Higher incomes have seen a shift in eating patterns and now, more than ever, the purchase power of Gen Y is paving the way for our food future. Forget about being fashion forward, being food forward is the new status symbol. Thankfully, 2012 food trends are focused toward a more healthful and mindful consumer. We asked our Sub of the Month to investigate, so you can decide: am I in or out?
Jessica Tzvetkoff is the March Scoop Sub of the Month and a qualified Nutritionist currently completing her Masters in International Public Health. She loves her job as a Coordinator of Healthy Lifestyle Programs and resides by the beach in Hervey Bay, sunny Queensland. Jess believes the secret to living a healthy life is simple: Eat authentically, move naturally and laugh often. Jess has been working with us on her brand new facebook page Mishi Nutrition to help other Gen Y’s do just that. Make sure you “like” it whatever your gen.
As a Nutritionist and a Gen Y baby, I find both my working life and social life largely consumed by talking about food. And when I’m not talking about food, I’m tasting food and when I’m not tasting food, I’m reading about food. My generation is at the forefront of the way the world sees food. That is, food consumption as a trend, not just a necessity. Through researching the topic of food trends, I found a number of interesting documents including Food Forward 2012 and Connected Cooking in which I used as the base for this article.
The discerning diner
Consumers want to know where their food is coming from. In the age of more, they’re demanding more than just food from their plates, and their opinions are driving corporate social responsibility. Documentaries such as Food Inc. and books like Eating Animals have engaged consumers in what is now known as the ‘paddock to plate’ or the ‘pasture to purchase’ phenomenon. Story-telling in brands is very attractive to consumers and has become a marketing strategy for food manufacturers and restaurateurs alike. A shift toward eco-eating has seen an increase in demand for sustainable consumption through the likes of organic products, free-range eggs, plant-based milk alternatives and the locavore trend (eating food that is produced locally), to name a few.
Through both research and anecdotal evidence, this is my top 11 of what’s in and what’s out in nutritious food in early 2012.
Are you in or out?
Chickpeas are out, edamame is in
Edamame are soybeans and are available fresh or steamed and salted from most Japanese restaurants and frozen from Asian supermarkets. Edamame is high in protein, fibre and folate and is a wonderful, low kilojoule entrée or even great as a shared plate. Source: witandwhistle.com via Emma on Pinterest
Algae is out, seaweed is in
No longer just for sushi, seaweed can be found sprinkled through salads, layered on burgers and sitting atop stir fries. The great news about seaweed is that it’s readily available, affordable and depending on the variety, can be a good source of protein, calcium, fibre, omega 3 and iodine (to name a few). Pick a pack up from any Supermarket or Health Food store.
Macarons are out, cake pops are in
Although macarons and cake pops are not a health food as such, their aesthetic alone is satisfying and they’re portion controlled – making it harder to overindulge. Check out the link on how to make your own cake pops!
Boutique beer is out, boutique cider is in
Boutique ciders are taking the world by storm and despite not a great difference in kilojoule content between beer and cider, new flavour combos such as Wildberries Cider from Rekorderlig keep the taste buds happy. Always remember: moderation is the key.
One-stop-shops are out, buying from the source is in
Have a look at Scoop’s Urban Forage Pinterest Board for ideas on how to become a food forager in your local area. Convenience is out, adventure is in!
And on the restaurant front….
Degustation is out, share plates are in
Eating healthy portions whilst sharing with loved ones – isn’t that what pleasurable dining is all about? Share plates allow you to taste more of the menu and slow down your eating too!
Expensive restaurants are out, relaxed casual dining is in
Just take a look at one of my faves, Jam Jar in Brisbane’s West End. It epitomises casual dining and is perfect for Gen Y food-lovers.
Mexican and Japanese stand-alones are out, Asian and South American ‘fusions’ are in
Cross-cultural cuisines are making a come-back, so expect to see traditional Asian dishes served with ancient South American grains and vice versa.
The term organic is out, whilst artisanal, pure and authentic is in
Have a look at the menus at your local and the emerging food brands marketing strategies to see what I mean.
Food processors are out, Thermomix is in
If you’re lucky enough to have purchased a Thermomix already, you should check out Dani Valent’s book ‘In the Mix: Great Thermomix Recipes’. From Beetroot Risotto to Avocado Ice Cream, is there anything the Thermomix can’t do?
Meat-based meals are out, vegetarian-based meals with lean meat are in
Expect to see a greater emphasis on fresh, crisp veggies at restaurants, served with smaller portions of meat or meat as a ‘garnish’. This can be a positive shift towards healthier living, making it easier for busy Gen Y’s to get all their veggie serves in when out-and-about.
Thanks Jess, it’s been great having you on board this month. I was actually interviewed for the Food Forward 2012 research and love seeing the trends evolve. So which eating style will you be coveting lovely readers and which ‘it’ food will you be flaunting? What ever it is, make sure you’re not just using food choice as a status symbol, but are embracing a complete healthy lifestyle.