It's widely accepted by food producers today that consumers want to know where their food comes from with an emphasis on ethically produced food and in addition more transparency on the part of food producers. Ethics is important because food has become a social platform. It has become a means of defining one's personal values.
Environmentally sustainable supply chains are growing in numbers. This is driven by consumers increasing environmental awareness and the changing environment where the operations of the food industry are under increased scrutiny. People are interested in their health and well-being and realize we must also care for the health of our planet.
Food trends are happening globally on the way we eat, drink and be "eco-friendly".
Stop Wasting Food The National Resource Defense Council of United States estimates 40% of food goes uneaten each month and 39% of Americans feel guilty for wasting food, almost double the number who feel guilty about not recycling. Manufacturers, restaurants and consumers will be focusing on ways to reduce food wastage in 2013.
From Farm to Table Chefs and butchers are increasingly buying meats direct from the local farmers who raise livestock free of antibiotics and in a nature livestock environment. This growing trend fosters the economies of small family-run farms and provides the consumers with the fresher and healthy produce. Now chefs and hospitality chains are questioning where and how the animals are raised and processed. Every part of the animal is used, no longer a standard practice to cut steaks, roasts and chops and disposing the rest for pet food. Once unpopular cuts are now used in soups, deli meats, stocks, soup and charcuterie. Fresh fruits, herbs and vegetables are also delivered from the farm to the kitchen.
Pop Up Restaurant and Bars are the latest craze in Australian eateries with edgy designs and food, energizing formerly dead spots in laneways and cities. Foodies are flocking to the temporary dining spots and giving emerging chefs the chance to show off their culinary skills.
Melbourne and Sydney have a lot of pop up restaurants and bars around Sydney at the moment. This gives aspiring chefs the chance to create a restaurant without the high overheads and costs related to running a full time infrastructure.
Eating more Vegetables because we are worried about our health. Vegetarian eating has a higher profile than ever. It's easier to eat vegetarian or vegan now more than ever. Specialized products have expanded from natural food stores to mainstream grocers and discount chains.
Semi vegetarians or flexitarians eat a largely meatless diet but are not completely vegetarian. There has been a huge market increase in the purchase of superfood grains and meat replacement like tofu. Our kids are becoming more health-conscious and fruit and vegetables are increasing in appeal to adults and children. Consumers are reducing the amount eaten for lunch and dinner and opting for mini meals and snacking on fruits or veggies. Asian inspired veggies such as pickled vegetables have grown in popularity around the world. Consumers are looking for heart healthy anitoxidant rich foods including tomatoes, green tea, carrots, sweet potatoes, seeds, berries, apples, whole grains, and dark leafy greens. Market research reported that 44% of people say they eat vegetarian foods as part of their diet and 70% of semi vegetarians were female, more than half of semi vegetarians were over 45 years of age.
Countries such as Australia, UK and United States have always been huge meat eaters although there is a strong rise in the consumption of more fish in their weekly diets. Supermarkets are filling their shelves with prepared fish dishes, totally dedicated fresh fish and seafood. For years, the average western household ate fish only once a week, our diets have changed to reduce red meats and poultry and add more fish as a healthy alternative. The reason for the change is a new awareness with fish consumption and research showings healthy protein which helps prevent clogged arteries, heart problems, obesity, skin and even depression.
Fish is a vital source of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acid EPA, which is crucial for balancing the mood-enhancing neurotransmitter serotonin.
Ancient Grains (super grains) like quinoa, amaranth, millet, spelt, einkorn, emmer, teff, chia and flax represents centuries-old grains. These grains are hot within the restaurant trade and we are seeing more chefs creating recipes to include one of the grains within a dish.
Quinoa, once a staple of the Incas, is now increasingly popular worldwide. It's high in protein and iron, and much of it comes from the windswept, high-altitude plains of Bolivia, known as the Altiplano.
The delicate, curly seeds are served with hot milk and sugar, as a thick drink. At about 30 cents for an 8-ounce cup, it's still cheap even by Bolivian standards.
If you like quinoa, you'll love amaranth. The tiny nutty-flavored grain is a complete source of protein, plus it's packed with calcium and iron. For a simple side, simmer 1 part amaranth in 3 parts water with a dash of salt, then dress with fresh herbs, lemon juice, and olive oil.
Food Tourism has skyrocketed with an increase in culinary travel. Good food and wines have always played a vital role in the ultimate travel experiences. Today's Travelers now wish to embrace new tastes, recipes, cooking styles and food types from around the world. Traditional food travel to Europe and USA still remains popular for wine tasting tours, extra-ordinary restaurant experiences, gourmet lunches and dining in specific locations. Now more people are researching the traditional dishes as well as attending classes to learn these traditional cuisines by the local people. You can choose from a number of guided tours, or stay at farms, villas and resorts for food workshops, or plan a self drive tours and book from specialized operators who offer food and wine holidays. The most popular countries emerging in the food tourism markets as gastro destinations Australia, Switzerland, Croatia, Austria, Mexico, Chile, Turkey. Two cities offering the most avant garde concepts in food are Singapore and Sydney, Australia.
Shared Eating In Japan this is called, Izakaya, Spain its Tapas, Pintxos and also Montaditos depending on the Spanish region. All over the world you can find culturally based shared eating styles.
Today restaurants and cafes are offering smaller shared plates. Selecting a number of small dishes to be shared at the table, implies that eating together will creates closer and warmer relationships as well as good conversations between the diners. Some dishes are only bite sizes and others are more substantial. The variety of food sends the taste buds into overdrive which is another reason for the increased popularity. People like a diversity of food and these styles of eating allow for the individual to choose what they want to eat, rather than have one large individual plate.
Organic Foods "The International Organic Market: Sourcing and Expanding Export Opportunities" (Soo Kim and Miles McEvoy, 2012), the U.S. exports $1.5M in organic products annually. On the other hand, the Chinese export value of organic foods was last tallied in 2006 to be $350M, with an annual growth rate of 30 percent from 1995 to 2006. Today, organic agriculture covers 3.8M hectares in the country – and organic vegetables represent the largest single category.
Heirloom Food are rapidly becoming a popular concept. I was first exposed to heirloom tomatoes a delicious juicy flavorsome fruit grown near Nelson's Bay Australia. And sure enough, I purchased a few heirloom tomato plants and enjoyed the fruit from these keepsake plants throughout the summer. But then I discovered that a couple of seed companies now offer over 1,000 heirloom seeds. You can grow heirloom peppers, eggplants, lettuce, spinach, etc. In addition, you can grow heirloom flowers, herbs, and “micro-greens.” Heirloom foods have almost become a religion to their early pioneers. Some of “granny’s heirloom seeds,” include “rare seeds,” “ancient seeds,” “down-to-earth seeds,” “historical seeds” and even “organic heirloom plants.”