LATEST FOOD & BEVERAGE TRENDS-Food network? Social networking has made the world a smaller and better placeWith Multiply, Friendster, My Space and
Food network– Social networking has made the world a smaller and better place. With Multiply, Friendster, My Space and with the explosion of Face book, more and more people are reconnecting. Eventually a lot of chefs, cooks and foodies signed up and started exchanging recipes. It is possible now to share recipes, techniques and information with people around the world. It then follows that Food Social Networking will be the next best thing. Grocery shoppers will be dependent on social networking more than advertising to help them to decide on where to buy and where to eat. A kind of social currency, as the blogosphere has anchored itself as a major word-of-mouth avenue. Gourmet and gastronomy will no longer be an exclusive club for foodies.
Franken food – With the latest technologies in bioengineering, it is now possible to come closer to that utopia of the perfect food supply. We should be expecting more consistent food crops, and therefore better quality ingredients. But this has its own sets of controversies. On the other end of the spectrum, the nutritional aspect of food production and consumption will definitely be looked at more closely.
Green Advocacy – Consumers are now more than ever aware of the consequences for irresponsible production practices. Tree huggers were right all along. Now the rest of us are catching up. We now look for ingredients, products, restaurants and food and beverage manufacturing that translate into environmental responsibility, efficiency and cost management. It is expected the demand for produce that are treated with little or no chemicals, safe manufacturing practices and sustainable production will increase. More emphasis will be put on local produce which do not require huge transportation expenses. With this, we could expect the rise of celebrity farmers making headway in local production, as well as the interest to have a home garden. We would now know more about seasonality, about the importance freshness. There will be more restaurants trying to get ‘green certified’ to attract the growing number of clientele who are environmentally conscious.
Healthy convenience – Convenience stores will be packing more healthy options on its menus. Additional channels of distribution will be evident as more and more are adopting the grab-and-go lifestyle and looking for healthy alternatives. Quick lunches that pack the nutritional punch will be readily available, in environmentally safe packaging! Copy cat competition will have independent and chain restaurants to adopt new menu items that have been top sellers at competitors. Donut shops are now going into the smoothie business. The smoothie bar will now be incorporating gourmet burgers. Cupcakes will be popping up ridiculously in every nook and corner. Soon there will be so much noise, differentiation will muddle out the true identity of the dining experience. Soon the phrase ‘jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none’ will prosper.
Back to simplicity – With the recession affecting the globe, what did we discover? Simple sells. Chefs and restaurants now are capitalizing on the power of classic combinations and pure ingredients. Mad Men has tickled the Baby Boomer’s fancy, so expect a return to Mama’s home cooking. ‘Rustic’ will replace ‘molecular gastronomy’ as the new buzzword. Foodservice operators have been having success with retro menu items—things that people grew up with. From a culinary perspective, however, many operators have been able to add a unique twist to these timeless favorites.
The Offal Truth – In order to control food costs, savvy chefs and restaurateurs are looking at these odd parts to offset the expensive steaks and chops. Expect specials on tongue and oxtail along with beef and pork cheeks, chicken gizzards, tripe, and other innards and odd parts. Oxtail Ravioli? Beef Cheek in red wine reduction?
Tart it up – Restaurateurs are noticing a trend….we need more zing, more pop to what we eat. By next year, restaurant menus will be featuring a balance in sour, salty and sweet sensations, in the form of pickled vegetables, the rise of Ethnic cooking and exotic flavors. Sugar and spice and everything nice will get it’s second serving in the spotlight. Extreme flavors will gain ground. Moody Food that make claims relating to improved mood and emotional wellbeing will represent the next generation of functional products.
Author is MS SAUDAMANI a chef students at culinary academy of india studying BCT&CA final year
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