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As we approach the close of 2016 thoughts turn to what we’ll be eating in 2017 (actually we started thinking about this around March if we’re honest). Trends come and go, but here are eight cherry picked from international food and drink consultants Baum and Whiteman’s food and beverage trends report for 2017 that you may be seeing everywhere next year, some more welcome than others – we’ll let you decide.
9 food trends for 2017
1. Virtual Restaurants
Dine-out only food businesses will increasingly be going high end, with top chefs like David Chang and Michael White launching delivery only brands, while apps offering home cooked meals both via delivery and in hosts’ homes will be another strong trend.
2. Faux Foods
Impossible Food’s faux ‘bleeding’ vegan burger was one of the biggest food stories of 2016 and we will continue to see the rise of faux foods and even faux 'butchers' stocked entirely with vegetables laid out like meat, as vegetarianism, veganism and associated foods continue to become more and more mainstream and companies invest in meat-free technologies.
Butchers will be fighting back, with artisan butchers marrying to restaurants, so diners can truly experience butcher to table dining – think fried pigs tails and grilled chicken hearts cut, cooked and served by the same person.
With the growing popularity of ramen in the West, expect to see more seaweeds on menus as well as hidden in dishes as an umami hit. In fact sea vegetables in general will see a surge in popularity, especially in the health food industry, where the likes of kale may have had its day.
Again, ramen culture is influencing the culinary world at large, with breakfast, acai and poke bowls all growing in popularity. Not forgetting bibimbap too. For chefs there’s also the advantage of not having to plate so precisely.
6. Vegetable off-cuts
Expect to see dishes that utilise vegetable off-cuts such as carrot tops and beet greens on menus, as chefs seek to cut down on food waste and appeal to the generally more eco-conscious diner.
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2016 was the year of the ice-cream hybrid – freakshakes, fairy floss and ice cream ramen, to name a few – and this looks set to continue into 2017, as people look for ever more Instagrammable desserts.
8. Spicy and Sweet
Don’t let attention seeking YouTubers fool you: though our appetite for spice is stronger than ever, it’s not all about how hot you can go. One trend in 2017 will be for heat and sweet: think spicy fried chicken with maple syrup, jalapeno honey and jerk watermelon.
9. Vegetables as Comfort Food
Mac ‘n’ cheese and shepherd’s pie are out, spiralised and mashed vegetables are in – a continuation of a trend that is already well underway in 2016.