As we head toward a new year, leading food trend forecasters have shared their predictions. We present some of these forecasts relevant to the kosher consumer. Mintel, the world's leading market intelligence agency reports that there is still a consistent rise in kosher product claims... the rationale: Consumers believe that kosher is more “wholesome”. Less than 2% of the US population is Jewish, but 41% of the country’s packaged food and beverages are labeled kosher. Many consumers buy kosher for non-religious reasons. Some such as positive health or taste perceptions, vegetarian reasons or to avoid allergens, such as shellfish.
2016 Culinary Trends
- 1. Food delivery services increase– delivery kits and chef prepared meals on the upswing throughout the country
- 2. Clean menus - Eliminating artificial ingredients, gmo’s, chemicals from restaurant menus and food products
- 3. Cutting down pasta intake - Pasta slumped 6 percent in 2015. More Americans want pasta made from vegetables, like zucchini and asparagus. Spiralizer sales are up!
- 4. Vegetables- Consumers are requesting more vegetables and eating more vegetables. Root vegetables are at the top of the list. Veggies are pushing animal protein to “the side of the plate”. Some predict that vegetables are the heroes this year. Vegetable portions are rising and meat portions are shrinking — something many Millennials see this as being gentler on the planet.
- 5. No tipping – restaurants are experimenting with the no tip policy and adding the charge to the bill.
- 6. Poke (pronounced poke-ay or poh-key), a Hawaiian dish. Poke ... pronounced poke ay and poh key ... is a Hawaiian mainstay that's migrating to the mainland. It is basically a bowl of chopped or cubed raw fish
- (traditionally ahi tuna over seaweed, seasoned rice ...tossed in a marinade: Combinations include soy sauce, macadamia nuts, green onion, seaweed, avocado, mango, sesame oil, ginger, chilies of varying degrees of heat, numerous Japanese seasoning blends.perhaps including kale and tofu.
- 7. Newish Jewish- a modern take on traditional Jewish cuisine- a popular mainstream trend that is not necessarily kosher; Chefs are preparing traditional Jewish food with a contemporary flair. The newish Jew-ish cuisine has been inspired by the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Immigrants, 3rd and 4th generation Americans. Chefs are reinventing dishes and foodways that were once served only at holidays, juggling culinary traditions with modernity . Millennials and GenZs seem to be gravitating to their grandparents taste for fermented, deli and smoked foods - pickled herring, pickles, sauerkraut, and modern ferments such as kimchi, lox, pastrami and more.
- 8. Acai bowls: Move over, smoothies ... here come acai bowls. Using a fruit from Brazil, these are migrating from Hawaii across the country.
- They are basically big-bowl smoothies ... made from frozen acai pulp and soy or other milk- plus bananas, bits of other fruit, and lots of ice ... with toppings like granola, chia seeds, chocolate chips, coconut flakes and peanut butter. It is eaten with a spoon and is said to taste fairly close to ice cream.
- 9. Fried chicken- we particularly like this trend. New variations of this southern classic range from hot and spicy versions, to chicken fried with the addition of fiery ethnic seasonings.
- 10. Spices take the spotlight; Turmeric is named as the up and coming spice of the year.
- 11. Discarded to Delicious- The new mission of zero food waste is taking over the country: The goal of repurposing yesterday’s food has entered the culinary scene. Chefs are trying to use all of the vegetable or fruit. from stem to leaf.
- 12. In-house made flours are becoming popular, a result of consumers’ desire for transparency in food ingredients.
- 13, Cucumbers are the “it” vegetables – Chefs and home cooks are sourcing all types to add crunch and freshness to dishes.
- 14. Sous vide machines – the newest way to cook. The machines are getting smaller and less expensive to entice the home cook.
- 15. Stuffed dough dishes like samosas and blintzes are gaining popularity
- 16. Indulgent breakfasts and brunch expand in restaurants and at home.
- 17. Iced Cream sandwiches- named the new “cupcake” of 2016!
- 18. Beer – craft and artisan breweries popping up everywhere. Women become beer’s newest, growing customer base.
- 19, Super premium and flavored whisky poised to surpass vodka sales
- 20. Rum tastings, fresh flavored rum cocktails, and sipping rums are gaining popularity.
*Some of the information and statistics for this article were gathered from online reports and various Internet sources.