Analysts at the Specialty Food Association, New York, predict that consumers will push meat products aside in favor of vegetables and other produce.
“Health and convenience come across loud and clear in 2016's trend forecast,” says Denise Purcell, head of content. “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.”
The 2016 predictions include:
Vegetables take root. Vegetables are getting new respect and will crop up more in teas, yogurts and ice cream. Seaweed is set to soar.
Fresh florals. 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 be looking for more creative solutions to combat food waste.
Local love.Locally sourced meats, seafood and produce will continue to attract attention from consumers who demand to know where their food comes from.
Fungi frenzy. The humble mushroom is now at the intersection of several trends—vegetables, umami and foraging.
Snack appeal. Snacks have new status as healthy options for meal replacements that appeal to solo diners, busy parents and even their children.
Fat is back. Full-fat products once deemed forbidden— from milk and butter to red meat—are back in style.
Convenient shifts. Food retailers large and small are testing new strategies to lure in consumers looking for the best in their food and willing to pay.
Supermarkets for super health. Expect more supermarkets touting themselves as wellness centers with blood sugar testing, nutrition classes and dieticians on staff.
The Latin kitchen. From bottled gazpacho to renewed relations with Cuba, Latin American cuisine is gaining fans from food halls to high-end eateries.