Food & Flavor Forecast 2017—Expect the UnexpectedJanuary 3, 2017
From breakfast to midnight snacks, the usual “go-to” foods like cereal and pizza are set for a shake up in the coming year. According to experts from spice maker McCormick and consumer insights agency Sterling Rice, global influences, environmental and health concerns, and good old fashioned experimentation are all driving changes in consumers’ palates and preferences.
Those changes start at the very beginning of the day, where McCormick says consumers can expect to rise and shine to global tastes like congee (a creamy rice porridge popular in Asia), sorghum grain bowls (a gluten-free African grain alternative to wheat-based cereals) and savory hash topped with skhug (a Middle Eastern hot pepper sauce). Sterling Rice Group predicts a sweeter trend in the breakfast arena—cake, chocolate and other desserts for breakfast. (Count us in!)
For lunch and dinner, expect flat-grilled meats marinated in bold rubs and paired with spicy sauces, says McCormick. They also predict eggs to make a big play beyond breakfast—and in unexpected preparations, like skakshuka (egg yolks simmered in a spicy tomato sauce) and salads and pastas topped with salt- and spice-cured yolks.
Sterling Rice Group says global influences will continue to guide main dish trends in 2017. Be on the lookout for dosha-inspired dishes based on Indian Ayurvedic teachings about whole body wellness, expanded Asian noodle trends like Chinese lamian (hand-pulled noodles) and “migratory meals” that highlight the cultures and cuisines of the world’s growing population of refugees. Like Daymon’s own Director of Culinary Thought Leadership Nicole Peranick has predicted, Sterling Rice also says plant-based meat alternatives like coconut bacon and beet burgers will enter the mainstream—enticing vegetarians and meat eaters alike to join in on Meatless Mondays.
According to these experts, even snacks will get a makeover in 2017. Sterling Rice Group says sardines will make a comeback as consumers increasingly look for simple, high-protein snacks. They also predict a rise in snacks aimed at reducing food waste, like pickled watermelon rinds and chips made from discarded juice pulp. For McCormick, it’s all about spicy black pepper paired with mildly sweet syrups and fruit. Think crackers topped with diced dragon fruit and strawberry and sprinkled with tongue-tingling black pepper.
Given the range of trends, there’s sure to be something for everyone to try—and an unexpected adventure waiting around every aisle.