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Consumer Trends: What's on the Menu for 2014?

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 12:00pm

CHICAGO (PRNewswire) — Will Gochujang spiced chicken stuffed with octopus be 2014's breakout "cronut" food mashup? Research marketing consultancy IMX studied the pundits' 2014 food trend lists and compiled a unique mashup of their shared predictions, vetted against popular searches. The result: the first-ever top food picks of the top food pickers combined to yield the hottest new potential menu of 2014.

IMX reviewed 2014 food trend lists from Andrew Freeman, Baum + Whitman, Bon Appetit, the Campbell Culinary Trendscape Report, Innova , Phil Lempert, Sterling-Rice Group, Technomic and Zagat. The common entries were found and then vetted for popularity against available search data. The remaining highly searched entries were then stuffed, infused and stacked to develop potential dishes that had a high popularity probability based on their components.

Trend foods appearing on many of the lists include tea, chicken, new proteins, non-traditional seafood and fermented items. Other important trends were food traceability and ingredient origin, haute comfort foods and the interplay between food and holistic health. We kept these factors (and their ultimate tastiness) in mind when selecting the components for each mashup.

Numbers represent average monthly U.S. searches:

Breakfast: Duck egg and goat meat omelets: The experts (Phil Lempert, et al) claimed proteins were reemerging in new innovative breakfasts based around game meat and eggs. Bon Appetite cited Duck eggs (5400) and several lists called out goat meat (4400), which beat out rabbit meat (2400). Goat is easily locally sourced, satisfying Innova and Technomic's observations that traceability is important.

Lunch: Grass fed Reuben Burger: The call for traceability, protein and stacked awesomeness lead our selection for lunch. Baum and Whitman's and Campbell's called for new Jewish fusion/deli food and Campbell's further indentified bigger, bolder multi-layered, stacked burgers. The grass fed Reuben burger answers Zagat's 2014 list citing the return of "traditional bar food," Sterling-Rice's observation of "refined American eats," and Andrew Freeman's prediction of "haute homey." We added Technomic's citation of ethnic foods and cheese and determined only one high scoring flavor combination satisfied all these criteria: the Reuben sandwich (27,100). The mashup marries grass fed beef (12,100), fermented bagged sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and as an added bonus can be served on a pretzel bun (1600), with a nod to Baum and Whitman's call for new uses for pretzels. This mashup is already appearing on menus at chains (Buffalo Wild Wings) and local restaurants from New York to Nebraska.

Dinner: Gochujang spiced chicken stuffed with octopus: Haute chicken made an entry on three of the lists. Baum and Whitman called for new Asian spices, amplified by Bon Appetite (gochujang, 5400) and Technomic. Contenders for new protein stuffings included list entries for anchovies (22,000), sardines (18,100), octopus (110,000) and monkfish (27,000). Octopus not only made the most sense, it was the clear search winner.

Honeyed Whiskey Hibiscus Tea infused cocktail: Combine "tea" and "bar culture" and voila: tea-based cocktails. Ginger (14,800) was cited, but our money's on organic Hibiscus tea (18,100) which reduces blood pressure, answering Innova's call for medicinal foods. Add Baum and Whitman's honeyed whiskies. Whiskey (60,500) is a huge category with room for innovation.

Buzz phrases for 2014: Nut milk yogurt. Fermented beet juice cocktails with herb infused ice. Sour beer flavored pasta. "Grown @ Home" house parties based around home grown (ultimate local sourcing) foods.

IMX
A research marketing company utilizing data to develop fact based campaigns to position companies as de facto leaders and market experts. www.insurgentmx.com

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