Stunt snacks that aim to shock consumers with their strange mash-ups of flavors and products are so 2015. The coming year, 2016 — can you believe it’s almost here? — is all about foods that fit our schedules and lifestyles.
And the new year will usher in a new emphasis on authenticity.
“The American food landscape is more diverse, global and fluid than it’s ever been before. The new authenticity isn’t about ‘exotic’ anymore; instead, it’s about getting something honest, passionate, original and unmediated — something
real,” the Food Network Kitchen team suggests in its food-trend forecast for 2016. “This means a lot of things, but the ones we’re most excited about: high-end street food and low-end fine dining, elevated-grandma food, food-nerd-chic, adventure cuisine, chefs of color making whatever food they’re passionate about, and travel apps that let you eat like a local anywhere in the world.”
That means eaters can look for border-crossing, boundary-pushing, authority-challenging personal cuisines; humble eats (like tacos) to be elevated and high-end foods (like French fare) to be brought down to earth; a new wave of culinary innovators and influencers who thumb their noses at preconceived notions and conventions; and the continued rise of local-food apps.
Here are a few other trends the team’s prognosticators predict we can all look forward to in 2016.
Fast and Fancy: In a trend driven in part by millennials, who are apt to blur the lines between high- and low-end cuisine in pursuit of a tasty, affordable, conscientiously created meal they can feel good about, formerly lowly foods — like burgers and burritos, falafel and tacos, and sandwiches boasting barbecued meats or chicken fresh from the fryolator — are being reinvented and raised up in an “explosion of chef-driven fast casual” dining. (Think “better sandwich.”) Established restaurant chains will up their games, too, with higher-caliber ingredients and more opportunities to customize.
Deliciousness Your Doorstep: Ding-dong — your food has arrived! In 2016, consumers can expect to see a greater level of convenience. With the delivery of everything from your groceries and meal prep options (meals, ingredients, kits) to takeout of every stripe. Do you follow a paleo or vegan diet? There are app-based delivery options for that, too. So easy. Read more