With a little help from our Windy City brethren, we couldn’t help but notice that Food Technology–a print magazine that “provides news and analysis of the development, use, quality, safety, and regulation of food sources, products, and processes”–released a list of the Top 10 Food Trends of 2007. At the top of the list is “Dining In,” which has resulted from “economic pressures” that make diners less likely to eat in restaurants. The entire Top 10 is as follows:
1. Dining In: Economic pressures are among the factors causing Americans to eat and cook more dishes at home.
2. Food Talk: Word-of-mouth has become a key factor in the success of new food products. Celebrity chefs are encouraging more adventuresome cooking.
3. Form & Function: Reducing the number of steps in food preparation is a surefire way to increase product sales.
4. Sense Appeal: There’s a new trend toward texture, crispness, and crunch.
5. Kidding Around: The number of young children is growing; baby foods are even taking on gourmet cache.
6. Doing Without: Avoidance behavior is accelerating, and products without undesirable ingredients are viewed favorably.
7. Local Motions: Fresh is the most desired attribute, but foods marketed as local, seasonal, hand-made, natural, and similar, are increasing.
8. Seriously Healthy: Shoppers’ desire to reduce the risk of developing health conditions has a lot of influence on food purchasing decisions.
9. Next-Generation Beverages: Drinks set the pace in U.S. sales and innovation.
10. Snacking & Sharing: Light meals, after-school socializing, and other influences make snacks and mini-meals a hot opportunity for restaurants.
Some quick thoughts … we’re intrigued by Sense Appeal (never thought about it), Next-Generation Beverages (what will they come up with next?) and Food Talk (guilty).
Didn’t Local Motions start to shine a couple years ago in most major areas? Or is the food industry just continuing to reach new heights in the slow food arena?
Is it just us, or could numbers five through eight have been combined into one trend called “Healthier, Better Ingredients”?