Tuesday, January 15, 2008

2008 Trends

What hot food trends can we expect to see in 2008? I have done a little bit of research and found these trends.

Those high fat foods that we have always thought of as bad will show us that they are natural and that is better. Foods like butter and Hellman’s mayonnaise will market that they are made from only natural ingredients. Other foods with uncertain nutritional content, like white bread, will show its health benefits as well. These campaigns will really push consumers to become more educated about the food they eat and not believe everything you hear.

We will see even more products listing their health benefits, lower calorie content or lower fat content. However, we can not take the jazzy front of the box at face value. It is still very important to read the nutritional content label and decide for yourself if it is a wise purchase.

We will see the rise in concern with lead-free products in other industries creep into people’s overall concern for safety. Among this food packaging facilities will flaunt their high safety standards.

Organic is so last year - LOL This year the new buzz word is local. Consumers are looking at the bigger picture and eating organic produce from other countries has a large impact on the environment than eating locally grown produce. More restaurants will advertise that they are part of this natural foods movement. The New Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year for 2007 was locavore and the trend will continue into 2008.

“A locavore is someone who eats food grown or produced locally or within a certain radius such as 50, 100, or 150 miles. The locavore movement encourages consumers to buy from farmers’ markets or even to produce their own food, with the argument that fresh, local products are more nutritious and taste better. Local grown food is an environmentally friendly means of obtaining food, since supermarkets that import their food use more fossil fuels and non-renewable resources.” (

We will see grocery stores move away from the box store feel and become more attractive to its consumers. We are already seeing that around here. They will loose they traditional aisle layout for more of an open-market feel, they will add specialty food bars, soft lighting and hardwood floors.

A restaurant trend we will see is restaurants moving from the large-chain casual dining experience to a modified version. These eateries will be housed in strip malls instead of as stand alone buildings and will have modified, scaled-down menus to offer fast, inexpensive options for its consumers.

Food & Wine magazine predicts:
* Old-fashioned candy
* Wild American shrimp
* Muesli will become more popular than granola
* Chef-run noodle bars
* Barrel-aged beers
* Chardonnay from Oregon
* Haute frozen food

Mintel International Group (Chicago-based market research firm) predicts:
* Functional waters (those with added nutrients)
* Virtually anything fair trade
* Ancient grains, such as amaranth, quinoa and teff
* Easy-to-understand nutritional labels

Baum & Whiteman Co. (restaurant consultants) predicts:
* More restaurants will accept takeout orders via text messaging
* Restaurants with ultraspecialized menus (such as breakfast cereal or grilled cheeses)
* Cocktails enhanced with functional foods
* Offal (entrails and internal organs of butchered animals)
* Korean food

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Happy New Year! I hope 2008 has been treating you well so far. For my Michigan readers, I hope you are staying warm and dry with all the snow we have received in the last 2 days.

The new year brings resolutions – many include losing weight and eating healthier. Last year I posted some tips for eating healthier and making and keeping resolutions (

I thought I would start this year on a different note. Did you know that 2008 is The International Year of the Potato?!?! For those that know me, they know that the Munger Potato Festival is an integral part of my life, and that I never miss it. And who does not love potatoes?! So when I heard that this was the Year of the Potato, I was ecstatic.

At a conference held by the United Nations in 2005, a proposal was approved to bring recognition to world hunger problems. With the potato being an easily grown, fairly nutritious and already being grown in most countries, it made a good choice as the crop to promote. The hopes are to alleviate poverty and malnutrition, provide food and security and increase growth in developing nations.

Some interesting potato facts:

  • In 2005, for the first time ever, more potatoes were grown in developing countries than developed countries – 318 million tonnes total (1 tonne or metric ton = 1,000 kilograms).

  • China and India grow about one-third of the total global potato production.

  • Europeans (including former Soviet countries) consume the largest amount of potatoes.

  • The United States ranks fourth global for potato production. Americans eat about 120 pounds of potatoes annually.

Potatoes are native to South America and have been around for at least 8,000 years. The Spanish introduced them to Europe in the 16th Century. Today there are 7,500 varieties of potatoes worldwide.

Potatoes are a good source of complex carbohydrates (what our body produces energy from) and fiber. We can get half of our daily intake of Vitamin C from eating potatoes with their skins. Potatoes are also a better source of potassium than bananas (417 mg versus 358 mg).

Potatoes are extremely versatile Рthey can be boiled, baked, roasted, mashed, fried, stuffed, broiled, saut̩ed or steamed.

Some interesting potato recipes from www.idahopotato.com:

Cannelloni of Potato and Wild Mushrooms

Roasted Rosemary Garlic Potatoes

Lime Basil Idaho Potato Tabbouleh