BOULDER, COLO. — Nut milks, egg yolks and seaweed top the list of cutting-edge dining trends poised for mainstream menus in 2014, according to Sterling-Rice Group, a Boulder-based consulting firm.
Emerging ingredients and flavors are driven by health, indulgence and global inspiration, said Kazia Jankowski, associate culinary director for Sterling-Rice Group.
“Last year as we looked at the trends, we saw a lot more veggies making their way into the center of the plate and an increased focus on health and wellness, both from a chef perspective as well as a consumer perspective, and cuisines that supported that, like Asian food and whatnot,” Ms. Jankowski said. “As we looked to 2014, we saw some of those same trends driving the interest for 2014, but we saw new flavors popping and new ingredients popping, a lot more emphasis on Middle Eastern flavors, a lot more emphasis on other healthy beverages, like tea. Kind of a new expression of that healthiness, but not at the sake of consumers sacrificing completely. But there’s still a desire for these comfort American foods that are kind of how we indulge ourselves.”
The group collected expertise from food industry experts, publications and trade shows to identify emerging trends in the industry.
“We look at the input from our culinary team and chefs and look at consumer trends to really find those areas where, if there’s something on the culinary leading edge but also aligns with some consumer behavior, that will really push it to more of a mainstream next year,” she said.