Jackfruit Replaces Meat, Buddha Bowls Get Big: 2017 Trends

In 2017, a fruit will be the preferred meat substitute, dishes named after an ancient spiritual leader will enlighten many, and at-home chefs will have no problem forgetting to check on what’s cooking for dinner – at least according to users of search-and-save social media platform Pinterest.

According to a new Pinterest report, using jackfruit as a healthful stand-in for meat was the hottest food and beverage idea of 2016 in terms of rise in year-over-year interest among users, clocking in at a 420 percent increase. The Asian tree fruit, which is part of the fig or mulberry family, is said to have a starchy and fibrous flesh suitable for using in such recipes as pulled “pork” sandwiches and nachos. Buddha bowls – filling dishes made with various greens, raw or roasted vegetables, beans, and a healthful grain like quinoa or brown rice – was next, at 200 percent, while the set-it-and-forget-it sous vide method of cooking ingredients inside a sealed plastic bag in water trailed close behind, at 191 percent.

Other 2017 trends Pinterest pointed to included:

  • Zucchini chips (83 percent), said to be the next kale chips and to fit into junk food’s overall makeover, with “healthy snack” searches up 200 percent during the period.
  • Naan pizza (175 percent), made with the traditional Indian flatbread, allowing for a faster way to make pizza at home.
  • Fruited sour beer (43 percent), a tingly thirst-quencher that goes well with ceviche, salads and shellfish.
  • Sauerkraut (43 percent), easy to make and an essential part of the Reuben sandwich.
  • Empanadas (40 percent), apparently considered the best snack food ever by the 1.5 million people who saved it 2.5 million times.
  • Octopus (30 percent), easier to cook than many think, and suitable in tacos or grilled with lemon.
  • Olive oil alternatives (25 percent), including grapeseed oil, which is making its way into kitchens thanks to its high smoke point but lower price tag.

To develop the report, Pinterest’s insights team examined search-and-save activity from January through November 2016 to identify top trends in key categories – including Food + Drink – that show considerable year-over-year growth in interest. The Food + Drink category alone required review of 13 billion ideas, all among the billions more ideas sought, found and saved by Pinterest’s 150 million monthly users.

“People are pulling out their smartphones to plan meals and make healthier food choices in the moment,” noted San Francisco-based Pinterest, which has headquarters in San Francisco and New York. “Once they decide what to eat, they want to know how to make it – and how to make it fast.”

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