Do you have a craving for cricket flour? Or how about some culinary cannabis? Well, according to new predictions from the Specialty Foods Association, these may be some of the top specialty food trends in 2015.
With many consumers seeking to get more out of their food in 2015, the association says more people are turning toward stronger flavors, alternative sweeteners and snacks made from plant-based “meat” and even products infused with marijuana.
“Food producers are tapping into the growing sophistication and buying power of today’s consumers,” says Denise Purcell, editor of Specialty Food News. “They are catering to new demands for better ingredients, sustainable packaging and more convenient ways to shop and eat.”
The specialty foods sector is an $88.3 billion industry. The association says six out of 10 US consumers purchase specialty foods, with expectations this number will rise in 2015.
The top 10 food predictions are:
Fresh Food Delivery Arrives: Grocery delivery tests will give way to far improved services.
Embracing Alternative Proteins: Cricket flour and “meat” and cheese made from plants will gain more fans.
Snack Bar Stampede: Bolder flavors and ingredients mean a whole new image and opportunity for snack bars.
Asian Food Roots: American consumers will reach beyond Chinese, Japanese and Thai to discover new regional foods, from Vietnamese to upscale ramen.
Tea Time: Tea is getting the high-end treatment from ingredient upgrades to elegant café experiences.
Sweetener High: More shoppers are swapping added sugars for alternative natural sweeteners, from stevia to re-imaginings of honey and maple syrup.
Packaging Revolution: Transparent labeling is a boon for business; sustainable packaging gives producers another badge of pride.
Culinary Cannabis: Marijuana is the latest herb to grace baked goods and candies for that extra punch.
Generation Z Raises Its Voice: Its elders (born in 1995) have reached the age of influence, and their purchasing power will only grow from here on.
Super Bowls: Superfood mania, on-the-go convenience and healthful fast-casual dining make bowls the go-to vessel.
There were also a few honorable mentions. The association says some bonus trends to be on the lookout for include: small-batch, local yogurt; the next superfood contenders: kaniwa, baobab and soursop; and the next kale: seaweed and cauliflower.