December 16 2013 – Robert Fiumara
Your job is all about loving food – every chef has to be a foodie to a certain extent or the lack of passion shows through in the cooking. More than ever, the tastes of chefs and our importance in popular culture are becoming emphasized through the shows we watch, the promotions we receive and the changing way people view dining.
This is evident in the way food crazes happen. The food we get excited about as a culture doesn’t just happen because we see it on a commercial these days. Health conscious choices, convenience foods and dessert foods that make the calories worth it are 2013 trends we’ll continue to identify with in the upcoming year.
2013 Food Trends
Red Velvet - This is a carryover from 2012 and possibly even before – but there’s no denying red velvet is still awesome and people still crave it. Despite the fact that it’s essentially chocolate with a coat on, we’re still seeing red velvet everything – cupcakes, cakes, cookies, cake pops, ice cream – anything remotely dessert-like can be transformed into something red velvet.
Bacon - This one’s been around for a while too, though various bacon-related memes make it more popular than ever. We’ve had bacon ice cream, bacon coffee, bacon band-aids, bacon-themed clothing. It’s everywhere. The way things are going, we might actually see bacon-flavored oxygen bars popping up in 2014. Just kidding.
The Yogurt Wars - Yogurt has always been a lunch-worthy convenience food. Now with portable, no-hands yogurt treats and drinkable yogurts marketed to kids and adults, the yogurt wars continue while diet, Greek, international and non-dairy yogurt brands fill the market. It’s true that those Yoplait commercials have been going for years, but in 2014 we can expect the major yogurt brands to put more emphasis on Greek, probiotic and competitor yogurt styles in their advertising.
Going Local - As chefs, we already know the value of well-grown, delicious local produce. Now that organic and non-GMO are and continue to be big buzzwords in produce, we can expect our customers to look to local growers to support local communities and to get a better idea of what’s in their food. A local-sourced strategy definitely makes sense in 2014 menu planning and ordering.
What other 2014 food trends do you expect to see? We’d love to hear your feedback on the hottest dinner menu items, food or cooking shows or celebrity chefs you expect to hear more of next year.