A recent article in “Retail News” focused on Food Trends.
Written by Signe Langford,
it’s an interesting guide to foods that are growing in popularity, fads and trends in the food world, and the flavours that are popping up everywhere. A trip to any one of Canada’s cities will support the growing popularity of these food trends. As a general statement, consumers want food that tastes good, is nourishing, enjoyable…and healthy. But consumers also want to expand their definition of healthy to include local, ethical, sustainable and perhaps nostalgic foods, according to Langford. Food trends that will continue to grow include local, artisanal and ethically raised foods. Raw food is a popular trend with consumers purchasing tools to support raw food consumption like juicers, dehydrators and spiralizers.
Naturally-raised and grass-fed meats, dairy and eggs are a consumer desirable, given the concerns people have about hormones in meats and an awareness of the need for humane treatment of animals in the food chain. People want good fats, like coconut, olive, shea and flax, as well as healthier snacks that are baked, organic or non-genetically modified. Nostalgic foods that remind people of their grand-parents style of eating are popular – think all-butter shortbread and heritage crackers. Quinoa, almost unheard of five years ago, is in everything from cereals to snacks and breads.
Books like “The Wheat Belly” have increased consumer focus on gluten-free and healthy pop alternatives, like natural sodas, are replacing fake sugars in drinks. New food flavours generally come to North America through immigration and the media. In today’s online world, we are exposed almost daily to what people are eating in other countries and this has introduced us to many new flavour influences. Indian and South East Asian regional foods continue to grow, while Japanese, Chinese and pan-Asian show no signs of slowdown.
Big, bold, spicy flavours are coming to North America from Mexico, South America, and Korea, as seen in the popularity of “kimchee-making classes”, “taco mania”, and the growth of noodle houses. Street food and food trucks are still “hot” and growing as witnessed by the line-ups wherever these outlets pop up. Fusion desserts have made after dinner more interesting and cheese, from the artisanal side of the food world, is seeing a renaissance for after dinner, usually enjoyed with sweet wines. Even bartenders have been part of the world of food change with the growing ‘cocktail culture’ that includes flaming drinks and drinks with enough food floating in them to make them a small meal. Visit Signe Langford for more from this award-winning chef and food writer