In 2014, consumers will continue to seek healthy options, but with an occasional indulgent splurge. Look for these food trends to go big next year as they move from cutting-edge to mainstream:
- Lemon Steps into the Sun: The often unmentioned brightener of dressings and sauces, lemon shines as a main ingredient in its purest freshest juice or preserved form.
- Tea Leaves the Cup: Black, green, and other leafy brews will bring a healthy, flavorful twist to dinner, desserts, and more.
- The Middle Eastern Mediterranean: Middle Eastern seasonings such as sumac, za'atar, and marash will expand the boundaries and flavor profile of traditional Mediterranean cuisine.
- Dairy Goes Nuts: Milk made from cashews, almonds, and peanuts bring dairy-free, luscious flavors to sauces, drinks, and dinners.
- The Year of the Yolk: The creamy, decadent, golden globe will reign adding richness previously provided by cheese, dairy, and sauces.
- Refined Classic American Eats: Move over burgers and fries wedge salads doused in creamy Caesar and other upscale classics take center plate.
- The Return of Poaching and Steaming: Goodbye bland wine, coffee, beer, and smoky liquids replace water for more flavorful dishes.
- Seaweed Goes Beyond Sushi: Nutritious and full of deep, salty flavor, seaweed shows up as a snack, umami-rich seasoning, and more.
- No Ordinary Pasta: Traditional pastas take a backseat to noodles made of alternative flours, seasoned with global spices, and formed into new shapes of all sizes.
- The New Flavors of Farm-to-Table: Exotic meat goat, rabbit and pigeon raised by small-scale producers offer new feel-good protein choices.
SRG's "2014 Top 10 Food Trends" were compiled with the expertise of SRG's culinary council a team of more than 100 famous chefs, restaurateurs, and foodies and feature examples of cutting-edge restaurants and brands leading the way for each trend. An extension of Culinary Shifts, SRG's proprietary research based on key societal shifts driving long-term food trends, the predictions provide insight for food industry companies to better develop, position, market, and sell food products. For a complete look at SRG's "2014 Top Ten Food Trends," visit srg.com/2014FoodTrends.