Trends vs Fads

As a leading Global Culinary Trendologist, I go beyond the borders and get up close and personal with the food industry. You can find me touring food shows around the globe, presenting my Trend Watch Report at industry conferences, exploring greenmarkets along with gourmet & grocery stores and cooking and tasting with chefs in fabulous restaurants everywhere. I share my findings with my clients and help to inspire, guide and create on-trend, on-time, great-tasting food products and menu items.

The number of new food products and menu items I taste in a month is what makes my job exciting each day ~ and yes, you can come along with me anytime you want to follow my fork!

So, what makes a trend succeed and a fad fall off our culinary radar screen?

Trends are identifiable and must speak to your target consumer. Fads can be called hype and are unpredictable and quick to market.

I stay very externally focused to be able to think about how trends and fads will affect the food industry. My sought-after Trend Watch Report looks at emerging, developing and existing areas of the food world. Being aware and informed helps you to know what makes cauliflower and kale, stand apart from rainbow coloured donuts or ramen burgers.

I am getting ready to head to The Good Food Awards and The Fancy Food Show early in 2017. Here are some food trends that I expect to taste while I am there.

Love Food / Hate Waste


The stigma of imperfect produce is fading. Innovative food companies and creative chefs will be leading this trend in 2017. Misfit Juicery in Washington DC is so creative what fruits and vegetables they use to make fabulous juices.

The Forager Project is turning the fresh-pressed fruits and veggies from their juices and smoothies into vegetable chips. Watch for more ‘ugly’ produce in grocery stores.

Origin


Consumers know more about food than ever before. Culinary tourism leads to more knowledge and an increase in passion for food. This means that just serving a lasagna is not good enough anymore. Now, it should be made with hand cut noodles & baked in a wood-burning oven in a Tuscan tomato sauce.

This sense of origin can be applied to almost anything on your menu or on a grocery shelf. Think about the authenticity, the ‘true taste’ – ultimately, remember to “Tell The Story!”

What Can You Waffle?


This just could be the dish of the year! It’s more than just chicken & waffles or waffles for breakfast with some maple syrup. Watch for creative menus that offer waffles made from:

  • Hash browns
  • French toast
  • Grilled cheese
  • And my favourite: stuffing waffles served with gravy, mashed potatoes and roast turkey or chicken

Be sure to watch for my article in February where I will share the tastes of The Good Food Awards & The Fancy Food Show with you.

Taste! Taste! Taste!

Christine Couvelier is a Global Culinary Trendologist, Executive Chef and Culinary Executive. Christine is the past Executive Chef of President’s Choice, the Director of Culinary & Beverage/Executive Chef at Cara Operations, and the Chair of The Chef School of George Brown College. She worked on global innovation for Unilever and was the first Director of Culinary Strategy at Maple Leaf Foods.

Currently Christine continues to educate, teach, and inspire her customers through her consulting company Culinary Concierge, where she provides culinary solutions to assist clients in launching on-trend, on-time great tasting food products and menu items. For more information, contact Christine by email at taste@culinaryconcierge.ca.

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