With another year upon us, it’s time to see into the future and predict the kind of trends American foodies will be going for. But rather than trying to predict specific trends, we believe in looking at the possible mindset people will have, as this is a better indication of their future behavior.
Foodies have always been known for their love of food tourism and culinary experimentation, both qualities being fueled by their adventurous spirit. These unique individuals take their tongues to new heights, novel experiences, and once-in-a-lifetime tastes. So what’s going to be new for these people in the coming year
A Focus on New and Exciting
In a recent study by leading market research agency Packaged Facts, the “foodie” trend started sometime in 2007, when American consumers started shifting the way they thought about food. In that same study, it’s been found that, between 2007 and 2014, five out of seven Americans preferred food products, drinks, and recipes that contained the word “new” in it. Many analysts argue that this is a clear indication of the way we as a nation have evolved to see food not just as an everyday expense, but as an everyday experience.
Indeed, one of the recurring patterns in today’s food culture is a focus on new, exciting, and never-before-seen food products. Foodies are always in search of restaurants and establishments that can elevate their dining experience into a multi-sensory event that is pleasing to all five senses. Foodies, then, become explorers, pioneers tasked with searching for the next big thing in the Foodie world.
The data from the study also shows that foodies are much more concerned about the personal impact good food has on them, with 76% of Foodies in the study stating that “good food is important to them”. As leaders of the pack, Foodies are also most likely to be the first in trying out new food products, with many respondents stating that they would like to experience flavors they’ve never tried before and ingredients they’ve never cooked with before. Foodies will also be the first to try out new food experiences and are more likely to spend more on novel experiences than the average consumer.
When it comes to gourmet treats, Foodies are also more likely to spend on gourmet food than regular people, with more than half of Foodies in America preferring to eat gourmet food as often as possible.
These data points only serve to show that in the coming year, the old mindset of wanting new and exciting food experiences is still alive and well, and will be the mindset that will inform the trends in the coming year. We predict that, with the rise of automation technology, more Foodies will flock to restaurants and establishments that offer some kind of automation, whether it’s in food prep or order taking.
Moreover, we also predict that Foodies will invest in technology that augments their food experience, whether it’s gadgets that allow them to cook new and innovative foods at home to apps that show them real-time facts about the food they’re eating.
As for new flavors, trust that Foodies will find a way to incorporate radical ingredients into their cooking. With the recent relaxation of marijuana laws worldwide, we predict that Foodie restaurants will start offering marijuana-infused products that will both taste delicious AND offer a slight buzz.
Whatever the trend, it will be new, it will be exciting, and it will take food into a whole new level of discourse.
Led by the Young
The study by Packaged Facts also showed that Foodies tended to be under the age of 35, with above-average numbers of people in the 25 to 30 age range dictating big trends in what is known as the “Trendsetter Foodie” segment. With their propensity for technology, a love for change, and a thirst for new things, it only makes sense that Millennials would be the first to embrace food as an experience rather than as a simple biological necessity. In the same study, it’s been found that Boomers and Generation X’ers made up a total of 36% of the “Trendsetter Foodie” segment, with Millennials making up the other 64%.
With Millennials leading the way for other Foodie, it’s important to consider millennial culture when predicting future Foodie trends. We predict that the coming year will see a focus on globalized food styles, fusion cuisine, and more intense flavors. With this in mind, it’s important to see Foodie culture not only as a food-centric movement, but also a reflection of the current youth zeitgeist.
While good food is, of course, enjoyable for all ages, it’s important to realize that the real trendsetters and decision makers of the food industry are now the Millennial generation. Yes, the food of the future will be catering to younger tastes: complex flavors from all over the world with a focus on multi-sensory experiences, but that doesn’t mean than classic dishes are going away. In fact, we predict that Foodies will look to traditional cuisine for future inspiration, and will find ways to elevate it into new and exciting heights.
We predict that the coming year will also see a focus on creating a Foodie culture that is more sustainable, eco-friendly, and more aware of the socio-political context of their food. With today’s youth more engaged with social activism, it will be important for future Foodies to know where their food is grown, how it’s grown, and if the treatment of both the produce and the workers is ethical. Expect to see mass-produced items by faceless corporations to decline in popularity, with farm-to-table and ethically sourced products rising in both popularity and use.
In general, the food industry is up for an exciting year. With advances in both technology and social awareness, Foodies are poised to majorly impact not just food but also the way ingredients are produced, how factories are run, even the ethics of the entire industrial system.
What are your thoughts on the next big Foodie trend? Send us an email with your ideas!