Cub ® Foods, a trusted local resource for fresh, quality food, recently polled Minnesota-based chefs, culinary experts, food critics, bloggers and food enthusiasts for key food trend predictions for 2014. Continued growth in demand for local and organic foods, as well as a focus on healthier food choices, especially those for kids, are predicted to be among the top food trends this year. When it comes to specific foods, look for ancient grains like quinoa, along with kale and other “superfoods” to find their way onto more plates in the months ahead. The 2014 Cub Foods Food Trends Forecast also shows that Minnesotans will pay more attention to portion sizes, snacking more, rather than eating full meals. This trend will also serve to reshape dinner parties as hosts focus on offering a variety of healthier options and taste experiences, moving from traditional full-course meals to small-plate, tapas-style affairs. “Food trends are great indicators of broader social trends in our community,” said Darren Caudill, vice president of merchandising and sales for Cub Foods. “Our firsthand view into the grocery shopping habits and food preferences of local consumers allows us not only to respond to but to anticipate their evolving needs and interests.” Predictions for the 2014 Minnesota food scene include:
- Local, Farm-to-Table and Organic. Fresh and local, as well as organic foods are among the most significant trends, as the desire for simple, more natural and locally sourced foods continues to grow. Demand for gluten-free options will also increase.
- Handheld and Healthy. Handheld, transportable meals and snacks will take new shape as people will seek healthier items with quality ingredients that they can tote along with them. From portable breakfast foods to lunchbox-sized items to fun and nutritious snacks for the whole family, on-the-go is the way to go.
- Purple Pride Veggies. Several experts cited increasing interest and demand for purple vegetables such as purple green beans and purple carrots. Perhaps a fresh start for the Minnesota Vikings this year is driving the increased interest in purple veggies?
- On the Rise. Ancient grains, kale, superfoods and greens will appear in more dishes. In addition, businesses that specialize in making one type of food or drink (e.g., cheese, distilleries) will gain popularity. We’ll also see more whole animal (nose to tail) served.
- BIY (Brew It Yourself) Projects. Homebrewing continues to take hold in the Twin Cities as more people seek neighborhood acclaim as its master brewer. Look for more home dinner parties centered around pairing homebrews with food.
- Small Is the New Big. Look for smaller servings to start nudging out bigger portions. Snacking will emerge as a replacement to traditional meals, particularly at lunch. Small party foods also will be big. Instead of sit-down dinners, demand will grow for healthy, yet tasty alternatives to traditional party fare for tasting and sampling.
- Self-preservation. The home also becomes a food factory as more people experiment with emerging preparation techniques such as quick pickling, canning and smoking.
- Marvelously Multicultural. Latin and Spanish ingredients and dishes are expected to be popular choices in the Twin Cities this coming year. Of course, they will be organic and healthy and, perhaps, presented as a fusion with another cultural flavor.
- What’s for Mealtime? For breakfast, we’ll eat more eggs, and for lunch, we’ll experiment with unique, gourmet, artisan sandwiches.