Sterling-Rice Group (SRG) has identified its top 10 culinary trends that will stand out on restaurant menus, expand onto grocery shelves, and attract consumer attention across the U.S. in 2015.
It says consumers’ food preferences will be driven by a continued interest in global cuisines, balanced nutrition, community connections, and a desire for adventurous eating experiences.
The culinary trends to expand and grow this year include:
- Advanced Asian: From Filipino food to a new generation of Thai, not one but a host of more complex and true-to-region Asian foods will dominate in 2015.
- Matcha madness: The never-ending quest for wellness and energy will lead many to Japanese matcha, a nutrient powerhouse green tea now hitting the market in convenient formats like lattes, sodas, and ready-to-drink cans.
- Cannabis cuisine: Edible marijuana moves far beyond cliched pot brownies.
In states where it is legal, there will be sophisticated options from gluten-free baked goods and confections to bottled cold-brewed coffee and flavored syrups.
- Hop-free suds: Channeling their medieval predecessors, craft brewers are making unhopped beers with herbs, spices, and bitter plants yielding unique and intriguing flavors instead of hoppy bitterness.
- Incendiary charcoal: There will be more excitement around Asian styles of burning charcoal as well as charcoal coloring and enhancing breads, crackers, and even cosmetics.
- The local grain network: Products made from freshly milled flour are making their way to consumers due to the growing network of farmers, bakers, and chefs committed to local grain production.
- Coconut sugar sweetness: Boasting a lower glycemic index than white sugar makes coconut sugar popular among consumers—from natural food fans to sweets-loving Paleos to Southeast Asian food lovers—looking for better-for-you foods.
- Farm to table kosher: With keeping kosher on the rise, kosher food businesses address consumer demand to eat in more sustainable, conscious, and cultural ways.
- The Hunger Games—restaurant edition: Dining concept incubators create lively experiences where curious diners test experimental eateries and vote with their forks in revolving pop-up settings or hip dining parks.
- The ugly fruit and vegetable movement: Misshapen and funny-looking produce will no longer get picked over as food resourcefulness and efforts to combat hunger come into sharper focus.
The 2015 Cutting-Edge Culinary Trends were compiled by SRG’s Culinary Team led by Culinary Director Kara Nielsen and feature examples of trailblazing food and drink and the brands leading the way for each trend.
An extension of Culinary Shifts, SRG’s proprietary research based on key societal shifts affecting consumer behavior around food, the predictions provide insight for food industry companies to better develop, position, market, and sell food products.