Although we've probably all seen a few annual "trend predictions" fall flat by the end of the year, it is interesting to note that in almost any food related survey you find, anything refering to "local" continues to rank near the top.
In October of 2010,The National Restaurant Association conducted an online survey to rate 226 food and beverage items, cuisines, culinary themes and preparation methods. The resulting ranking by the 1,527 Chefs who responded shows "Locally produced","Locally grown" or "Sustainable" are expected to remain among the hottest Trends of 2011.
Here are the Top 10 trend prediction results from the Chef Survey done by National Restaurant Association, and also the Top Food Trend predictions from the Food Channel.
The entire survey is available here: www.restaurant.org/foodtrends, but the Top 10 items (out of the total 226 rankings) are as follows:
- Locally sourced meats and seafood
- Locally grown produce
- Nutritionally balanced children’s dishes
- Hyper-local (e.g. restaurant gardens, do your own butchering)
- Children’s nutrition
- Sustainable seafood
- Gluten-free/food allergy conscious
- Simplicity/back to basics
- Farm/estate-branded ingredients
Kay Compton with the Food Channel, predicts the Top Food Trends of 2011 will be:
- The Canning Comeback — “Putting Up” is gaining popularity for both economy and health
- Men in Aprons — Layoffs have led to more men cooking
- Local Somewhere — We care about hand-tended no matter where it’s grown
- Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell — We’re tired of being told what we can eat
- Appetite for Food Apps — Social media is our guide and our coupon source
- Small is the New Big Business — Corporations are thinking like small businesses
- Fresh Every Day — Rooftop gardens are just part of this trend
- Chefs in Schools — Better flavor is possible in an institutional setting
- Discomfort Foods — Change makes us comfortable with more change
- Eating for Sex and Other Things — We are working longer, and want all the gusto
So if you are a producer,grower or urban farmer, do you see any ideas in these surveys that will help you decide what grow or how to market your product?
Watch our blog at LocavoresTake over the next few weeks for discussions and ideas to help you take advantage of some of these trends.