January 2, 2013

2012 Wrap-Up & 2013 Food Trends

Out with the old, IN with the new! With 2013 under way, it’s time to wrap up our 2012 predictions and project what the new year might bring with it. In 2012 the world saw a new food trend pop up almost every day, and with constant tweeting, blogging and pinteresting, we were able to share, analyze and dispose of one food trend as soon as the next one arrived.

2012 Trend Wrap-Up:

INfused Vodka- still IN! Bartenders are still infusing vodkas and gins with the trendiest flavors. They’re also making pre-made cocktails.

Cardamom- It was mashed into sweet potatoes, baked into cookies and sprinkled over meat. Throughout 2012 we saw cardamom being used in recipes like never before! We’ll see the cardamom trend gain more popularity in 2013 even being mixed into some of our favorite drinks.

Adding fiber to your diet- If Pepsi’s using fiber, it must be a trend! “Pepsi Special” a fat blocking version of the soda was recently released in Japan containing wheat dextrin (added fiber). Because digestive health was a top health priority for Americans in 2012, food manufacturers launched many new fiber-enhanced food products to provide consumers with more ways to boost their digestive health this year. Now more than 50 different fiber food ingredients are available to food formulators, which means that in 2013 we’ll see more additions to the “plus fiber” family.

New ways to add protein- Diets were looking to get creative this year seeking new ways to add protein. Who knew that 1 cup of broccoli has 3 grams of protein, and just 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds has 8.5g! Peanuts, almonds, pistachios and cashews (nuts highest in protein) were added to many salads, wraps and soups. While more whole-grain cereal was introduced as a protein packed breakfast option. Pairing this with low-fat milk or yogurt can add an extra 8g of protein to your morning meal!

Incorporating “good fats” (like Omega 3-fat flax)- The chia seed (yes the one used in chia pets) stood out this year for its nutritional value. It’s an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fiber. Its popularity soared seemingly overnight, and we even found a place for it in the granola we made for our holiday gifts!

Using spices to boost metabolism- As we predicted, many found that burning the calories was easier using spices. Dr. OZ agreed when he dedicated an episode of his daytime series to “Spices that Boost Your Metabolism” claiming that you can burn up to 50 calories just by incorporating ginger, mustard and cayenne pepper into your diet!

2012 trends that we didn’t predict:

Pumpkin- The latest food craze in 2012. It’s been added to lattes, ravioli, soups and cocktails.  Pumpkin cravings started earlier and lasted longer than usual taking over social media sites like Pinterest in late-July and lasting until, well lasting!

In fact, this year we saw a greater emphasis on seasonals for all seasons and  saw traditional seasons being stretched out, which explains why we were all making pumpkin muffins in the middle of summer!
2013 Trend Predictions

Health- This one’s easy! Health has become more and more popular in the food world over the last decade- but for 2013, we predict that healthier versions of popular products will become the focus rather than specific diet foods. This gives consumers the ability to finally eat what they enjoy while still observing a healthy balanced diet.

Also trending will be an emphasis on natural balanced diets which contain beneficial nuts, seeds, oils, proteins and complex carbohydrates.

Premium/Homemade-  Whether it be in your kitchen, on the label or dining out, premium quality and homemade products will be HOT this year!  Our expectations have risen with the improved quality of products and we now want to feel like the ingredients have been hand selected when we bite into our “Marie Callender’s Homemade Lasagna”. Homemade has become a more realistic goal thanks to new, easier-to-use parchments, pans, recipes and tutorials. Homemade snacks will be popular within the food world in 2013, with the words “homemade” and “premium” plastered on every product and menu. Even drinks will shape up for this new year, with restaurants experimenting with house-made soft drinks, gourmet lemonade and specialty iced tea!

Individual/Portable servings- Anything mini, grab-n-go or portable will start to really trend in 2013. Perfect timing for Hot-Can’s new line of beverages and soups that come in push-of-a-button self-heating cans and can be prepared anytime, anywhere without a microwave and served piping hot!

Individual-sized portions are becoming key in packaging not only because people don’t want to waste food, but surprise in 2013 we’ll still always be on-the-go. Products are increasingly expected to be easy to open and resealable whenever possible. Count on this year to produce more tricks to help make our lives convenient.

Local/Grow Your Own/Sustainability– Make it where you sell it! In 2013 we predict that food companies will invest more money in regional production of frozen and prepared foods to ensure freshness and convenience for their customers. But local sourcing will also be a macro-trend in the restaurant community whether ingredients are purchased from local farms or grown in onsite gardens and irrigated garden walls; many chefs will make use of seasonal ingredients to feature on their menus.

Environmental sustainability will be widely used as a culinary theme in 2013 and we predict that this trend will only grow to include foodies who want to take a crack at do-it-yourself gardening. Even the National Restaurant Associations survey of more than 1,800 professional chefs concluded that locally produced beer is the number one trend for 2013’s beer menu selection!

Branding as healthy, wholesome & natural- Packaging in 2013 will highlight the premium quality of the food that it protects. We’ll see an increase in high quality packaging that uses heavy duty materials to give consumers confidence in the quality of the product which it holds.

Phraseology on the packaging will increasingly highlight the healthiness and purity of the product and will make the nutritious benefits of the product crystal clear. Many products will do this using traditional messages claiming low fat/salt/sugar, wholegrains and no added colours, flavours or preservatives. But the newest trend of 2013 will be farm or estate branded items which for many consumers will simply sum up the nutritional facts.

Comfort Food-  Many people are gravitating toward warming, rich foods that are fondly remembered childhood favorites or traditions. So we predict that in 2013 comfort food will grow up! Look for new, simple twists on childhood favorites, which will be further deconstructed, modernized and signaturized with specialty ingredients and interesting presentations!




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*Note: we do not own these images. If you click on them, it will take you to their source.

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