As a lifelong food geek, I jumped at the opportunity to work on Eat In Eat Out, a new report focused on U.S. food and beverage trends. Thus, some predictions—and how they are manifesting locally.
Affordable remains the mantra. Discounts abound at supermarkets as well as better private label brands. Health food prices will get chopped with newcomer Sprouts joining the crowded fray. Expect continued deals (and smaller portions) from independents fighting to outlive the recession as well as Front Range-born fast casuals (think Quizno’s, Chipotle, Noodles & Company).
Local rules for green, food safety and financial reasons. This should be a good year for artisanal cheese makers (Windsor Dairy), pork producers (Long Farms), bread bakers (Breadworks), chocolatiers (Robin Chocolates), and distillers (Leopold Bros.). Bistro menus will prominently detail ingredients’ points of origin.
gardening at home continues to boom using local seed (and home canning), chefs tilling their own gardens and farms (Black Cat, Colterra), and more farmers’ markets and stands. Cooking classes will fill as kitchen neophytes realize they don’t know how to cook.
Other hot trends include:
Street food: Look for more mobile fare from the traditional taco and pupusa wagons to the chef-driven, Twitter-linked Green Gringo truck.
Kombucha: The metro area is the epicenter for this tart fermented tea beverage. Kombucha fills store shelves locally, is on tap at Whole Foods and will be bottled soon by Boulder’s Celestial Seasonings.
Plus: anything gluten-free, upscale burger joints, lardo, salumi and Sechuan buttons. —JL