Top Food Trends For the New Year

As foodservice grows to be more and more important in the c-store channel, it’s worth noting  The Food Channel’s list of the top 10 food trends to watch for 2010. The Web site released its top 10 for ’10 based on research conducted in conjunction with CultureWaves and the International Food Futurists.

According to the list, customers are looking to return to natural, basic ingredients that are pure, simple, clean and sustainable and with this we’ll see customers opting more for scratch cooking than convenience. But at the same time, they also want to experiment more with their food choices. New concepts around “fresh” and DIY are expected to do well. These days “foodies” are as likely to reach for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as they are to reach for shell crab sushi. Customers are looking to try new things, but also want the old basics. And in keeping with the experimentation trend, they might even eat the two together.

Growth is predicted in grocery store sales, especially in the private label area.

“These old generics have morphed into their own brands, so that there is blurring and less of a caste system. Grocery stores are also doing things such as upgrading delis and fresh take-out sections, all the way to returning butchers to a place of prominence,” according to the Food Channel.

After a huge move toward ethnic flavors, Americans are now we are now defining a new Global Flavor Curve. “Part comfort, part creativity, the latest flavors are coming from the great American melting pot,” the Food Channel reported.

Customers also want to know where their food is coming from, what’s in it and if it is safe, and free of pesticides or anything that will someday prove harmful.

In addition, sustainability is more important than ever as the concept has now gone mainstream and Americans are holding themselves responsible and people as well as companies are now learning how to be sustainable for the right reasons.

Look for more products boasting added nutrients and those with the word “free” (from gluten-free to allergen-free). Customers want added benefits to the food they eat and nutritional, healthful and good-for-you foods are rising in popularity.

Individuality and sharing are both big concepts in food right now. While sharing is rising in restaurant concepts, at the same time expect to see more attention on the individual. “It’s not just about portion size-it’s also about food that reflects personality,” the Food Channel noted.

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