Post Categories: January 2015

Trending Tastes: Eco-conscious, Ethnic Cuisine—It’s What’s for Dinner!


Consumers’ tastes are always evolving. One year super fruits and gluten-free are big; the next year, it’s all about bacon and ancient grains. So what’s on tap for 2015? According to the culinary experts, expect big, bold flavors prepared in a way that’s environmentally-friendly and sustainable. Let’s take a look at exactly what that means.

First up: bold flavors. By and large this means ethnic cuisine will reign supreme. This isn’t an entirely new concept, but consumers are looking to take it to the next level. They’re no longer happy with “Americanized” versions of Chinese and Mexican favorites. They want authentic flavors from a range of culinary influences—even if they use unfamiliar ingredients. Consumers are also moving toward incorporating those ingredients into non-ethnic favorites, be it macaroni with queso fresco (a soft Mexican cheese) or French fries dipped in sriracha (a spicy Asian condiment).

Sustainability will also be top of mind to consumers in the coming year. Consumers increasingly want to know where their food comes from and how it’s made. Sustainable products typically deliver options consumers can feel good about, taking the environment, the health of workers and the humane treatment of animals all into account in their production. Common examples include free-range, grass-fed or locally-produced foods and those packaged with minimal and recyclable materials.

jan2015-trendAs an offshoot of the sustainability movement, the emphasis on local products is also expected to grow in 2015. For example, consumers will be looking for fruits and vegetables grown on nearby farms, not industrial agricultural operations hundreds or thousands of miles away. Kara Nielsen, culinary director for advertising agency Sterling Rice Group, also predicts more consumers will be in the market for locally- or regionally-produced grains, which they often see as a healthier alternative to mass market flours, breads and pastas.

According to Sterling Rice Group, all of these trends stem from consumers’ desire to make deeper connections with their communities and where their food comes from, and to elevate the dining experience—even at home—with a sense of boldness and adventure.

Try This!
If you’re sampling new or trendy foods that shoppers might not be familiar with yet, try featuring product photos, recipes and complementary items they can pick up during their shopping trip to make the most of their new discoveries.