business news in context, analysis with attitude

Good piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer speculating about the top food trends for 2005. According to the paper, they should include:

20. Consumers will become more demanding, willing to ask for what they want when they want it. Retailers take heed.
19. New flavors will become popular, such as sumac and yuzu.
18. Look for unusual ways of cooking to take center stage. Two words: Brined Meat.
17. Specialty salts.
16. No-cal sugar. The folks at Splenda will think this is splendid.
15. Bottled water. This is a trend unlikely to dry up, as it comes in more flavors and offers more health benefits.
14. Wines from all over the US, not just California. All 50 states have wineries, and their products will become more interesting and available.
13. Teaching dinner table etiquette to kids used to drive-up fast food windows.
12. Cooking classes for kids.
11. Mini-trends: wile blueberries, fresh figs, beets, duck and bison.
10. Functional foods will become more functional and more popular.
9. Organics will continue to grow.
8. Convenience is king. Meals is less than 30 minutes will be the rule.
7. Look for more use of whole grains in foods.
6. People will rediscover carbs – at least, good carbs.
5. Small plates will be all the rage, in the style of tapas and dim sum.
4. New ethnic foods will begin to become popular, from regions not generally known to US consumers.
3. People will be seeking the kind of “affordable luxuries” popularized by Starbucks.
2. The fast food experience will start to be imbued with greater style, such as better décor and availability of high-speed Internet access.
1. Chocolate will be identified as a healthy food high in antioxidants.
KC's View:
We see no problems here…just great opportunities.

For example, one of the best wines we’ve had recently was a 1999 Braganini Red Meritage from Michigan…which our good friend, Michigan retailer Marv Imus, sent us. Wonderful…and yet how many people even know that Michigan has a wine industry?

We’ve long felt that cooking classes for kids ought to be on more stores’ agendas…it builds excitement as well as future customers.

Though we have to admit that the notion of “brined meats” doesn’t give us goosebumps. But next time we see it on the menu, we’ll order it…and will report back. Count on it.