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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Food, Beverage Trends That Shaped 2010

Market research publisher Packaged Facts and the Center for Culinary Development released its “Culinary Trend Mapping® Report" that features the Top 10 trends that shaped the food and beverage marketplace in 2010.

Using their signature 5-stage Trend Mapping® technique—Stage 1 being the emerging phase and Stage 5 a mainstream presence—CCD and Packaged Facts identified the following top 10 food trends that had the largest impact on menus and grocery shelves in 2010.
  1. Gourmet-On-The-Go (Stage 1). Street food was on fire this year, made by cooks and chefs of all stripes. One notable subset was fine-dining chefs serving upgraded street food either in restaurants or from refurbished carts and taco trucks, while foodie entrepreneurs made specialized, high-quality cuisine available on the go.
  2. “Fine Fast" Sandwich Shops (Stage 1). Gourmet sandwich shops took the art of sandwich-making seriously. They were often helmed by fine-dining chefs and featured high-quality, artisan and locally sourced ingredients, as well as a wide range of house-made condiments and toppings.
  3. Boutique Booze (Stage 2). Boutique booze was all the rage in 2010, from bars that specialize in a single type of liquor to festivals that celebrate spirits made by independent producers. Local liquor outlets benefitted from newly flexible blue laws and the legalization of liquor tastings in stores and at factories, as well as the growing consumer enthusiasm for all things handmade and artisan.
  4. Condiments, Preserved Foods & Heirloom Produce (Stage 2). A rising number of people grew produce from heirloom seeds, revived the art of home canning and made condiments and preserved products of all kinds. This resulted in new thriving DIY communities as this new wave of artisans found outlets for their products at craft and farmers markets, online and at specialty retail stores.
  5. Parisian Macarons (Stage 2). Macarons were found this year in a wealth of high-end bakeries and gourmet-food retailers—and became a staple of food photography.
  6. Bahn Mi & Bao (Stage 2). 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) perfectly marry the novel with the familiar, appealing to consumers who love sandwiches but are searching for flavor adventure. Both bao and banh mi made waves in 2010 in urban centers like San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, as well on the street from myriad of street food trucks and carts.
  7. Butchery (Stage 3). Butchers stole the headlines this year, acting as unexpected emissaries of the heritage meat and artisan trends that came together to renew popular demand for handcut meat. With the upsurge in production and consumption of high-quality meat, young and aspiring foodies flocked to butchery demonstrations to feel closer to the sources of their food.
  8. Agave Nectar (Stage 3). Agave nectar became the much-talked-about sweetener in 2010, stealing a bit of stevia’s thunder.  A syrup that can be easily added to products ranging from beverages to baked goods to sauces to confections, agave nectar has demonstrated its versatility in the 300+ agave-bearing products already on the market and available in retailers like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.
  9. Eggs All Day (Stage 4). The egg is being placed front and center as a food that is inexpensive, healthful and adaptable, whether for a sandwich or wrap, to accompany a salad, on a pizza, mixed with pasta.
  10. Better Burgers (Stage 5). Building better burgers became a nationwide obsession in 2010, whether it meant adding exotic toppings, using grass-fed and locally sourced beef, or finding the perfect bun. Fine-dining restaurants added dressed up versions on their menus while chain restaurants responded to customer demand for better quality meat by using Angus and Kobe-style American Wagyu beef for their burgers.

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