Top 10 Specialty Food Trends for 2016
Mushrooms, fat, snacking may resonate most with consumers in the coming year
Vegetables will get a seat at the table in 2016, rejected produce will find new life, and fat will look good again. These are some of the trends predicted for 2016 by the editors of Specialty Food News, the daily newsletter from the Specialty Food Association.
The $109 billion specialty food industry is driven by innovation and small-batch production. Fifty percent of consumers purchase specialty food and those numbers are expected to rise in 2016, according to Association research.
"Health and convenience come across loud and clear in 2016's trend forecast," says Denise Purcell, head of content for the Specialty Food Association. "Consumers gravitate toward simpler foods and beverages, often sustainable and local, and they respond to products and new store formats that make their lives easier. But, while they may want their food simpler, they don't want it boring. There's always room for indulgence and new taste adventures."
Vegetables Take Root
Vegetables are getting new respect, and will crop up more in teas, yogurts, and ice-cream. Seaweed is set to soar.
Flower power will be evident in chocolate, cheese, snack foods, carbonated water, and an expanding variety of teas.
Food Waste Face-Off
Food retailers, foodservice establishments and food makers will looking for more creative solutions to combat food waste.
Locally sourced meats, seafood and produce will continue to attract attention from consumers who demand to know where their food comes from.
The humble mushroom is now at the intersection of several trends—vegetables, umami and foraging.
Snacks have new status as healthy options for meal replacements that appeal to solo diners, busy parents and even their kids.
Fat is Back
Full-fat products once deemed forbidden are back in style from milk to butter to red meat.
Food retailers large and small are testing new strategies to lure in consumers who are looking for the best in their food and willing to pay.
Supermarkets for Super Health
Expect more supermarkets touting themselves as wellness centers with dieticians on staff, blood sugar testing, and nutrition classes.
The Latin Kitchen
From bottled gazpacho to renewed relations with Cuba, Latin American cuisine is gaining fans from food halls to high-end eateries.