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Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska

Food Trends - What to Expect in 2015

December 30, 2014Food

Local. Vegan. Gluten-free. Umami. Oh, and pumpkin – anything and everything pumpkin. What food trends did you notice this year? These are just five of the top buzzwords/phrases that we found throughout the food industry in 2014. What does the future hold for these 2014 trends?

With 2015 quickly approaching, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) has released its “What’s Hot in 2015” forecast with the top culinary trend predictions from top chefs in the U.S. We checked in with a few Best Food Facts experts to learn what their food predictions were for 2015.

Food and nutrition consultant Judy Barbe, MS, RDN, agrees with the National Restaurant Association's top predictions and has a few of her own to add.

“Menu labeling, ancient grains, cauliflower, specific ingredients (such as Madagascar vanilla with Saigon cinnamon-infused you-name-it, coconut (almost like pumpkin in 2014!), savory toppings/uses of foods such as oatmeal with squash, robust spice and herb use, back to basics cooking (I see this in book trends, too) and DIY projects – canning, cheese making, etc.”

Judy has also recently heard of Food Clusters that may be on the rise. These are groups that convene businesses, organizations, and individuals to contribute directly to the scope of projects and initiate public/private partnerships. Collectively, these partners have significant capacity to coordinate a unified voice in efforts to influence public policy decisions, establish high impact projects, and create a strong network of food system leaders in our community. Judy is also excited about the renewed interest in cooking many people are having. She jokes that if she were Queen, everyone would be required to take Family and Consumer Science class (better known as Home Economics). That way everyone would know basic cooking skills and be better prepared to help themselves be healthier.

Food and nutrition expert Melissa Joy Dobbins, MS, RDN, CDE, predicts that kale’s time in the spotlight is coming to an end and “cauliflower will continue to rise in popularity as the new favorite.” For much of 2014, many of us were concerned with where our food came from – is it local, is it sustainable, is it natural? This coming year, Melissa anticipates that people will be more concerned with the story behind the food they are eating than the popular buzzwords of 2014. Lastly, Melissa predicts that “protein will finally get the attention it deserves as news spreads about the benefits of getting the right amount throughout the day.”

Best Food Facts nutrition adviser Carolyn O’Neil, MS, RD, predicts that we’ll see more foods promoted as beneficial to our overall health and immune system.

“Microbiome was tops for me as a buzz word this year. Studies presented at the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo showed that a healthy balance in the population of good versus bad bacteria in the gut, called the ‘microbiome,’ is related to improved immune function, a smaller waist circumference and even improved cognitive function. Increasing the intake of foods such as yogurt and kefir with live and active cultures and fermented foods including sauerkraut or kimchi helps add more good bugs to our digestive tracts. I predict we'll see more food products marketed with claims that they will improve our gut health and therefore our overall health and immune system.”

*Original post from BestFoodFacts.