The Six Top Food Trends for 2011

The times they "are a' changing" to quote the song.  Here are some of the new culinary trends that are emerging as home cooks adjust to the currents now flowing through the American economic scene.

TREND #1: Food Enthusiasts Choose to Embrace a Healthy Lifestyle

In the past a particular body image has been promoted by fashion.  There was often one type of body shape that was desired and achieving it meant one was ‘healthy’ and socially accepted. 

Today we know better.  Our bodies come in all shapes and sizes. A healthy lifestyle is more important than a magical waistline number or a fixed dress size. Modern diners understand that their life quality includes informed food choices, exercise and an integrated inclusive life style.

TREND #2: Consumers Want to Know All the Facts

Learning how to make healthy food decisions has never been easier.  There are literally thousands of mobile phone apps that allow both the diner and the food shopper to make the right choices.

In addition, nearly every commercial product available has extensive nutritional labeling. Its just a matter of taking the time to read the labels and select what's truly best for your family.

TREND #3: Local Fresh Food Vendors Become a Weekly Destination

There’s a reason that Europeans shop weekly (and sometimes daily) at their neighborhood butcher, baker and cheese shop.  The food purchased there is fresher and very often provides the best health value. 

Americans are now starting to rediscover their own local fresh food vendors and finding it’s fun to meet the people who actual produce their food.  And yes, there is a world of difference between commercially canned green beans and beans fresh from a garden.  Give it a try - you will be amazed.    

TREND #4: Creative Cooks Rediscover the Home Kitchen

With budgets tight but still with a desire to enjoy gourmet cuisine, many people are returning to the near forgotten art of skilled home cooking.  As a result, several major sub-trends are currently emerging.

Culinary stores are experiencing a surge in sales as home cooks are buying upscale culinary tools. Whether it’s a Global knife or a KitchenAid mixer, this year’s new cooks are seeking the tools that will make their kitchen efforts easy and fun. 

Many of the new cookbooks that are appearing in bookstores are focused on sharing basic cooking skills with beginners.  How-to-cook books are often replacing what-to-cook books on bookstore shelves.Culinary classes are often quite crowded as both men and women are getting back to basics to save both health and dollars.

Last but not least, are men finding that they can enjoy cooking as much as women (and do it as well).  Given the economy, many men are not working full time and cooking is one way to still feel creative and be able to share with their family.  

TREND #5: Cozy Comfort Food Goes Main Stream

As many people struggle with a strained family budget, there is also a longing to return to the comfort of former days when we were small and our parents took care of us.  One trend that equals the gourmet-cook-at-home trend in size is the comfort-food trend. From pies to casseroles, the past is suddenly new again and very popular.

TREND #6: Small Mini Dishes and Sample Tasting Gain Party Popularity

The hottest party style this year will be tasting parties offering a variety of small dish portions.  Shots of soup served with mini loaves of bread are already appearing in leading restaurants and should soon be a home host favorite.


Your Culinary World copyright Ana Kinkaid/Peter Schlagel 2010

Posted on January 14, 2011 and filed under Diet, Sustainablity.