With the economy in its beginning stages of upturn, 2010 was a bit of a challenge for the food industry—a challenge that certain restaurant operators and food marketers rose to meet. Beyond overall themes, such as back-to-the basics, artisan upgrades and healthful eating, the Culinary Trend Mapping Report—a bi-monthly journal from Packaged Facts and the Center for Culinary Development—has identified 10 top culinary trends in 2010:
- Gourmet-On-The-Go—Fine-dining chefs served upgraded street food either in restaurants or from refurbished carts and taco trucks.
- “Fine Fast” Sandwich Shops—Gourmet sandwich shops featured high-quality, artisan, and locally sourced ingredients, and house-made condiments and toppings.
- Boutique Booze—Local liquor outlets have benefitted from newly flexible blue laws, and the legalization of liquor tastings in stores and at factories.
- Condiments, Preserved Foods, Heirloom Produce—Produce from heirloom seeds, home canning, and homemade condiments and preserved products became popular, finding outlets at craft and farmers markets, online and at specialty retail stores.
- Parisian Macaroons—Macaroons (a Parisian pastry composed of two ground-almond meringue cookies, bound with butter cream, ganache or jam filling) were found in a number of high-end bakeries and gourmet-food retailers.
- Bahn Mi & Bao—Bao (a Taiwanese pork-based sandwich, served on a white flour bun) and banh mi (a Vietnamese sandwich featuring grilled meat or pâté served on French bread) appealed to consumers who love sandwiches but are searching for a more exciting flavor.
- Butchery—A renewed demand for hand-cut, high-quality meat was introduced in 2010.
- Agave Nectar—Agave nectar became the much-talked-about sweetener, easily added to products ranging from beverages to baked goods to sauces to confections, and is used in numerous products already on the market.
- Eggs All Day—Eggs were all the hype in 2010, being inexpensive, healthful and adaptable, and were the source of innovation for many chefs and restaurants.
- Better Burgers—From adding exotic toppings and the perfect bun to using grass-fed and locally sourced beef, many fine-dining restaurants added dressed-up versions of the burger on their menus, while chain restaurants responded to customer demand for better-quality meat for their burgers.
For more details on these top 10 trends, click here.