Monday, 30 December 2013

Food trends of 2013 - were we right?- and what's new for 2014

Vegan cheese on toast- has vegan now become the new vegetarian?

It hardly seems like a year since we were summing up what was going on in the food world for 2012 and making our predictions for 2013... were we right? Let's see:

  1. We said that natural and gluten free foods would become even more popular in 2013: And they were! 2013 was also the international year of quinoa, which may have also helped. The craze for fonuts- an American healthy and usually vegan, often gluten free version of doughnuts- is an example of this. As predicted, there was also an upsurge of interest in "super greens" in the UK, with kale and kale chips generating a lot of popularity in supermarkets and recipe sites.
  2. We said that Asian flavours would be big in 2013: Waitrose Weekend Magazine says that in the UK at least, it was Middle Eastern flavours like harissa and preserved lemon that cornered the market. And was kimchi really so passe by 2013?- Not according to Huff Post, anyway.
  3. We said that vegetables would reign supreme, and even find their way into dessert recipes: Also that cauliflower steaks would become popular; well that's certainly come true going on how many times I've seen them on food blogs over the past year. Yum!
  4. We said that home baking would continue to be really popular, especially in the UK: "Baking is now sexy and on trend" says Waitrose Weekend, thanks to another series of Great British Bake Off. I have also noticed quite a few ambitious and popular baking groups in the blogosphere, and the knowhow and standard of home bakers has become very professional lately.
  5. We said that raised awareness of health, hunger and animal welfare issues would lead to veganism becoming the new vegetarianism: And we think this one really did come true! Not only have we connected with lots of wonderful and inspirational like-minded vegans via Twitter and fb, but we have also noticed sites like the US Plant-Based on a Budget cropping up to show that even in the economic downturn and these desperate times of food banks, eating well and compassionately is a viable alternative to unsustainable, inhumane and unhealthy diets. At the other end of the scale, high-end vegan has become popular in restaurants, with establishments in Portland Oregon, LA and New York leading the way.
  6. We said that we thought tempeh would be popular in 2013: It was trending on Twitter about a year ago, so maybe it was... what do you think?
Mexican tortas (filled bread), snow cream (a Taiwanese cross between snow cones and icecream in exotic flavours), mini desserts and cronuts (a cross between doughnuts and croissants) were some other food trends from 2013; but will they last into 2014?

...And now: our predictions for 2014:
  • Holiday Food: This year we've done something different and looked at the top holiday destinations for 2013, going on the theory that people love to recreate their favourite holiday foods once they get home. We found that Spain, Portugal, the Greek islands, Florida, Sri Lanka, Mexico and France were the most popular holiday countries of 2013. So can we expect sunny Mediterranean flavours, dishes from the American South, spicy South Asian delicacies and classic French cuisine to be popular in 2014?
  • Retro Food: We have been experimenting with vegan-ising classic 70s kitsch recipes such as Black Forest gateau, and judging by the reactions we've had on Twitter, this is set to become quite a craze in entertaining. (At least, we hope so; it's fun!)
  • Raw will be the new vegan: Yeah, I know we're sticking our necks out here, but since vegan is now the new vegetarian, something has to take its place, and raw vegan is now taking off big time in cooler climes like the UK as well as sunny California, where it's been going on for years. There are now lots of inspiring raw vegan websites and blogs around, most with testimonials to the health benefits of going raw vegan and amazing photos of fit, slim people glowing with health and vitality;  kinda makes you want to ditch the cooker for the blender and join the ranks of the beautiful people...
  • What does Huff Post say? http://www.thedailymeal.com/top-food-trend-predictions-2014/122013?utm_source=huffington%2Bpost&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=trendpredictions -well Huff Post says quite a lot, actually: I won't list all of their predictions- you can click on the above link to read the full article- but here are some of those that caught our attention: biscuits rather than bread, sous-vide cooking at home (basically a modern version of boil-in-the-bag as far as I can tell), mini dessert plates (That one's actually already around- but we like it all the same), Jerusalem artichokes, traditional French bistros and brasseries (may tie in with our holiday theory?), more meat-free dishes in non-veggie restaurants (well that makes sense because if vegan is the new vegetarian, then vegetarian is going to become de rigeur everywhere, with any luck), high-end Mexican and regional Italian; both traditional and experimental (another holiday destination link?), and chefs owning their own farms. That last one is particularly interesting as there is a general trend towards growing more of your own food anyway.
What do you think? Have you any tips for what food's hot and what's not in 2014 that you'd like to share?





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