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What is Trending Now?

Every year, the “experts” predict the food trends for the coming year.

So, we wanted to know...


what are the food trends for 2017?

First, let’s take a quick look back on 2016.  In the Midwest, we saw the continuing evolution of street food, microbreweries and over-the-top donuts.  Nationally, some of the trends included meal kit delivery services, breakfast all day, and a wide variety of veggie chips claiming more space in the snack aisles.

Of course, these trends are likely to continue into 2017, and there are some other trends we are likely to see this year.


Cauliflower power!

Look for cauliflower to continue to feel the love.  Different varieties, like purple cauliflower, are likely to become more prevalent.  And don’t be surprised to see cauliflower steaks showing up at restaurants and backyard barbecues.

Plus, cauliflower rice is becoming a “thing”…you can even find it already chopped into “rice” in the produce and/or frozen section of many grocery stores.  And, of course, Eat REAL America has you covered with meal ideas like Slow Cooker Asian Chicken over Cauliflower Rice and Cauliflower Rice with Almond Butter Dressing.



Meal kits made local.

Meal kit services became much more popular in 2016.  However, the logistics make this business very challenging.  We expect local grocery stores to get into this market…after all, the food is already there and simply has to be repackaged to create convenient meal kits for customers.  What about farmers’ markets getting into the mix?  There are some challenges to overcome, but there is likely demand for meal kits with ready-to-prepare ingredients from local producers.


Fermented foods.

Look for fermented foods to continue to gain popularity.  Everything from kimchi to kombucha to sauerkraut to sourdough to yogurt.

More people are discovering the innovative flavors of fermented foods as well as the health benefits they provide for our digestive systems.

The fermentation process preserves the food and creates beneficial enzymes and probiotics.  These fermented foods have been enjoyed in countries like Germany and Korea for years and are continuing to find their way into the U.S. food culture.  For a couple of great yogurt ideas, try the Yogurt Fruit and Nutty Salad or Greek Inspired Lamb Tacos.



Plant-based everything.

Veggies have evolved a long way from steamed broccoli.  Veggies are replacing meat in more and more dishes.  Veggie burgers continue to get more sophisticated and delicious, especially at highly innovative restaurants.

Want to amaze your family and friends at home?  Try making the Surprise Spaghetti Bolognese.  The sauce looks and tastes like it includes ground beef, but it is actually made from mushrooms and walnuts.  You won’t miss the meat — it is super-easy to prepare and tastes fantastic!



Alternative pastas.

If you haven’t already, you will likely notice more gluten-free pastas showing up on the store shelves.  These pastas are made from alternative grains or legumes such as quinoa, lentils, chickpeas and black beans.

Veggies will also continue to show up as pasta alternatives.  Everything from spaghetti squash to spiralized veggies like zucchini, beets and carrots will continue to gain in popularity as an alternative to traditional wheat-based noodles.





Farm-to-Table and local collaborations.

In our communities, local food cultures continue to evolve in some very exciting ways.  A lot of this evolution has resulted from collaboration among local entrepreneurs, breweries, restaurants, producers and others.  Some of the best meals in towns all over America include ingredients from local farmers and producers…look for more collaboration between local farmers and restaurants in 2017!



Super spice.

Turmeric should continue trending this year.  It is a nutritional powerhouse, especially one of its key components, curcumin.  Turmeric does a great job reducing inflammation in our bodies, relieves arthritis and joint pain and helps reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, among many other benefits.

Not only is turmeric super-healthy, but it also adds great flavor to meals.  It is the main ingredient in curry dishes and is commonly used as a natural food coloring (this is the reason your ballpark mustard is yellow).

It is great added to roasted or sautéed veggies and goes great with fish, chicken and chili.  Hint: use some black pepper and some fat (like olive or coconut oil) to get the full health benefits turmeric offers.  If you don’t have turmeric in your spice collection, now is the time!  Just a few delicious ideas include the Turmeric Pork and Cabbage SkilletCauliflower Stir-Fry, and Tandoori Chicken.



Clean labels.

More and more consumers continue to desire less processed foods and foods that are free from artificial ingredients.  In other words, there is an increasing desire for REAL food (great minds think alike)!

Food companies are reformulating many of their products to respond to this demand.  Is it possible that ingredient lists may eventually include only ingredients that consumers can pronounce and understand?




We are very excited for the continued evolution of our food culture, both locally and across the U.S.

Do you have a prediction for a food trend in 2017?  If so, share it here!



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