Specialty Food Magazine

WINTER 2018

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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EDITOR'S LETTER Trends That Are Influencing Food's Future WINTER 2018 1 SPECIALTY FOOD ASSOCIATION MEMBERS: Discuss this topic in the Solution Center on specialtyfood.com I t's January and seemingly everyone has been busy predicting trends. The Specialty Food Associa- tion is no different and we've expanded our own trendspotting efforts. Denise Purcell Editor, Specialty Food Magazine dpurcell@specialtyfood.com In the past, the SFA Trendspotter Panel announced the trends coming from each Fancy Food Show. Now, trendspot- ting will be a year-round effort with the panel setting its pre- dictions and regularly reporting on their trajectory—what's growing, fading, or emerging. You can turn to p. 77 in this issue to read the Trendspot- ters' predictions for the biggest trends of 2018. As you'll see, many overarching themes like sustainability, wellness, and global f lavors converge in our top 10 food trends of the year. Beyond (or sometimes related to) our own predictions, movements and shifts are afoot that are inf luencing consum- ers' interactions, experiences, and attitudes about food. Here are just a few that our editorial team reported on from sev- eral recent trend-oriented conferences and webinars. Food waste awareness. Whether nose to tail or stem to stalk, using all components of a food is gaining importance with consumers who are becoming more aware, and aghast, at the amount of food wasted in the U.S. "Wasting food is going to become like not buckling up," predicted Susan Un- garo, president of the James Beard Foundation, and panelist at the third-annual "The Next Big Bite: How We Will Eat & Drink," held in October in New York and hosted by Les Dames d'Escoffier New York. Cooking itself. The future of food is cooking, said other panelists at the Next Big Bite event. Melissa Clark, New York Times food columnist who recently authored the cookbook, "Dinner: Changing the Game," contended that to get people excited about cooking, it is time to expand the notion of what cooking is, and evolve dinner beyond the 1950s plate of pro- tein, starch, and vegetable. "Oatmeal and scrambled eggs are okay," she said. Instagram-ability. Social media drives food trends in terms of what foods and beverages are worthy of sharing. With In- stagram a leading platform, the food's aesthetics are key. It's led to a rise in many colorful and visually impactful trends from beets to turmeric to pink pineapples, said Megan Col- lins, a lead analyst at Trendera, at the recent NYC confer- ence, Bitten: A Food Conversation. Fine-casual dining. The food hall is here to stay, said An- drew Freeman of af&co, restaurant and hospitality consul- tants, in his 2018 trend report webinar, and it's altered the public's approach to dining out. Consumers are drifting from multi-course, pricey meals to more informal menus and set- tings. "Fine-casual is on the rise," agreed Ungaro. You can read more about these in our Trends & Happenings column, starting on p. 16, as well as glean more about what's coming in features like The Evolution of Food Retailing, p. 50, where industry-watchers expect shifts like more food- service-oriented retail environments, store-layout redesigns aimed to provide solutions for shoppers, grocery as the new healthcare center, and many others. We also want to hear your perspective so weigh in with your own predictions at specialtyfood.com/future.

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