2016: Food Trends to Expect Throughout the Year

We took a look back at 2015 recently and now we’re looking forward. The food world is a dynamic place that always has something new in store and is constantly evolving. This year, bringing back the old seems to be an overarching theme with more people adapting ancient food preparation methods and highlighting the importance of connecting people through food. Here are 5 food trends we predict (and with the exception of #1, hope to see) during 2016:

  1. Rising food (and menu) prices


Let’s get the bad news over with. With the low Canadian dollar, Canadians are facing increasing food costs. It is speculated that the average Canadian family will spend up to $345 more on food in 2016. For restaurants, this translates into increased menu prices. For food banks, this means a possibility of more members and a harder time providing. However, it’s not all doom and gloom! The following trends could help alleviate some of the pain of these increased costs.

  1. Artisan grains and pulses


The UN has declared 2016 as the International Year of Pulses. Pulses are legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, and beans and you’re sure to become very familiar with them over the course of 2016. These foods pack a mean punch nutritionally and can also be considered “super-foods” from a cost and sustainability perspective. What’s more is that high quality pulses are being grown right here in Canada. If you’re looking to try cooking with pulses, we highly recommend GRAIN products . Read our blog post about them here and check out their website for all the details.

  1. Returning to our roots


Simple, classic dishes will hit the spotlight in Canadian restaurants this year. Think refined comfort food with a modern twist, less small plates, and more hearty dishes. Some restaurants will offer family-style dinners with large plates of food to share. This is an awesome, dynamic way of dining that focuses on bringing people together and interacting over a delicious meal and many drinks.

  1. Fermenting…everything


Grapes and barley aren’t the only things undergoing fermentation these days. Chefs are discovering the power that fermentation has on enhancing the flavour profile of their foods. A great example of this that we’ve recently fallen in love with is Biota Fermentation’s kombucha mustard. Using a yellow mustard seed and doing a short fermentation with their kombucha vinegar, they are able to produce a mustard with an undertone similar to that of an apple cider vinegar. Fermentation also comes with many supposed health benefits including the presence of probiotics.

  1. Smaller protein portions with emphasis on veggies


With an increasing number of people joining the revolution and influencers like Erin Ireland leading the way, we expect to see a decrease in meat consumption and a prominent spotlight on veggies and alternate proteins. For those concerned about rising food costs, this is particularly something to focus on as meat prices increase at the highest rate. Coincidentally, pulses are a great source of plant-based protein and with 2016 being the International Year of Pulses, there will be no shortage of recipes and inspiration on how to use these wonderful ingredients.

Which food trends do you expect to see in 2016? As always, you can let us know on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter; we love to hear what you think!