Shoppers ® Food & Pharmacy, a trusted local resource for fresh, quality food, polled Baltimore and Washington, D.C., area chefs, culinary experts, food critics, bloggers and food enthusiasts for key food trend predictions for 2014. Among the top predictions, local consumers will seek out more local food, as well as organic and healthier options. According to the 2014 Shoppers Food Trends Forecast, consumers are expected to use more exotic spices and flavors. Experts also predict that more area residents will experiment with home-based brewing, canning and pickling, mirroring a national trend of do-it-yourself foods. “Food trends are often good reflections of broader social trends and what is happening in our communities,” said Randy King, vice president of merchandising for Shoppers Food & Pharmacy. “The Baltimore and Washington, D.C., areas have a strong international influence that expands the range of food options, experiences and preferences seen here.” Predictions for the 2014 Baltimore and Washington, D.C., area food scene include the following:
- Superfoods. The growing interest in better-for-you options also will lead consumers to incorporate more superfoods, such as whole grains like quinoa, bulgur and millet, as well as a wider variety of vegetables in their diets.
- That’s A Wrap. Look for wraps, particularly with flavored tortillas such as spinach, tomato basil and whole wheat, to start edging out sandwiches for on-the-go meal selections.
- Flavor Explosion. Area residents are predicted to seek out more interesting flavors in their pursuit of healthier eating. There will be a shift toward international ingredients, with Peruvian, South American, Indian and more Asian spices predicted to make a mainstream impact.
- Just Add… Nothing. Complete meal kits, with all necessary ingredients, will help busy Baltimore and Washington, D.C., area households satisfy their desire for homemade dishes without the need to buy every individual ingredient it takes to make a meal.
- Hold the Meat. Vegetarian and vegan foods will grow in popularity, including options for kids. While experts forecast less meat-eating, we’ll also see more “nose-to-tail” restaurants that make use of the whole animal.
- New Brew. Homebrewing will continue to grow in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., area as more people want to have a signature craft brew to share with friends.
- Fresh Takes. As awareness of food allergies grows nationally, 2014 will see more area residents modifying traditional food recipes to include allergy-sensitive ingredients, such as rice milk, almond flour and chia seed.