2014 Trend Prediction #9: Predicting Trends is a Trend
I’m a foodie. Not in the traditional sense, but instead from an industry perspective. Of course I love food, and experiencing new ingredients and flavors, but I just wish I had more time to enjoy and experiment with it (But, lucky me, I get the pleasure of eating my kids’ leftover mac & cheese). So instead, I look forward to this time of year when various experts, organizations and media predict what’s hot for food, beverages and menus next year. Deeply embedded in the food, nutrition and wellness industry, it’s my job of course to stay on top of the forecasts and parlay those into meaningful insights for clients and supporting opportunities. But what struck me most this year was how all of my food/culinary clients are already ahead of the trends. Here’s a look, based on two top trend predictions – Supermarket Guru (Phil Lempert) and National Restaurant Association:
NOW Foods – Leading Natural Products Manufacturer • Trend: Gluten-free cuisine is among the Top 5 Culinary Trends, moving up from the #9 position in 2013. Plus, chefs predict that gluten-free will remain a top food trend even 10 years from now. About 30 percent of the US adult population maintains a gluten-free diet, with the majority doing so for health, not medical, reasons. • What They Offer: NOW recently launched a new line of gluten-free/allergy-friendly products, Living Now, with a focus on ancient grains and wholesome flours that allow people to swap out traditional products without sacrificing taste, texture or variety in their favorite foods and recipes. One ingredient includes Quinoa, which is the hottest menu ingredient of 2013. The line rollout will continue through 2014, with delicious new baking essentials such as Gluten-Free Organic Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix, Gluten-Free Baking and Pancake Mix, and Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour. • Trend: Better-for-you snacking (on-the-go) is on the rise. • What They Offer: NOW Real Food is a line of great-tasting, all-natural products that people can feel good about eating. Products include nuts, seeds, fruit/nut snack mixes and dried fruits – perfect for portable snacking.
Uncle Matt’s Organic Juice – America’s Original Organic Juice Company • Trend: Breakfast remains one of the most important meals of the day, with more emphasis on convenient options. • What They Offer: Orange juice is one of America’s favorite beverages – consumed in nearly 70% of U.S. households and on the menu of nearly two-thirds of limited-service restaurants. To help people enjoy their favorite beverage as part of a busy lifestyle, Uncle Matt’s Organic recently launched 12 oz. bottles of all five juice varieties. Juice up while on the go! • Trend: Brand will find greater purpose in serving the larger community (cause marketing). • What They’re Doing: As part of Uncle Matt’s Organic’s commitment to growing a healthier generation, the company co-sponsors an organic community garden at South Lake Hospital in Clermont, Florida, and provides ongoing education to members of the community who want to learn about organic gardening.
Kendall College Chicago – Ranked #1 in Preparing Students for Hospitality and Culinary Careers • Trend: Global cuisine products and flavors integrating into mainstream menus. • What They’re Doing: Kendall offers a unique international culinary footprint, with a focus on international ingredients and flavors. Chris Koetke, Vice President of the School of Culinary Arts and a culinary educator of the global Laureate International Universities, travels the world to experience, learn about and teach international cuisine.
Alana Horinko Vice President