In recent years consumers have become more sophisticated due to the abundance in food choices, information and research about positive and negative effects of some foods. It is with this in mind that we look to 2017’s food trends and notice that consumers are seeking to rediscover traditional cooking methods while exploring global cuisines. Think sustainability, nutrition and authenticity for 2017.
#1 Dark chocolate for breakfast
Chocolate lovers unite! Finally an excuse to eat dark chocolate any time of the day. New research shows that dark chocolate has definite health benefits especially when consumed before noon. It has been linked to cognitive function – reasoning, memory and focus. The thought is that eating chocolate for breakfast prepares you for your day.
#2 Plant butcheries
Meat eaters are exploring plant-based alternatives, giving rise to legumes, chick peas and fungi. Plant butchers are infusing various textures, beet juices and other natural ingredients to mimic the look and flavor of meat. Products like meatless barbecue ribs, pepperoni and teriyaki jerky as well as veggie burgers are starting to pop up in mainstream retail stores.
#3 No waste
Driven by a desire to make earth a better place, millennials are leading the brigade against food waste and finding all sorts of creative ways to use leftovers and by-products in new produce. For example, watermelon rinds are being pickled, cauliflower stems are being turned into cauli-rice and a company in the US is even using waste pulp from the production of cold-pressed juices to make organic tortilla chips.
#4 The rise of sardines
Present day trends are touting sardines as a protein-rich, inexpensive and sustainable fish high in omega-3 fatty acids with an umami flavor that can be infused with a variety of interesting flavours.
#5 Hand-pulled noodles
Some high-end restaurants are employing expert noodle-pullers for special dinners. It’s an artisanal, craft way of eating that focuses on the technique – it makes an impact in much the same way that sushi did some years ago, noodles are set to be the next showcase in preparation and cooking method.
Mocktails are getting a modern makeover with flavoured teas, sipping vinegars, muddled herbs and spices and fresh-pressed juices. Watching a mixologist feels like a special treat rather than ordering a ginger ale or soft drink, consumers are enjoying and interacting with the theatre of preparing drinks.
Goat is touted as the next big thing as far as animal protein goes because it has far less fat than other forms of meat, including chicken and it’s high in protein. 63% of the world consumes goat and with the rise in goat milk products, people may be willing to make the leap. It tastes a bit like lamb, with a texture of beef and lends well to sour and spicy preparations because it’s a solid meat with strong flavor.
#8 Connect and cook
A new app called ‘EatWith’ connects home cooks with hungry strangers. This is really about people craving interaction in an increasingly disconnected world. Another aspect of the trend of called ‘fleet-farming’, a movement allowing aspiring gardeners to farm another’s lawn in exchange for a cut of the produce sales.