Food Trends: looking back at 2008

Welcome to the first day of a fresh, new year!  Like so many other journalists, I have a perverse habit of starting the new year with a look back over the one just finishing.  So, take a seat and join me as I look  back over my 2008 Topline Trends Newletters and compile a list of some of the most important and interesting food trends in 2008.

  1. Burgers:  went from ho-hum to yum-yum with the creation of upscale burger chains.
  2. Locavores/Slow Food:  from growing a pot of basil on your windowsill to hitting the farmer’s market weekly, 2008 saw people thinking about produce in 1908 terms.
  3. Cupcakes (in jars and otherwise):  they just won’t go away!  Traditional cupcakes, cupcake cakes and cupcakes in jars were hugely popular in 2008 despite predictions their popularity was on the  fade.
  4. Permission foods:  “Consume our product, it’s good for you” was used to sell chocolate, yogurt, wine and many other foods in 2008.
  5. Bacon:  from artisan and authentic to weird and wacky, our love affair with bacon and pork continues to flourish as the year ends.
  6. Pudding:  bloggers report a lot of interest in posts about pudding – especially butterscotch, rice and bread pudding.  
  7. Satiety:  instead of starving to shake a few pounds, consumers latched onto the concept of eating foods  – like wheatberries and steal cut oats – that keep you feeling full longer. Needless to say, products with satiety claims were launched quickly.
  8. Smokey flavours:  beyond bacon, smoke flavours and smoking foods was hot in 2008 both in home kitchens and in restaurants.
  9. Artisan and finishing salt:  adding a pinch of specialty salt became a hallmark of sophistication and was used in dessert as well as savoury cooking.
  10. Molecular gastronomy at restaurants:  with more access to techniques and the tools used by molecular gastronomy gurus like Adria, Achatz and Blumenthal, many traditional chefs began flirting with these new techniques.

Drop by tomorrow for my predictions about the food trends to watch in 2009.


2 Responses to Food Trends: looking back at 2008

  1. dinnerwithjulie says:

    Happy New Year Dana! Thanks for a fantastic year of recipes and insight into food trends!

  2. Looking over this list, I’m not very trendy. Sure I love local/slow food and satiety (which is just common sense and healthy eating) but I am not into pudding, bacon or burgers in any form. And let’s face it, who doesn’t like cupcakes?

    On the other hand, my husband bought me French sea salt for Christmas and is a bacon and burger fiend. I guess he’s on the cutting edge in our relationship.

    Hope you had a wonder New Year. Looking forward to what you’ll be serving up in 2009.

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