Shop ‘n Save ®, a trusted local resource for fresh, quality food, polled St. Louis-based chefs, culinary experts, food critics, bloggers and food enthusiasts for key food trend predictions for 2014. Among the key predictions from the 2014 Shop ‘n Save Food Trends Forecast, experts expect to see increased demand for locally sourced food and ingredients, continued interest in more healthy food options and a growing influence on the local food scene from Bosnian residents. St. Louis consumers will also experiment more with vegetarian or vegan diets, intermittently eating less meat or dairy rather than completely changing their diets. In a nod to St. Louis’ attention to national trends, local food experts noted that surgeon, author and television celebrity Dr. Oz, the Food Network and Pinterest will influence the ingredients and cooking techniques consumers pick up throughout the year. “Food trends are generally not only good reflections of broader social trends, but also what is specifically going on in our communities,” said Pat Hildebrand, vice president of merchandising for Shop ‘n Save. “For example, with St. Louis’s major Bosnian population, we expect to see an increase in restaurants and bakeries that offer Bosnian food. Our firsthand insight into emerging food trends allows us not only to respond to, but also anticipate our customers’ evolving needs and interests.” St. Louis-area food predictions for 2014 include the following:
- Man of Kale. Superfoods, such as kale, turmeric and sweet potatoes, will enjoy greater popularity as health experts, such as Dr. Oz, applaud their multiple virtues. Expect to see kale in everything from sandwiches to salads to side dishes.
- Lettuce Go. St. Louis will want on-the-go meals and ingredients to be healthier in 2014 as part of their overall goal to eat better. Experts also predict growth in healthy snacks that taste great, such as nuts with unique flavorings.
- Culinary Creds. Experts say more locals will follow TV celebrity chefs in attempting new preparation techniques such as quick pickling, smoking, infusions and sous vide.
- Pit to Plate. Fear not, grillmasters — experts predict that barbeque will remain a staple food and entertainment option for St. Louis residents throughout 2014.
- Ethnic Influences. In addition to more Bosnian-influenced offerings, Asian foods and ingredients — specifically Thai, Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese cuisines — will influence the local food scene.
- No Wining. Beer dinners are expected to replace wine dinners.
- Viva la Veggie. St. Louis will continue to have a high interest in vegetables due to local farms, community groups and schools that are introducing kids to locally grown produce such as asparagus, beans, sweet broccoli, and Southern vegetables like turnips and collards.
- Food Delivery. We’ll see more food trucks serving up lunch, but some experts are predicting that home-cooked meals will be the biggest trend for dinner.