Instead of looking back and reminiscing at the speedy ageing of 2010, I’ve decided to jump forward and look at the hottest food trends that will come in 2011.
10. More Yogurt
The past years have shown a demand for yogurt, but as more people are starting to appreciate the frozen yogurt craze, this trend can be said to continue on to 2011. Not only is yogurt a very nutritious snack, its frozen and soft-serve variants have made the lowly yogurt step up its social status with its exciting flavors and consistency that can beat the regular ice cream. Brands such as Pinkberry have sprouted up all over the US. It has over 100 locations throughout the country and plans to continue growing. Greek Yogurt has also become all the rage. Tangy and quite different than the stuff we’re accustomed to, it lends itself quite nicely for culinary purposes. Greek yogurt sales in the US had reached almost $4 million dollars by the end of November. We expect this trend to grow even more in 2011.
9. The Modern Mom and Pop
The attraction of the typical mom and pop restaurant is that the food is expected to be prepared according to traditions passed on from one generation to the next, in addition to its promise of a more “commercialized” form of home cooking. The modern mom and pop becomes a symbol of a slow economic revival as smaller restaurants continue to strive through these challenging times. As many people continue to dream of opening their own restaurants, and consumers want something familiar yet modern, redefining the beloved mom and pop is a good strategy to go.
8. Nutrition-Trend Menu
As consumers are starting to vary in terms of their nutrition needs and dietary requirements, many restaurants are now aware that a customer is not as homogenous as they thought. Expect more restaurants in 2011 that will offer nutrition-trend menu such as low-calorie or sugar-free options, or dishes with no dairy and with meat substitutes.
Many dishes are famed for its sizes, and with the advent of the super size, consumers are mostly left with little choices. This time, as the demand for smaller portions increase in the coming months, expect more mini-plate options in restaurant menus.
6. Pop-Up Restaurants
As the recession has made people more conscious of the value of the food they consume, many has discovered that when it comes to taste, the cheaper pop-up restaurants never fall on short on these expectations. Pop-up restaurants are als a good way to go for many restaurateurs to expand their target market by going “mobile”; they can set up shop via a food truck, or they can open a temporary stall on a weekend food market. Whether they more around or not, customers will definitely find these restaurants with the help of word-of-mouth or those good old social networking sites.
This is a trend that many chefs will definitely pick up in the next twelve months. Started by the likes of René Redzepi of Noma in Copenhagen, New York’s David Chang and Tim Wiechmann of T.W. Food in Cambridge, many chefs will start to source out food in “wilder” places such as untrammeled forests and quiet pastures. Expect some trends highlighting ingredients such as wild nuts and berries, wild violets, and even lily pads.
4. Korean Cuisine
If people have been eating Chinese and Japanese in the past several years, Korean cuisine is seen to jump on board and become one of the staple Asian flavors that America will love. From its kimchi to its spicy meat, the love for Korean food can now be seen in New York’s Momofuku Ko, Los Angeles’ Kyochon, and the Kogi BBQ truck that has been making the rounds in L.A.
3. Multiple Snacking
We have all lived in a food culture of eating three times a day. But as many nutrition and health experts start to push for portion control and distributed eating, multiple snacking can pick up in 2011. This means that more and more people will start to “snack” throughout the day and they will eat smaller meals five times a day. Many restaurants should take note of this growing trend, especially as consumers will demand smaller portions and light yet tasty dishes.
2. Food Halls or Multipurpose Spaces
Many have been inspired by the rise of the “indoor” farmers market or huge food specialty spaces in the past few months. Chefs and businesses can take from the success of Eataly and The Plaza Food Hall by Todd English where people can enjoy food shopping and eating in one space. Signs of the food hall revolution, which started in New York, can now be seen in structures such as the Limelight Marketplace, Jeffrey Chodorow’s FoodParc, and the smaller Eataly in suburban Port Chester called the Tarry Market. Other food halls are starting to sprout outside New York as well, such as Thierry Perez’s L’Epicerie Market in Los Angeles and Cathal Armstrongs Society Fair. Food halls are also anticipated to open in San Francisco and Napa Valley by next year.
1. Meatless Monday or 4/7 Vegetarian/Vegan
As many people are starting to be convinced that eating less meat can be healthy and fulfilling as well, the vegetable is slowly gaining more star power with these emerging trends. Similar to food practices such as 3/7 vegetarian (eating vegetarian foods three times a week), concepts such as Meatless Monday and Tofu Thursday is starting to define a trend in vegetarianism. True blue vegetarians and vegans may raise their eye brows on this trend, but as it picks up by 2011, many people will be eating more vegetables.