Trending Now: Unboxing 2024 Food Trend Predictions
The trend of predictions for the new year is here, and they’ve been flooding into our inboxes like presents we can’t wait to open. We’ve had a look through the first wave, and pulled out a few highlights and themes that caught our attention. Whole Foods, AF&Co +Carbonate, Datassential, the National Restaurant Association and Technomic, we’ve pulled together a few highlights. These are just a few to tide you over – more analysis and trend predictions will be coming in the new year!
“The Year of the Tomato”
From the Technomic trend forecast, this was an interesting take on one of the most common ingredient pairings with pasta. Specifically, the call is for non-traditional tomato applications, like “…jam, fermented, frozen and clarified preparations. Global tomato- based sauces and dips such as Mayan sikil pak, Libyan chraimeh sauce and Japanese yum yum sauce, as well as dishes such as Philippine sarsiado and West African mafe stew.” We’d add Eritrean silsi tomato sauce to that list, as Chef Charles Kimball cooked it up at the University of Utah. Pretty much any time a tomato is on the plate, pasta can be the helpful companion to make it approachable and familiar.
“World Stage Soups and Stews”
The National Restaurant Association’s “What’s Hot” list for 2024 put global soups and stews at the top of their list.
“Soups and stews check all the boxes: they’re a safe way for customers to experience new ingredients and unique flavors; they present an economical way to diversify the menu, especially as menus are being streamlined; recipes are super sharable and even viral, as SoupTok attests; and they travel well.”
We just shared our thoughts on soups and pasta – we agree there’s so much room for innovation that can grab the attention of guests and be efficient in the back of the house.
“Cuisine of the Year: Korean”
For Hospitality experts at AF&Co+Carbonate, Korean is the cuisine of the year, and we can see it. Much as Japanese ingredients and flavors were infused into other cuisines in recent years, Korean food is ready for its moment. Chefs and a wide range of consumers are now familiar with bibimbap, gochujang and Korean fried chicken, like in this version from UMASS Chef Anthony Jung. The strong emphasis on fermented ingredients, umami and complex heat connect on a lot of levels.