Plenty of food trends have been characterizing 2015, but next it seems a whole list of new trends is starting. Whether you’re looking to start a business or just like good food, these are some trends to look for in 2016, based on an article from entrepreneur.com that uses research from the firm Technomic:
Hot food: Sriracha has seen a rise in popularity in the past few years, but it’s about to be joined by some new contenders. Those with a craving for hot can look forward to ingredients from North African and Southeast Asian cuisine, such as dukka, ghost pepper, gochujang, harissa sambal and sumac.
International comfort food: While foods like pierogis and meatballs have long been the butt of ethnic jokes, people in the US are starting to realize how good they actually are, and they’ve become a staple in gourmet restaurants. Such simple foods will most likely be given a sophisticated makeover with big-name ingredients (lobster dumplings?) and presentation.
Waste nothing: Menu items in 2016 are expected to contain elements of every part of the animal or vegetable, with chefs going beyond the more traditional meat cuts.
Smoke: You’re in luck if you’re a fan of black marshmallows and crispy bacon. 2016 seems to be about heavily grilled and roasted options, not just for meats and vegetables, but for drinks and desserts too.
Carbon: Carbonated beverages are predicted to make their presence felt at bars and restaurants alike. Technomic predicts that you’ll see plenty of champagne, soft drinks and sparkling teas.
No GMOs: While the FDA recently granted approval to genetically engineered salmon, GMOs remain a tough topic, and more consumers seem to be looking for restaurants that can guarantee their food to be GMO-free. So reprinting your menus to indicate that might be a good idea if you own a restaurant.
All about the journey: More eaters in 2016 will want to know where their food comes from, continuing a trend that’s been going on since the start of the organic revolution. Such a demand means that restaurants will work to be as transparent as possible about where they’re getting their food.
Fast food revisited: As fast-food chains continue to focus on quality, the line between fast casual and fast food will continue to blur. Chains can be expected to add more healthy options, and even such amenities as alcohol.
Prices: Minimum wage has been a hot topic in 2015, and Technomic projects that it will become an even bigger issue in 2016. For those businesses that are affected, business owners need to know how to pass that cost along to customers.
Apps: Beyond Seamless, technology is going to keep dictating how we get our food in 2016. While delivery services have left their mark, big companies like Uber, Google and even Amazon have been making the push into food delivery. As people realize the money to be made from it, there are sure to be even more springing up.