New Food Trends

Food is in the news. Everyone has a list of new food trends for 2013. As we learned during the political races, the news cycle is short. If you say it at noon, it may be"old" news by dinner.

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. We all share our Yummys and Ews. Natural, organic, artisanal, local, gluten free. There is something for everyone. And, restaurants and grocers are taking the task to provide food for every taste.

Kids Cooking

Your kids may not be cooking, but millenials, those born between 1977-1992 are changing how we all interact with restaurants. Technology is second hand to them. The food industry wants their business. Next to the baby boomers, the millenials are the second largest generational group. All those baby boomers created their own boom.

Here are my top ten new food trends for 2013:

  1. Veggies are at the center of the plate
  2. Grains - old is new again
  3. Noodles from far east markets
  4. New laws and regulations
  5. Technology rules
  6. Millenials are the big marketing dream
  7. Trade down from casual full service restaurants
  8. Small plates
  9. Suppliers opening their own stores
  10. Popcorn!

Vegetables Take Center Stage

Tomatoes and Asparagus

Meatless Mondays are going main stream. As more of us discover meatless meals, more vegetarians, vegans, flexitarians are won over. Kale is the new carrot. With creative presentations, vegetables are at the center of the plate instead of the afterthought. Consumers seek fresh, local, healthful food. This, combined with the rising cost of meat, is changing menus in every restaurant.


Colorful Lentils

Old timey grains are becoming cool. Polenta, couscous, bulgur, quinoa, amaranth, millet, wild rice, and buckwheat. Whole wheat, corn meal and oats have to make room for the new-old grains. Ethnic cuisines and gluten free requirements are igniting a free spirit in the kitchen.

Noodles From Far East Markets

Chopsticks by Zoffy The Ji

Ramen has broken out of the dorm. Look for ramen, udon, soba, celophane and rice noodles to show up in hearty layered bowls, soups and salads. Add lots of vegetables to Ramen noodles and you have a meal. Shlurp it up

New Laws and Regulations

The State and Federal Governments are passing laws that help consumers make more informed choices. The Affordable Care Act mandates that restaurants provide nutritional information - even McDonalds.

For those of us who want to make better choices, posting calories, fat and sodium content puts you in the driver's seat. 68% of consumers want nutritional information on all restaurant menus and say that having this information is helpful in making ordering decisions

Technology is the Future

Technology today

The National Restaurant Association found that more than 95% of restaurant owners will be on Facebook within 2 years. I hesitate to eat at a new place if I can't see the menu online. Technology should complement and enhance the restaurant experience for all age groups.

Facebook "Likes" means low cost marketing and keeps the customers involved in the restaurant related to ordering, coupons, special offers and what's happening now.

ChowNow offers the ability to order through it's website. Online ordering provides convenience for the customer and the restaurant can fill orders faster.

Millenials - The Mini Baby Boomer

49% of Millennials purchase food away from home at least twice a week compared to 38% of Gen Xers and 37% of Baby Boomers. Millennials are more interested in ethnic and fusion.

Millennials have grown up with the computer and this techie generation can't imagine a world without. Electronic ordering will be even more important as this generation continues out of college and into the hectic family life.

More Casual Than Casual

Eating Casual

Consumers are trading down, not just because of the recession. Bypassing casual full service dinner houses to fast-casual places. We are more willing to sacrifice service for freshness. Food trucks offer quick and freshly made cuisine. Again, Millennials want to sample new ethnic food which is easier with these new fast-cas places.

The fast food restaurant has grown up.

Small Plates if the New Dinner Plate

Smaller Plate

Smaller is better. Glorified mini-burgers come with exotic fillings and toppings. New pairings creates a new dinner plate. My mom always looked for a protein, starch and vegetable to fill our dinner plate. Now, you can customize your own meal combination.

Brand Stores


The Apple Store. No, not apples from the orchard, but Apple technology. Apple wants to control every aspect of it's product. So, it made sense for them to open a store that only sells Apple products. Now, Dannon and Chobani have opened flagship yogurt bars in Manhattan.

These brand stores raise the brands visibility and build brand loyalty. Barilla is opening a branded pasta restaurant in 2013. Brand products are taking on the restaurant world-just like we have chain restaurant brands in grocery stores.

Snacking on Popcorn


Small plates, fast and fresh, new ethnic ideas, and more snacks. Americans nibble all day long. A snack may be more like a little meal, or just something to have with a drink in the evening or to tide us over between regular meals.

Popcorn is the "new" snack for 2013. Popcorn has always been my go to food. The micro wave popcorn bag was the greatest invention!

Popcorn will pop up everywhere in 2013, sweet or savory, in ice cream or as croutons. Lets be creative with new food trends!

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