I don’t have a crystal ball or even the ability to read tea leaves to help me make food trend predictions. Instead, I have to do a lot of reading and listening to figure out what will be on our lips both literally and conversationally in the future.
Although my full length Topline Trends quarterly newsletter will be out mid-month, today I offer a preview of what I see on the horizon for our menus in 2009. This year, like all the ones before it, promises interesting developments in food trends:
- Stevia: this sweetener, although not yet granted GRAS status, is already being used to formulate new products like soft drinks.
- Pepper: While artisan and specialty salts will remain popular in 2009, unusual and exotic peppercorns will become just as important to gourmets.
- Craft beer: Expect interest in craft beer to continue to grow and for more restaurants to offer a selection of such brews to their patrons.
- Relaxation Drinks: Forget energy drinks, the new wave of soft drinks will calm you down and help to release stress.
- Molecular gastronomy at home: Although it won’t become mainstream, more home cooks will start to dabble in mad kitchen science with the aid of new cookbooks by the masters of molecular gastronomy.
- Jelly: From head cheese and aspic to jellied cocktails and candies, the molecular gastronomy craze has revitalized a retro favourite.
- Brain Food: More products that claim to help focus, revitalize or nourish our brains will be launched this year.
- Sprouted Grains: From whole wheat to whole grains to sprouted grains, our interest in complex carbohydrates will continue.
- Premeasured seasonings: Ideal for occasional cooks and novices, more spices and seasonings will be sold in premeasured amounts so that people can cook faster and with more confidence than in the past.
- Humane Treatment for Farm Animals: With new legislation in California governing the the treatment of farm animals, the rest of North America will evaluate and discuss how the creatures that are raised for food are treated.
- Spelt: Launches of products that contain spelt are growing fast. Look for this ancient grain on your table in 2009.
Hungry for more details? Come back often since over the next few weeks I’ll be expanding on many of these topics here in my blog. Likewise, if you have any predictions of your own, feel free to jot them below.