David Landers, AOS, CCC, Senior Chef Innovation for Campbell's Soup. Co. presented on food trends during his presentation “How Campbell Leverages Culinary Trends to Inspire New Products.” While the title sounds like the talk is going to be all about Campbell's products, it isn't. But we did see some of the products and flavor lines that Campbell's has brought to market.
It was interesting to see some of the food trends that we have been seeing, we are continuing to see. It was also nice to see trends that are happening in other regions of the country that I wasn't very familiar with. The coolest part about this presentation is that the audience was given samples to try once a trend was presented. Here are some the big food trends right now:
Pickle it. It's what we do in Portlandia. But seriously, fermented foods are everywhere. Pickled everything, Kombucha, Black Garlic, kraut, sourdough bread (starter), kefir, the list goes on.
One word: BACON. Adult palates like unique flavors, so there are lots of trends out there including sea salt on sweets, bacon (on just about anything), alcohol-flavored foods, and savory sweets.
Spirits, beer, barrel-aged are the beverage-inspired flavors making their way into our cuisine. The food industry has caught on to the wine and whiskey makers and their barrel-aging techniques, so you see lots of barrel-aged items popping up. High-end bars are barrel-aging their own cocktails. Bloody Mary-flavored peanuts is just one such beverage-inspired food item.
Burgers certainly aren't new, but the style of your favorite burger maybe new. Trends with burgers are focusing on different proteins (burgers don't have to be beef) or additional proteins added (add some bacon, please). Burgers are seeing more unique condiments being used as well as different, better buns (think pretzel bun). Additionally, Build-a-Burger concepts are popping up around the country. Similar to walking into a deli and checking off the items you want in your sandwich, burger restaurants are allowing you to create your own one-of-a-kind unique burger for a selection of options.
Have you had Kimchi? It's becoming a popular menu item at many restaurants that haven't traditionally served Korean cuisine. Kimchi is available through lots of mainstream retailers. Korean markets, such as H Mart, are popping up across the West Coast, as well.