The Food Channel® has released its Top Ten Food Trends for 2017—the 29th year in a row that the trends-based company has predicted what will happen next when it comes to food. The trends are based on research conducted by The Food Channel in conjunction with CultureWaves® and the International Food Futurists.
This year we’re watching as what’s happening with food is starting to override what new flavors are emerging. That means the trends are no longer driven by flavors; instead the people who consume the food are driving them. The top 10 trends divided naturally into two groups—and that alone shows the way the industry is changing. It’s no longer simply about flavors and new items; it’s about the experience of food.
Whether you are among those who want food to be better tasting, rather than something new and crazy, or whether you simply want an update to some of your favorites, this may be your year to be on trend!
That said, here is a preview of the top ten trends we’ve identified as things to watch for 2017, divided into two distinct sections. If you would like to read the article in full and explore related recipes, check it out at The Food Channel.
FOOD TRENDS ON THE MENU
Meats Out of The Mainstream
What to choose, what to choose! Will it be beef, chicken, or pork? Those meats have been our standard choices, but we see a big change on the horizon—and it’s not just bison. As people dig into new and replacement proteins, they’ve begun asking what else is out there that isn’t just a one-time adventure in eating (think alligator).
Veggies As Center Of The Plate
We know—we just talked about meat as though it were the only thing happening. But there is another side to the equation, and it’s no longer “just” a side dish. Vegetables are moving into prominence and the rest of the meal is now just as likely to be built around the veggies, as the veggies are to be the also-rans.
No More Waste
There is a new class of sustainability that’s being demonstrated across most food categories. We’re seeing Farm2Table flowers, sustainably sourced seafood, repurposed ingredients, and restaurants worried about food waste. A turning point may have been the whole hog generation, which we called out in 2012 (Food Trend: New Agri Chef). That’s when chefs began to more frequently use every piece of the animal or vegetable, right down to the soup and celery stock.
We mentioned ethnic flavors, so now we have to go a little deeper and tell you what we see on the horizon in the world of global cuisines. We actually talk about ethnic flavors a lot—in 2015 we called out how ethnic was hard to distinguish, since food was getting “mashed up”. That has definitely happened, but the difference now is that there are a lot more cuisines entering the game.
Ingredients as Condiments
Think about what comes with your meals today. While ketchup, salt, and pepper may be the staples on a casual dining table, restaurants are beginning to offer accompaniments to menu items that go beyond the traditional condiments.
FOOD TRENDS INFLUENCING THE MENU
Trend Layered Upon Trend
If you look on a menu today, it is likely to have an item description that reads something like this: A housemade, Indian-inspired, sustainable, sweet breakfast bread served with a touch of nutmeg and a sprinkle of toasted Himalayan pink salt.
The Language of Food
There are dozens of ways to sum up how we think about food, but the one that is gaining traction is pairing a food source with a food delivery. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been saying Farm2Table or Farm-to-Table or F2T or any other combination. To be really on trend you have to take it a little further.
We admit to some hesitancy in mixing this idea with “people food,” but we might as well join the crowd! And there is no hesitancy in recognizing this as a trend. It’s actually a huge topic—people are now discussing pet food and pet food ingredients and comparing them to what they would eat themselves.
Our meal plans are no longer centered around breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacking. Now we tend to plan to eat around occasions. The food is both an excuse and a magnet to draw people together. It’s no longer the idea of coming together to eat; now, we’re eating to come together.
Good Is The New “New”
Here’s the new mantra: Stop focusing on making things new. Just make them good.
You can check out the full article, more in-depth information and recipes inspired by these trends on The Food Channel.