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Food Channel Unveils Top 10 Food Trends For 2014

Midwest Fried Chicken

The Food Channel has released its “Top 10 Food Trends for 2014.” Based on research conducted by The Food Channel in conjunction with CultureWaves, the list identifies the significant food movements consumers, foodservice professionals and manufacturers should watch for in the coming year.

food channel logo“This year it’s all about global flavors and customs. There is also recognition of how technology has impacted food behaviors, as well as the craft and midwestern food movements,” said Kay Logsdon, editor of The Food Channel. “This marks 26 years since The Food Channel began identifying trends around food.”

1. The midwestern food movement: This is all about farm fresh and local taken to the next level, using the types of food readily available in the Midwest, such as root vegetables and meats.

2. Low tea: The upper classes had a “low tea” that was more likely to be served in the drawing room or parlor, on a low table. It was meant to sustain them prior to evening activities. The influence of “Downton Abbey” may reign here, but it’s just one of the reasons The Food Channel called out the celebration of tea. It’s also attributable to the move toward more frequent small meals.

3. Distracted dining: Restaurants are beginning to put their menu items into forms that accommodate the cell phone obsessed—so you can eat with one hand, while the other holds the phone. Sandwiches, wraps and small bites are all growing.

4. Bread rises to the top: This is about the flavor experience of bread and how it’s moving more to the center of the plate. Expect breads in more flavors, more forms and “bread with benefits.”

5. Investing in food: The financial community has begun to take notice, with restaurant investments becoming hot property and restaurant stocks soaring.

6. Ethnic inspired: The flavor profiles of India are coming out more and more, which is part of the globalization of food. The Food Channel expects to see more global flavors, forms and “melting pot” foods that retain the authentic flavors and forms of a global society.

7. Hybridization of food: Enter a new mashup, where chefs and home cooks alike are enhancing protein with vegetables; mushrooms in the meat, for example. It may have started with sneaky moms and a blender, but it’s a growing trend.

8. Small scale molecular gastronomy: With both brining and pickling, you get chemical changes in the food, which can bring about new flavors. The Food Channel expects you’ll find pickled and brined items on more and more restaurant menus; there’s not only customization, but manipulation of flavors.

9. Personal shopping: Having someone shop for your groceries, with home delivery, is becoming a necessity for some.

10. Craft everything: There is an interesting evolution happening at the packaging level, which is going to move “craft” beyond small-batch production into something bigger.

And one more to chew on…

Virtual food: There are now 3D food printers that take paste and extrude it into any shape, meaning complicated food “structures” like decorator icings can be “printed.” The Food Channel predicts the food world will see more on this horizon and that it will have an impact on food in a big way.

In the feature photo at top: Fried chicken is one example of the midwestern food movement.


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Featured Photo PLMA Annual Private Label Trade Show
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Chicago, Illinois
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