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Specialty Food Association predicts 2016 trends

Move over meat. Vegetables will get a seat at the table in 2016, rejected produce will find new life, and fat will look good again are some of the trends predicted for 2016 by the Specialty Food Association.

Specialty Food Association predicts 2016 trends

Move over meat. Vegetables will get a seat at the table in 2016, rejected produce will find new life, and fat will look good again. These are some of the trends predicted for 2016 by the editors of Specialty Food News, the daily newsletter from the Specialty Food Association.

The $109 billion specialty food industry is characterised by innovation and small-batch production. 50% of consumers purchase specialty food and those numbers are expected to rise in 2016, according to Association research.

"Health and convenience come across loud and clear in 2016's trend forecast," said Denise Purcell, head of content for the Specialty Food Association. "Consumers gravitate toward simpler foods and beverages, often sustainable and local, and they respond to products and new store formats that make their lives easier. But, while they may want their food simpler, they don't want it boring. There's always room for indulgence and new taste adventures."

The predictions:

Vegetables Take Root

Vegetables are getting new respect, and will crop up more in teas, yogurts, and ice-cream. Seaweed is set to soar.

Fresh Florals

Flower power will be evident in chocolate, cheese, snack foods, carbonated water, and an expanding variety of teas.

Food Waste Face-Off

Food retailers, foodservice establishments and food makers will looking for more creative solutions to combat food waste.

Local Love

Locally sourced meats, seafood and produce will continue to attract attention from consumers who demand to know where their food comes from.

Fungi Frenzy

The humble mushroom is now at the intersection of several trends—vegetables, umami and foraging.

Snack Appeal

Snacks have new status as healthy options for meal replacements that appeal to solo diners, busy parents and even their kids.

Fat is Back

Full-fat products once deemed forbidden are back in style from milk to butter to red meat.

Convenient Shifts

Food retailers large and small are testing new strategies to lure in consumers who are looking for the best in their food and willing to pay.

Supermarkets for Super Health

Expect more supermarkets touting themselves as wellness centers with dieticians on staff, blood sugar testing, and nutrition classes.

The Latin Kitchen

From bottled gazpacho to renewed relations with Cuba, Latin American cuisine is gaining fans from food halls to high-end eateries.


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