Tea Makes List of Top 10 Food Trends for 2014

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It’s gonna be a good year! The Food Channel® (foodchannel.com) has released its “Top Ten Food Trends for 2014.” Based on research conducted with CultureWaves®, the list identifies important food movements that consumers, foodservice professionals and manufacturers should watch for in 2014.

This marks 26 years since The Food Channel began identifying trends around food—and indulging in tea has made a mark! Ranking at #2 is Low Tea. Following in the tradition of upper class ancestors, low tea (as opposed to high tea) was considered an afternoon “snack,” served more casually in a drawing room or parlor. The FC editors see it as part of a trend to eating smaller meals.

Tea also plays into #6—Ethnic Inspired. Ethnic flavors from India and Asia can inspire using tea in recipes to get the unique tastes of those lands. And check out #8—Small Scale Molecular Gastronomy—the trend of brining and pickling to customize food flavors could lead to an increased trend in infusing recipes with tea.

The full list is below.

Read more at www.foodchannel.com.

The Food Channel Top 10 Trends for 2014

1. The Midwestern Food Movement: This is all about farm fresh and local taken to the next level, using the types of food readily available in the Midwest, such as root vegetables and meats.

2. Low Tea: The upper classes had a “low tea” that was more likely to be served in the drawing room or parlor, on a low table. It was meant to sustain them prior to evening activities. The influence of “Downton Abbey” may reign here, but it’s just one of the reasons we’ve called out the celebration of tea. It’s also attributable to the move toward more frequent small meals.

3. Distracted Dining: Restaurants are beginning to put their menu items into forms that accommodate the cell phone obsessed—so you can eat with one hand, while the other holds the phone. Sandwiches, wraps, small bites are all growing trends.

4. Bread Rises to the Top: This is about the flavor experience of bread and how it’s moving more to the center of the plate. Expect breads in more flavors and forms and “bread with benefits.”

5. Investing in Food: The financial community has begun to take notice, with restaurant investments becoming hot property and restaurant stocks soaring.

6. Ethnic Inspired: We are seeing the flavor profiles of India coming out more and more, which is part of the globalization of food. We expect to see more global flavors, forms, and “melting pot” foods that retain the authentic flavors and forms of a global society.

7. Hybridization of Food: Enter a new mashup, where we are enhancing our protein with vegetables. Mushrooms in the meat, for example. It may have started with sneaky moms and a blender, but it’s a growing trend.

8. Small Scale Molecular Gastronomy: With both brining and pickling, you get chemical changes in the food, which can bring about new flavors. We expect you’ll find pickled and brined items on more and more restaurant menus. We are not only customizing, but manipulating our flavors.

9. Personal Shopping: Having someone shop for your groceries, with home delivery, is becoming a necessity for some.

10. Craft Everything: There is an interesting evolution happening at the packaging level, which is going to move “craft” beyond small batch production into something bigger.


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