2009 Food and Beverage Industry Trends: What To Expect

Oy! Here we are at the end of the year where folks are either reminiscing about the past or trying to predict the future! Tell us, oh great Internet of answers, what food and drink will be trendy in 2009?

Food industry and research firm Technomic released their Top Five Restaurant Trends for 2009. Local? Check. Experimentation due to failing economy? Check. Upscaled kids’ menus? Ok, that one surprised me.

The National Restaurant Association also determines future alcohol and food trends based on their annual Chef Survey, with over 1600 professional chefs participating. Cocktail trends for 2009 include ‘functional cocktails’ and food pairings, as well as super trendy (and possibly hangover-free?) organic alcohols.

‘As Americans are growing more and more interested in the culinary arts and the ‘foodie’ movement, that interest and sophistication is also extending to alcohol and cocktails,’ said Dawn Sweeney, President and CEO of the Association.

As for their predicted food trends for the new year? Local and organic ingredients, healthful kids’ meals, and sustainable seafood make the top ten. You can download the complete NRA survey results here.

Hotels magazine has a thorough list of predictions, from restaurant/hotel trends to ingredients you can expect to see more often on your plate. Amen for breakfast anytime, but I think I’ll pass on the innards and odd parts.

Epicurious’s James Oliver Cury chimes in with his top ten. Cury’s List is the new Blackwell’s List.

And just for fun, Food Marathon has a few predictions of it’s own for 2009.

My hopeful food predictions for 2009? Cooking at home, eating leftovers, organics as a culinary staple. Eliminating excessive waste with biodegradable, recyclable, reusable, and compostable components and practices. A return to community potlucks and times where food was simpler and comforting (despite the LA Times). Reducing our carbon footprint (or should I say, foodprint) by utilizing seasonal, local resources.

My drink predictions? Let me tell you about the most amazing St. Germain elderflower-infused Vieux Mot I had at the Macy’s Star Party, courtesy of Please Don’t Tell. Or my recent violet-flavored Lady In Satin at Seattle’s Canlis. I say, bring on more flower liqueurs in 2009!

~Jennifer Heigl

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