What Food Trends Can We Expect in 2012?

January 12, 2012—Now that 2012 is underway, numerous foodservice trend watchers are sharing their predictions for this year’s top food trends. Among some of the trends identified are healthful kids’ restaurant meals, whole-grain items in kids’ restaurant meals and Peruvian cuisine.

Some of the top food trends for 2012 identified by The Food Channel in conjunction with Culture Waves, the International Food Futurists and Mintel International are outdoor cooking, amateur and professional chefs using online tools such as YouTube to showcase their skills and restaurant chefs creating branded farms to showcase the products that they have grown.

According to trend consultants Hartman Group, consumers should expect to see a wide variety of local berries and tree fruits appear in beverages, baked goods and snack foods. Hartman Group also anticipates seeing more snacks containing naturally-occurring protein and fiber from beans, pulses, nuts and seeds, rather than added soy and whey protein and inulin. Additional trends to watch for include grass-fed meat, healthy fats, portion control, farro and kettle potato chips.

What can diners expect to see in restaurants in 2012? The National Restaurant Association’s “What’s Hot in 2012” survey of approximately 1,800 professional chefs identified some of the top restaurant trends to watch as healthful kids’ meals, whole-grain items in kids’ meals, children’s nutrition as a culinary theme and gluten-free and food allergy-conscious items.

Contributors for the McCormick 2012 Flavor Forecast® identified the new year’s top 10 flavor pairings. Among these are dill with mint, melon and cucumber; cumin with sofrito; grapefruit with red pepper; and ginger with coconut.

For additional information from these trend reports, see the following websites.

Related Links

The Food Channel: Top Ten Food Trends for 2012

Butter, portion control, tart cherries and stevia. Welcome to 2012

National Restaurant Association “What’s Hot in 2012” Survey

McCormick 2012 Flavor Forecast®

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