Experts Predict Biggest Food Trends in 2014

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Experts Predict Biggest Food Trends in 2014
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Experts Predict Biggest Food Trends in 2014

Are ice cream sandwiches the new cupcake? Would you order food from your favorite clothing store? Find out what the experts predict will be the biggest food trends in 2014.

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New Trend: Ice Cream Sandwich Trend

In an Entrepreneur article, Andrew Freeman, CEO of a San Francisco-based hospitality consulting firm, predicted that cupcakes, donuts and croissants were on their way out and ice cream sandwiches, biscuits and unusual food combinations like the ramen burger and dessert pizza are on the rise.

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New Trend: Infused Ice Cube Trend

In the bar scene, Freeman predicts ice cubes infused with herbs and other ingredients as the next big thing for cocktails, according to Entrepreneur. Even flavors like smoke are being incorporated; Forbes reports one bartender found melting ice in a meat smoker and re-freezing the water imbues the ice with a clean, smoky flavor.

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New Trend: 'Indie Woman' Trend

Phil Lempert, Supermarket Guru's expert analyst on consumer behavior, recently released his top ten food trend predictions for next year. At the top of his list is the emergence of the "Indie Woman," describing over 30 million women ages 27 and over who live alone, have no children, are focused on building their careers and spend more than $50 billion yearly on food and beverages. Expect to see brands cater to this demographic with semi-homemade meals and healthy frozen dinners.

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New Trend: Drive-Thru Grocery Stores

Consumers already rely on their mobile phones when shopping for groceries, so Supermarket Guru takes it one step further by predicting a streamlined shopping experience. In the future, shoppers may be able to select a recipe, order ingredients and check out directly on their phone, and grocery stores might have drive-thru windows for pick-up.

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New Trend: Retail + Food

Fox News reports that retail stores with brand-themed restaurants are the next big thing in food, according to restaurant consultant group Baum+Whiteman's annual report. Examples include the new Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar in New York City, Saks's new in-house restaurant Sophie opening next year at several store locations and Brooks Brothers's plans to launch its first steakhouse, Makers and Merchants, at its flagship store on Madison Ave.

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New Trend: Tasting Menus and Food Halls

Baum+Whiteman says that luxury is a key factor for next year's top dining trends. Expect to see more restaurants offering tasting menus (with some charging up to $1000 for two) and upscale "food halls," that make freshly prepared meals on-site, replacing stale food courts.

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New Trend: Chicken Specialties

Gone are the days of simple roast chicken, as restaurants are serving fancy chicken specialties that are priced like steak, predicts Baum+Whiteman. For example, one bestselling dish at New York City-based restaurant The NoMad is the much-raved-about $79 roast chicken stuffed with foie gras, black truffles and brioche.

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New Trend: Gochujang

Now that sriracha aioli and kimchi have gone mainstream, Baum+Whiteman say to watch out for a new wave of Asian flavors like gochujang, a Korean condiment made from hot chili paste and fermented soy beans, and shichimi togarashi, a Japanese seasoning made from seven spices that the consultants describe as the "new salt-and-pepper."

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New Trend: Midwestern Food Movement

Topping The Food Channel's list of top food trends is the Midwestern food movement, which is all about the simple and hearty cooking of root vegetables, steak and other locally sourced ingredients.

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New Trend: Low Tea

With the popularity of eating several light meals throughout the day rather than three large meals, The Food Channel predicts a fourth meal called low tea will be one of this year's hottest food trends. Low tea is a light meal or snack of brunch-type fare that is served around 4 p.m. and shared with guests.

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New Trend: Replacing Water in Cooking

On their list of cutting-edge food trends, food analysts from Sterling-Rice Group predicted a new technique of poaching and steaming foods in smoky liquids, teas, coffee, beer and wines in place of water will be a trend among chefs, according to Supermarket News.

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New Trend: Exotic Meats

In addition, Sterling-Rice Group analysts say the farm-to-table concept will continue to be popular, but small-scale producers will expand into more exotic meats like goat, rabbit and pigeon, supplying new and exciting protein sources.

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New Trend: Non-Wheat Pasta

In The National Restaurant Association's annual survey to forecast hot culinary trends, gluten-free food and non-wheat pasta made some of the biggest jumps on the list. Expect to see more pasta made from non-wheat alternatives, like quinoa, rice and buckwheat on the menu.

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New Trend: No More Bacon and Chocolate

What's yesterday's news? Chefs rated bacon and chocolate desserts, foam preparation methods and fish offal among the most passé food items, according to The National Restaurant Association.

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New Trend: Foraged Foods

Food Business News reports that experts believe the flavors of foraged food will be a global trend next year, highlighting flavors like seaweed, truffles, rose hips and blackberry.

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New Trend: Natural Ingredients

Jamie Rice, a researcher at the United Kingdom's RTS Resource, says next year the consumer perception of health will shift from "low calorie" or "light" products to a focus on ingredients and their association to healthfulness. In particular, Rice says consumers want natural ingredients that deliver energy and more protein products that fit in popular protein diets.

New Trend: Ancient Grains

With ancient grain quinoa and the paleo diet being popular this year, the trend of "going back to the future for health" is expected to continue in 2014. The researchers at Innova Market Insights predict the rediscovery of new ancient grains like chia and freekeh will be buzz-worthy.

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New Trend: Heirloom Vegetables

Innova Market Insights also predicts a revival of interest in heirloom varieties of vegetables like parsnip, artichoke, kale and salsify.

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Are cupcakes out and ice cream sandwiches in? Will you be ordering steak from your favorite clothing store in the new year?

Food trend predictions for 2014 may surprise you. From unusual cooking techniques to a streamlined grocery shopping experience, find out what food trends need to be on your radar now.

Check out the slideshow above to discover what foods experts expect to be trending in 2014.

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