition trends for 2012.
First up is Euro RSCG’s CEO Marian Salzman, who says, “On the food front, we finally accept that we are what we eat and start walking the walk. The government helps, by cracking down on our expanding waistlines, and we flock to farmers markets for artisanal and seasonal offerings. Even our new taste for Nordic cuisine is fueled, perhaps, by images of the lean, robust and outdoorsy.”
Here are her food trends to watch in 2012-13:
- Fat Phobia - As hate for overweight grips the globe—even the stylish French are seeing a disturbing rise in obesity--look for big names such as Pepsi to get in on healthy choices act.
- Guilt-Free Snacks - Healthy snack offerings—and their sales—leap off the charts as we get mindful about what we munch. Look for packaged baby carrots, and low-fat chips and salsa or hummus to be huge for slimming down.
- Southern Fried - There’s a fervor for down-home, Southern cuisine, perhaps in reaction to fat phobia. Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s Harlem eatery Red Rooster, for example, is wooing celebrities with okra, smothered pork chops and fried green tomatoes. Not exactly lean cuisine.
- Zinging It Up - Foodies are buzzing about Korean flavor that’s pickled and peppered. Tacos and kimchis made the food truck scene in L.A., and recently Michelin awarded its first star to a Korean restaurant in Manhattan. Expect more Korean eateries to come.
- Mobile Eats - As our mobile, pop-up and food-truck obsession grows, look for big brands/chains to jump on the bandwagon with mobile offerings. Hungry consumers have shown they’ll queue up anywhere for well-priced, innovative, multi-cultural fare.
According to Nation’s Restaurant News:
- Even though the economy is fragile, consumers will splurge if they perceive value in it.
- Restaurants will focus on three types of dining occasions. First up are inexpensive foods for patrons who want something quick and easy. Second, they’ll sell more healthful items for diners who watch what they eat. Finally, they’ll offer menu items consumers will consider splurges – either calorie or money wise.
- Pistachio’s are hot!
- Small ice cream shakes called “shake shots” will be trendy, as they’re cheaper and lower in calories than a full sized shake. This is similar in thinking to the mini Blizzard at Dairy Queen, i.e., small, affordable indulgences.
- Bananas foster flavoring in retro style desserts will be an in flavor.
- Local is still hot. More restaurant owners and chefs will run their own farms. Big chain restaurants will get in on the “eat local” trend, too.
- Restaurants will make it a point to let their patrons know where their food is grown and imported from.
- Asian and Indian cuisines and flavors will go more mainstream.
Foodie predictions for 2012
- #4 Gluten-Free…and the Backlash – frankly people need to stop thinking gluten free is trendy or cool. For many of us, it’s going GF or feeling extremely ill.
- #10 Wild Greens – foraging for anything from wild mushrooms to dandelion greens is HOT – and good for you!
- #13 Jewish Food - one of my favorite cuisines ever!
More food trends for 2012
- Top Five Nutrition Trends for 2012 from Progressive Grocer
- 10 food trends to watch in 2012 from the Chicago Sun Times
- Food Channel Names 10 Food Trends for 2012 from Gourmet Retailer
- What Will Hit (in 2012) and What Will Fall from Ashley Koff at HuffPo
- The good food news of 2011 from Grist
- Top 5 Health Trends for 2012 (see healthy food trends #1 and #3) from The Values Institute