10 Influential Food Trends for 2016
Campbell's Culinary & Baking Institute reveals emerging trends including authentic Thai, traditional fats and cooking with fire
Campbell’s Culinary & Baking Institute (CCBI), a global network of highly-trained chefs, bakers and culinary professionals at Campbell Soup Company, released its third annual Culinary TrendScape – a report tracking the top 10 influential food themes for 2016.
The report is part of Campbell’s culinary tracking system that identifies and categorizes the most impactful food trends and follows them on their journey as they evolve through six distinct stages. These range from the “Discovery” stage 1, like Cooking with Fire, where chefs are rediscovering the extreme flavors and textures that can come from cooking over an open flame, to the “Expanded” stage 6, like Caramel, which have universal appeal and international availability.
Top 10 trends to watch in 2016
Cooking with Fire (Stage 1, Discovery) – A return to the simplest form of grilling, chefs are embracing wood-fired grills for cocktails, appetizers and even desserts, deliberately burning dishes, and incorporating specialty woods and charcoals to intensify flavor.
Authentic Thai (Stage 2, Introduction) – A step beyond traditional Thai. Homestyle dishes found throughout Thailand, like khao soy curry noodle soup, are hitting independent restaurants.
French Revival (Stage 2, Introduction) – Timeless dishes and traditional pastries are back in the comfort food limelight at a new wave of French bistros and cafes.
Inspired Ice Cream (Stage 3, Adoption) – The ice cream category is being reinvented one scoop at a time with bold new flavors like chorizo-caramel, hibiscus-beet and black pepper-butter pecan.
Traditional Fats (Stage 3, Adoption) – Fat is back. Rendered chicken fat, beef tallow, pork fat, nuts and seeds of all varieties and even avocados are in fashion despite their high fat content.
Veg 2.0 (Stage 3, Adoption) – The veggie revolution has expanded beyond kale to carrots wellington, beet tartare and zucchini pasta noodles.
Asian Noodle Soups (Stage 4, Mainstream) – Creative ramen and Vietnamese pho continue to rise in popularity.
Haute Dogs (Stage 5, Established) – New takes on the All-American classic include Vietnamese bahn mi flavored links, mac-n-cheese garnishes and croissant buns.
Simple & Real (Stage 5, Established) – The demand for wholesome food options with fewer and simpler ingredients is causing companies to become more transparent about how their food is made.
Caramel (Stage 6, Expanded) – Caramel is here to stay and has found a home in a wide range of categories from coffees to cocktails.
“Monitoring and understanding trends is our way of anticipating what our consumers and customers will desire as tastes shift year to year,” said Thomas Griffiths, CMC, Vice President, Campbell’s Culinary & Baking Institute. “Some of the trends are inspiration for the foods we make, as they serve as a springboard that drives creative product development. The report paints a broad picture of how tastes are evolving, and how we are evolving our products along with them.”
Trends are discovered and documented by Campbell chefs who attend culinary immersion tours and conferences, work in restaurants and network with highly-influential chefs. The chefs then track the development of these trends across different aspects of food culture, tagging them under two main categories – TrendPoints and TrendReach.
• TrendPoints represent where the trends are seen in action such as the “Marketplace,” like specialty shops and grocery stores, or in the “Media,” like magazines and cookbooks.
• Chefs then categorize the TrendReach based on six distinct stages, such as the “Introduction” stage 2, where a culinary-minded audience like those who read food magazines might be aware of the trend, or the “Established” stage 5, which could be products found in supermarkets.