Top 10 Food Trends in 2013

Boulder, Colo.-based brand strategy, innovation and creativity firm Sterling-Rice Group (SRG), has identified the top 10 food trends poised to line the supermarket shelves across the U.S. in 2013. With health and global realities top-of-mind concerns for consumers, look for these food trends to go big next year as they move from cutting-edge to mainstream:

  • Sour gets its day: Fermented cherry juice and sour beer? In 2013, yes, as food palates move beyond sweet, salty and fatty to tart, acidic, and bitter.
  • Chefs watch your weight: Chefs are changing their habits and exchanging their butter and bacon for broth and beets. The result, better-for-you food that actually tastes good.
  • Asian infiltrates American comfort food: The spicy and fresh flavors of Thailand, Vietnam, and Korea will give consumers a new take on comfort food.
  • Veggies take over the plate: No longer prepared as just a side or salad, vegetables will get their chance to star as the main dish.
  • Kids’ menus grow up: Mac and Cheese and chicken nuggets take a backseat to kid-friendly versions of adult dining options.
  • American Artisans save you a trip to Europe: With the emergence of local artisans budding in cities across America, why fly to Paris when you can go to Philly? Foodies can think globally, but travel locally.
  • Small plates for me only: Small plates for sharing will be replaced with smaller, singular servings of meat, veggies, or starches – for a truly customized dining experience.
  • Savory fruit: Look for fruit used with savory flavors, incorporated as a touch in appetizers, soups, and meat dishes.
  • No diner left behind: From gluten-free to vegan, more and more restaurants will offer all-inclusive menus and services to accommodate all eaters.
  • Popcorn is THE snack of 2013: Sweet or savory, the all-time favorite (and healthy) snack will pop up everywhere - in ice cream, as croutons.

SRG’s "2013 Top Ten Food Trends" were compiled with the expertise of SRG’s culinary council – a team of more than 100 famous chefs, restaurateurs, and foodies – and feature examples of cutting-edge restaurants and brands leading the way for each trend. An extension of Culinary Shifts, SRG’s proprietary research based on key societal shifts driving long-term food trends, the predictions provide insight for food industry companies to better develop, position, market, and sell food products.

With a breadth and depth of culinary experience, Sterling-Rice Group has counseled and supported seven of the top 12 food manufacturers in the country.


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