At the close of each year I eagerly look forward to the predictions about the new food product ideas that we can expect to find in grocery stores and on restaurant menus in the New Year. Fortunately, there is never a shortage of tempting innovations to whet my appetite for another year of good eating. But I also know that it isn't all fun and games in those test kitchens. Developing and marketing foods to a fickle American public is a risky business.
In an effort to help our struggling economy and keep all those creative food scientists employed, I've sifted through dozens of food trend reports released for 2013 and picked the top 13 new food products ideas that I believe should get your support. I hope you'll do your part and purchase these items when you see them. When marketing foods is everyone's business, we all get to eat well!
Top 13 New Food Products Ideas for 2013
- Sophisticated Snacks – Sold everywhere from food trucks to drug stores, our round-the-clock eating culture has spurred an explosion in snacks designed to appeal to Millennials with an insatiable appetite for new, yet portable food.
- Powered-Up Protein – No longer just for athletes trying to bulk up, protein is attracting boomers who know they need it to preserve their muscle mass so they can remain upright and active. "High in protein" will be a popular new label claim as it is added to foods not traditionally a good source.
- "No" Foods - The focus on what's not in the food will attract more attention this year as more shoppers seek out gluten free, lactose free, and animal-free (vegan) options. This will make it easy to say yes to what you can have.
- Fermented Foods – One of the oldest food preservation methods in culinary history, fermentation is gaining traction for its unique flavor profile. New takes on sauerkraut and kimchi will lead the way, followed by pickled radishes, turnips and Brussels sprouts to replace the familiar deli pickle.
- Creative Cocktails – Bartenders will be infusing drinks with spices and fresh herbs taken from their own gardens and making alcohol –free adult beverages with specialty syrups and homemade seltzer. Innovative cocktails will feature everything from tropical fruits to hard ciders, with smoked drinks taking your barbecue to a whole new level.
- Vegetable Supremacy - Whether filling a small plate or taking over as the entrée, foods from the garden will be nudging out barnyard animals. You'll find them locally sourced or foraged from your supermarket; raw and roasted; and always more affordable than meat.
- Customized Condiments – Homemade and specialty brands will provide signature flavors to elevate whatever they adorn, which is the role of a condiment. The days of making everything on the plate taste like ketchup or Dijon mustard are over.
- Going Grapefruit – The juice figures prominently in Mexico's favorite cocktail, The Paloma, when mixed with tequila and a splash of club soda. Other original uses of the fruit and juice will give this neglected citrus fruit it's day in the sun.
- Limited Edition Chicken – This staple is now being fed, housed and raised to taste like anything but the chicken. It's the new white meat all over again, and worth another taste.
- Glamorous Grains – Revivals of the grains once eaten by Pharos, such as farro, will fill more of our plates. Not just for those avoiding gluten, a side of spelt, kamut or quinoa delivers more protein and fiber than more familiar whole grains.
- Better Bread Basket – Eating a basket full of nondescript bread with hard butter before a restaurant meal is being replaced by the chance to order an artisanal bread to complement your meal. Americans may finally learn the difference between a French baguette and Italian loaf.
- Greens From Land and Sea – Be prepared to see more kale on the menu, along with underutilized mustard, turnip and beet greens, while seaweed will have a presence in places other than sushi.
- Asian Invasion – Tastes originating in Thailand, Korea and Viet Nam will win over our palates as they appear in tangy fried chicken, spicy baby back ribs and fiery hot chili. Chinese take-out won't be able to compete.
You can check-out last year's predictions here to see how many came true.