(Chicago, January 17) Culinary Visions™ Panel has surveyed over 1,500 foodies to get their unique perspective on what’s hot, what’s not and what’s next. Foodies don’t always represent mainstream thinking, but they are willing try new foods and flavors and they are more than willing to share their experiences with friends and family. They can be the trend setters or the fad busters depending upon their reactions. Based on recent Culinary Visions Panel surveys, here is a glimpse of their taste for 2012.
Luxury for its own sake is out of vogue even for those who can afford it. There is a new scrutiny among foodies of value rather price and a determination to enjoy foods that nourish and delight. High society special events are even taking on a more casual note with luxe picnic style settings, farm dinners and casual service because the new foodie would rather invest in the food and is redefining ambiance.
Of The Moment Satisfaction
Pop-ups give the excitement of spontaneity and the promise of an experience to remember long after the pop-up closes shop. Food trucks allow chefs to start up a new concept with more passion than capital and bring taste sensations to an audience ready to be thrilled. 24/7 dining on demand on college campuses is feeding the expectations of a new generation of consumers.
Any foodie can easily name three favorite Asian cuisines in a snap. The new wave of Urban Asian concepts caters to the demand for authentic ingredients and recipes combined with Western style branding and amenities. This new generation of Asian concepts has brought street food inside.
The Provenance of Dinner
Farmer has become the new eco-chic profession and foodies want to know the origin of their dinner is close to home. Today’s foodies want to know the people in their community responsible for the food they enjoy.
The captivating flavor and aroma of a bowl at a bar has replaced fine china and white table cloths as the monikers of a fine dining experience. Leading chefs have created the experience and foodies are flocking to it.
Today’s foodies might be considered flavor junkies more willing than most to try exotic flavors as much as unexpected combinations. Now that the salted caramel has become a ubiquitous confection, look at vegetables and savory flavors turning up in desserts that satisfy more than curiosity.
The mixologist is taking center stage alongside the celebrity chef. Either with or without alcohol, the combinations are intoxicating.
Spigarello, romanesco, and black kale are finding their way onto independent menus and even quick service restaurants are upgrading their produce offerings to feed the new foodies.
Even the youngest of foodies are reading labels and they want to see food items listed as ingredients and eschew products with ingredients they cannot pronounce. There is an industry wide movement toward clean labels with minimized ingredients and minimal processing.
Fat free, sugar free, trans fat free are all old news and expected to be available by today’s foodies. Gluten is the latest thing to eliminate. Even though a very small percentage of the population suffers from Celiac’s disease, gluten free foods and beverages are attracting a new audience that believe they feel better going gluten free.
Whoosh – it’s gone!
There is little more captivating to a foodie than the fear of missing out on something great. Intentional scarcity might be considered a marketing tactic or a lifestyle choice by the chef depending upon your point of view. Many small operations serve up a micro limited menu and close their doors when everything is gone no matter what time it is.
The Secret Menu
Even in quick service restaurants there can be intrigue for the insider. Many chains offer special hybrid menu items that are not on the menu board between breakfast and lunch for those customers in the know. They are feeding a new generation of foodies who fuel all day long on savory snacks.
The Next Bite
The next bite size indulgence to emerge is the cake pop serving up sweet satisfaction without the guilt of a full size dessert. On the savory side, the next chicken nugget has not yet emerged but caterers around the country are giving it their best shot with skewers, shot glasses and micro mini containers ready to go.
The Culinary Visions™ Panel has been serving up insight and ideas from food professionals and consumer foodies since 2002. Go to www.culinaryvisions.org to find out more about what cutting edge chefs, emerging leaders and consumer foodies are saying about tomorrow’s menu.