Food Trends for 2015
According to international food & restaurant consultants, Baum + Whiteman, 2015 food trends include:
- Technology: Restaurants are adding tablets and other devices to make ordering food easier. Expect to see more of these in 2015.
- Pre-Paying for Non-Refundable Dinner: Have you ever paid for a meal at a restaurant before eating it? You may have to next year and you better show up because many places are eliminating the guarantee of a refund.
- Oysters: Oysters are one of the biggest expected food trends of 2015. Pretzels, chips and other oyster-flavored foods will be huge in 2015.
- More Radical Mashups: Expect more unusual flavor mixing with items such as seaweed, root vegetables, sriracha and more.
- New Drinks: From shareable punches to herbal liqueurs and the rise of whiskey, there should be plenty of new drink combinations coming soon to a bar near you.
- Soda’s Popularity Drops: More health-conscious consumers are kicking soda to the curb in exchange for healthier alternatives such as chilled specialty teas and homemade soft drinks.
- Busier Restaurant Spaces at Retailers: People love buying coffee while shopping. Doing so may get a lot more difficult as restaurants at retailers will receive more traffic next year.
- More Fast-Casual Concepts: Fast-casual restaurants have been gaining traction recently since US consumers realized that they don’t need to break the bank for a quality meal with fresh ingredients. Expect more fast-casual concepts in 2015.
- Neurogastronomy: Eating is an experience, and some restaurants are making sure of that.
- No Tipping: More local governments are passing “living wage” laws to ensure the economic well-being of waiters, making it increasingly acceptable to pay for a meal without tipping.
- Bugs: Insect protein bars already are on the market. And Vij, the Indian restaurant maven in Vancouver, sells a pizza-like paratha topped with crickets.
BUZZWORDS FOR 2015
Pistachios are the nut of the year. Pimm's Cup #1 is coming back. Iced lattes, boozed or not. Upscaling ever spicier ramen noodles, Japanese or cross-cultural. Shaved ice desserts. 'Nduja. Flavored salts. Fermented (not quick-pickled) food. Savory ice creams and yogurts. More bitter, balancing richness the same way that citrus does, but in more sophisticated modes: bitter greens, bitter chocolate, bitter coffee in dishes. Clashing flavor combinations -- look at snacks aisles in food stores and virtuoso dessert menus with sweet-salty-bitter-spicy marriages. Fewer over-oaked chardonnays. Night markets ... building on food truck rodeos and food halls ... are growing around the country in seasonal ethnic and multi-ethnic festivals that bring thousands to riverfronts and public squares.
Drink local: more craft gin and whiskey producers ... more soft drinks producers ... wines from unlikely states all benefit from regional chauvinism. Don't-waste-food campaigns gaining traction. More attempts at Jewish delis and Jewish mashups. More protein being sold at breakfast. Insects in your protein bar. New focus on plant-based proteins. Rapid upscaling of fastcas newcomers will test maximum price levels. Savory waffles and waffle sandwiches. Matcha.