Predicted Food Trends for 2015

HGTV’s 2015 Edible Trends: The Next Hot Fruits, Vegetables & Herbs

  • rhubarb
  • beet & turnip greens (instead of kale)
  • kohlrabi (fermented, pickled, pureed, juiced and preserved)
  • chia seeds
  • heirloom radishes (instead of potatoes)
  • sunflower seeds
  • squash
  • Thai basil
  • parsley & mint
  • apples
  • baby celery
  • artichoke bottoms
  • Napa cabbage
  • collard greens
  • Persian and Pakistan mulberries
  • Epazote
(HGTVs list of trends is based on discussions with chefs across the country about the hottest ingredients they see coming out of the ground onto the table.)

Bon Appetit’s trends to watch for in 2015:
  • Gyros
  • Nitro coffee
  • Bacalao (dried salt cod)
  • Tacos
  • Marijuana on restaurant menus
  • Shake Shack-already 56 global locations
  • Crème de Pamplemousse grapefruit liqueur
  • Many new restaurants will open with strangely similar names                                                Your spirit animal or Grandma’s name or Favorite ingredient                                            +Luxury or Provisions or Luncheonette (+Optional: Add &, Co., or Sons)
  • Chinese bing bread (shaobing), a flaky flatbread often eaten at breakfast
  • Beef tongue
  • Third-wave beer bars with destination-worthy food
  • Bartenders will use better ingredients & techniques to update 70s throwbacks as they have updated classic cocktails
  • Kolache, Texas-by-way-of-the-Czech-Republic filled dough pockets, (instead of cornets)
(Andrew Knowlton for Bon Appetit)

Better Homes & Gardens Food Trends

  • Pistachios
  • Bar carts
  • DIY food bars
  • Going global (Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Vietnamese, and Korean)
  • Whole grains (teff, freekeh, kaniwa, or millet)
  • Craft beers
  • Smaller plates
  • Fermented foods
  • Restaurant downsizing to shorter menus, shrunken staff sizes, and smaller venues
  • Smoked foods
  • Coconut sugar
  • Salt & spice play
  • Sipping protein-packed broth
  • Grocery store changes
  • New ways with veggies
  • Home brewing

Food & Wine’s new trends for 2015:
  • Middle Eastern Cuisine New York City’s Mile End Deli debuted Middle Eastern–style dishes. Israeli food genius Michael Solomonov opened a hummusiya in Philadelphia. Next, chef Sara Kramer will open a vegetable-centric falafel shop in Los Angeles’s Grand Central Market.
  • House-Made Tortillas Chefs are turning masa into the freshest tortillas at new Mexican restaurants like Empellón al Pastor in New York City; Minero in Charleston, South Carolina; and Cantina Leña in Seattle.
  • After-Dinner Drinks: They note excellent updates on the Grasshopper at Pépé Le Moko in Portland, Oregon, Good Times at Davey Wayne’s in Los Angeles and Bar Sardine in New York City.
  • Tokyo: Expat-Chef Mecca: Nordic pioneer René Redzepi will launch a Noma pop-up at Tokyo’s Mandarin Oriental in early January; both Dominique Ansel and San Francisco’s Tartine Bakery have Tokyo locations in the works.
  • Expo Milano 2015: Everyone will be talking about it. Running May through October, this World’s Fair will focus on the theme Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life. Superstar chefs like Massimo Bottura and Alain Ducasse will represent 144 countries.
Urbanspoon selected tapas, Italian, Mediterranean, southern/soul and Japanese as the top five cuisines of 2014.
Urbanspoon’s top picks for dishes for 2015 included:
  • Pickled Cauliflower: Pickled and fermented foods are rapidly rising in popularity in reviews. Urbanspoon predicts next year will be the year of the pickled vegetables.
  • Chicken Wings: 2015 will mark the return of chicken dishes being the spotlight on restaurant menus.
  • Smoked Cabbage: It’s not just meats that are smoked anymore, but smoked cabbage, and other smoked veggies, increase in popularity
  • Artisanal Brittle
  • Savory Beignets: Once reserved as a sweet pastry, beignets with savory fillings like smoked shrimp or broccoli and cheese will be a favorite.

(Urbanspoon, a popular restaurant discovery app, bases predictions of top dishes on application and user data, reviews and expert commentary.)

According to Sterling-Rice Group, a Boulder-based consulting firm, 2015 food trends emphasize complex flavors, functional ingredients and a deeper exploration of food culture and community. 
  • Asian 2: The newest wave of Asian flavors are spicier and more complex, driven by Northern Thai cuisine, Japanese okonomiyaki pancakes and tangy Filipino foods. There’s a deeper exploration of funkier, fattier, hotter flavors.”
  • Matcha: Antioxidant-rich Japanese green tea powder, boasting nutrients with less caffeine than green tea, is appearing in convenient formats to meet demand for ready-to-drink beverages with functional benefits. 
  • Edible marijuana: From candy to cold-brewed coffee, creative culinary applications for cannabis are gaining ground in states where medical and recreational marijuana is legal. Cookbooks and cooking classes also incorporate the ingredient in foods beyond the brownie
  • Pursuit of hoppiness: countertrend to IPAs, hop-free beers are on the rise. To create a flavor balance and aroma, brewers use herbs, spices and bitter plants such as mushrooms, sassafras, rosemary, hemp and reindeer lichen. 
  • Charcoal on fire: Charcoal is coloring bread, lemonades and crackers, such as Fine English Charcoal Squares from The Fine Cheese Co. In restaurants, chefs are using ancient styles of charcoal to cook delicate items like fish or small pieces of chicken and meat on a skewer.  It cooks food incredibly fast at high temperatures without smoke and odor, producing a delicious char flavor.
  • Local grains: With farmers selling small-scale alternative grain varieties to local bakers, brewers, chefs and consumers, expect to see a demand for countertop mills and grain-milling appliances. 
  • Coconut sugar: With a lower glycemic index than cane sugar and more nutrients, coconut sugar is sweetening confections, dessert spreads and granola. Purely Elizabeth baking mixes and ancient grain granola cereals from Appetite for Healthy Living, Boulder, contain organic coconut palm sugar, which is sustainably harvested in Bali and provides potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron and B vitamins. People are gravitating to it towards out of the Paleo trend, for something a little less processed, and for more of a traditional taste when they’re making Southeast Asian foods at home.
  • Quality kosher: As Jewish millennials seek to eat in a more culturally driven and conscious way, artisan delis and bagel shops serving farm-to-table fare have emerged. Millennial children seem to be looking for more meaning and connection to their roots.
  • Crowd-sourced cuisine: A new restaurant concept popping up in Dallas,  Denver, and Washington, D.C., combines communal dining, pop-up restaurant novelty and chef competitions. Such restaurant incubators include Kitchen LTO in Dallas, a rotating hub for aspiring chefs who vie for a spot via social media.
  • Less-than-pretty produce: Odd or misshapen fruits and vegetables are getting a second look, supported by concerns over waste and efforts to reduce hunger.
(To compile its annual list, the Sterling-Rice Group collects expertise from food industry experts, publications and trade shows to identify emerging trends in the industry. Not all trends hit the mainstream, but key drivers suggest a shift in consumer behaviors and need states that restaurant operators and food manufacturers may leverage in product development.)