Top ten global food trends for 2014, Sterling-Rice Group

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 11th November 2013

The trend for “healthy, full-flavoured foods”, seen in 2013, is not likely to disappear in 2014, according to global brand strategy company Sterling-Rice Group.

Sterling-Rice Group’s culinary term talked to celebrity chefs, product developers, restaurant consultants and grocery store shoppers, and predicts that 2014 will see more “high-impact, low-calorie” options appearing on plates.

The top ten food trends for 2014, as predicted by Sterling-Rice Group are:

1. Lemon

The simple citrus will appear in juice form, according to Sterling-Rice Group, but also as a preserve, an addition to yoghurt and a “star pastry ingredient”.

“Lemon is pure. Lemon is versatile. Lemon is nostalgic,” said Kazia Jankowski, Associate Culinary Director, Sterling-Rice Group. “For those reasons, it—and not other citrus—will be the flavor of next year,” she said.

“Lemon’s bright flavor is fresh and unadulterated. It ties into the cuisines of the Mediterranean, which are growing in popularity. Plus, it brings back memories of lemonade afternoons, Grandma’s lemon bars, and summer desserts with lemon meringue pie,” Ms Jankowski said.

2. Tea leaves the cup

Tea will no longer be relegated to rainy afternoons with scones, according to Sterling-Rice Group. Black, green and other leafy brews will be found in dinner, desserts and more, as chefs and product developers experiment with tea’s “natural, earthy tastes” and ways to bring flavourful twists to food, without depending on butter, bacon or oils.

3. The Middle Easter Mediterranean

According to Sterling-Rice Group, consumers have long loved the Mediterranean region for its “healthy, richly flavourful cuisine”, and are set to enjoy more of it in 2014.

The flavours of Turkey, Israel and other areas of the Middle East will join pizza, garlic and chickpeas in popularity, according to Sterling-Rice Group. The flavours of sumac za’atar, aleppor peppers and more are expected to find their way into more foods in 2014.

4. Dairy goes nuts

Instead of animal-based milk, culinary leaders will turn to cashews, almonds and peanuts to make their milk, bringing “round, rich flavours” and a “wholesome twist” to sauces, drinks and dinners.

5. The “Year of the Yolk”

Recent years have found eggs making their way across the menu, from bowls of ramen to burgers, according to Sterling-Rice Group. In 2014 though, it is predicted that the whole egg will be ditched in favour of the yolk only. The yolk will bring meals a “richness” that was previously provided by cheese, dairy and sauces.

6. Refined “classic American” eats

Burgers, hot dogs and milkshakes will take a backseat in the US in 2014, making way for the “finer tastes of American classics”, according to Sterling-Rice Group.

These could include wedge salads doused in creamy bleu cheese dressing, meaty steak tartare and other “straight-forward, full-fat” foods, which Sterling-Rice Group will “unapologetically serve up rich, familiar tastes that are hard to resist”.

7. The return of poaching and steaming

Too often, poaching and steaming cooking techniques conjure up memories of “uber-healthy, supremely bland” meals, according to Sterling-Rice Group. In 2014, however, the flavour will be put back into these cooking processes.

Wine, coffee, beer and even smoky liquids will replace water for poached and steamed proteins and vegetables. The resulting foods will be “full of delicate, nuanced flavour”.

8. Seaweed goes beyond sushi

Sushi may have introduced the culinary scene to the wonder of paper-thin sheets of earthy seaweed, but 2014 will teach foodies to think beyond the California roll, according to Sterling-Rice Group. Seaweed will be a salty snack, an umami-rich seasoning, and a light, crispy finisher that is “sustainable, nutritious, and full of deep, salty flavor”.

9. No ordinary pasta

Out-of-the-ordinary pastas will define 2014, according to Sterling-Rice Group. The traditional wheat variety, crafted in Italian tradition, will be passed up in favor of dough made with alternative flours, seasoned with global spices (think “Southwestern pasta”), and formed into new shapes of all sizes.

10. The new flavours of farm-to-table

As foodies have turned their backs on industrially produced meat, they have filled their plates with a variety of protein replacements, according to Sterling-Rice Group.

In 2014, the alternatives will be the most exotic yet. Goat, rabbit, and even pigeon meat raised by small-scale producers will give consumers choices they can “feel good about” and a new palette of flavours for experimenting in the kitchen.

Lemons set to be a big trend in 2014