2015 Food Trends: What we love, hate and can’t wait to start

Each January is jam-packed with trend analyses and predictions, and the food/beverage/nutrition world is no exception. Here, instead of restating what was or professing to know what will be, our cross-category team of food marketing experts shares its hopes and dreams for the good, the bad and the not-yet-developed trends.

FOOD MEDIA – Max Martens

A trend I hope to see continue:  

Printed recipe illustrations

Seeing recipe ingredients deconstructed and laid artfully side by side demystifies complex dishes and gives us publicists a way to gain awareness for ingredients that aren’t always visible in a finished dish.


A trend I hope to see start:

Back to basics

I’d love for the basics that are NOT BAD for you to come back in to fashion. Foods like beans, brown rice/grains, frozen fruits/vegetables and dairy. Somehow these foods became the enemy without any evidence to support it when exotic greens, chia seeds and $8 juices are what people think they need to maintain a healthy diet. Marketers of these back-to-basics foods have tremendous opportunity knocking on their door.


A trend I hope to see continue:

Supper clubs and Sunday suppers

There is something so warm and comforting about bringing a group of friends around a communal table – passing food, sharing stories, socializing at the dinner table. Look at Asheville’s Rhubarb Sunday Suppers  —  they highlight a local farmer each week and prepare a special family-style menu reflecting the bounty of local markets. Rhubarb is smart enough to know that by creating such memorable experiences for customers, they’ll win their hearts and minds forever.

DinnerLab (Source: Dinner Lab)

A trend I hope to see fade:

Super-sized everything

As society becomes more enlightened about health and nutrition, the prevalence of extra-large portions has left many welcoming the age of small plates. This is why we deem 2015 the year of tapas. With tapas, diners can be adventurous without breaking the bank and chefs can showcase more of the culinary dynamite in their arsenal.

A trend I hope to see start:

Seasonal taking the stage next to local

In the midst of locavore hype, facts about seasonality often get overlooked. No, blueberries aren’t only in season in the summer. Our winter is South America’s summer, so they come in fresh and tasty all year round.  With increased pressure to offer seasonal produce AND menu creativity, foodservice pros would be well-served to take a more expansive look at seasonality.

 RETAIL– Jason Stemm

A trend I hope to see continue:

Focus on fresh

Fresh produce is the top factor determining where consumers shop, followed by fresh meat, poultry and seafood. Supermarkets have focused on the perimeter for years, but supercenters are catching up, and now C-stores are expanding fresh offerings. Salad bars are popping up at schools and vending machines are dispensing fresh produce. I hope to see more market innovation as the supply chain expands to meet this growing appetite for fresh, whether it is growing vegetables on rooftops or delivering fresh seafood by drone.

A trend I hope to see fade:

Impersonal touch

When did we grow such distaste for human interaction? First there were the Self Checkouts and now Lowes wants you to ask a robot for assistance. I’d love to see more retailers follow Hy-Vee’s example of having a dietitian in every store and move toward more customer engagement, not less.

A trend I hope to see start:

Specialization returns to Main Street

We urbanites are spoiled. While supercenters and “one stop shopping” have wiped out many family businesses, we can still find artisan specialists in large cities – see Chelsea Market in New York, Pikes Place in Seattle or Reading Terminal in Philly. Outside urban areas, though, these specialty shops are few and far between. I hope this urban revival expands out to Main Streets from coast to coast and our interest in food and where it comes from continues to grow across generations.

WINE, BEER & SPIRITS – Pia Mara Finkell

A trend I hope to see continue:

Craft everything

Craft beer and wine is growing exponentially year over year. Craft spirits have started to take hold. Craft cider is up and coming, gradually changing people’s perceptions of hard cider. The best of these drinks are made in small quantities, with passion and precision, adding excitement to the bar scene. The year 2015 is full of marketing potential for those in the craft world!

GoodFood.com (Source: GoodFood.com)

A trend I hope to see fade:

Generic, predictable wine lists

Oh gee, you have a California Chardonnay, an Argentinian Malbec, a supermarket brand Pinot Grigio AND an Oregon Pinot Noir. WOWZA! Give your customers a little more credit, and introduce them to something similar to what they already know, but even more delicious and maybe even a better value. Traditional aged Rioja, Beaujolais Crus, crisp and slightly effervescent Txakolina from the Basque Country, Grüner Veltliner from Austria, or heck, even a little unknown Madeira, just for fun!

A trend I hope to see start:

Service with a smile

Ok, I get it. Your drinks are fancy, extra interesting and crazy delicious. This bar is cooler than I will ever be, and incredibly difficult to find. You are bound to win Hipster of the Year with those tight pants and waxed moustache. The part of the equation you continue to miss is that I am, above all, here to have a good time.  Please stop acting like you are too cool for school, and smile occasionally. Take a cue from the Union Square Hospitality Group. Put good service and a pleasant disposition in front of everything else, and I will pay you the best compliment possible. I will come back.



So, enough about our hopes and dreams. What food marketing trends do you hope to see fade or flourish in 2015?



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