Predictions For 2010 Food And Beverage Trends

‘Tis the time of the year when folks across the food and beverage industry release their thoughts on next year’s culinary trends.  Last year’s predictions included higher-end kids menus, ‘functional’ cocktails, breakfast anytime, and the rise of offal. My forecast for 2009 menus included familiar foods, increased use of local/sustainable items, and flower liqueurs. (St. Germain, anyone?)

So, what can we look for in 2010?

Technomic’s top five trends for 2010 include high-quality spins on comfort food (I’m already seeing fried chicken on everyone’s menu) and more use of heirloom food stuffs.

International market research company Mintel has offered their trend predictions for next year as well, with a lean towards more simple, recognizable menu items and dishes made from restaurant-grown products (rooftop/back lot gardens, chef-owned farms). As many Americans focus more on healthier offerings, the company predicts that restaurants will adjust their menus accordingly, hoping to appeal to health-conscious customers who are wary of dining out.

The forecast from Epicurious includes fried chicken (as I mentioned, on everyone’s menu these days), mini whoopee pies and cupcakes, lamb (I’ve seen a lot of lamb as well) and pork, homemade beer, and continued adoration for White House chef Sam Kass.

And my favorite list of predictions – a comprehensive outlook on hospitality and restaurant trends from marketing consultants Andrew Freeman & Company. The agency’s 2010 trend list includes small foods on a stick (satay, skewers), sustainable seafood selections approved by Monterey Bay Aquarium, beer and sausage (think Daniel Boulud’s DBGB in New York), and extended happy hours! AFCo’s hot/cold food lists are a fantastic read as well!

Onward to 2010!

~Jennifer Heigl

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