Y’all I must have read 20 different food trend lists in compiling my own list and some of them vastly contradicted one another. On one list was the predicted trend “Vegetables Will Steal the Show” on restaurant plates and literally one slide over was the fact that “Fried Chicken Will be Everywhere” (Pure Wow, 2016). While it is definitely possible for both of these to be food trends in 2016, we must admit that they are certainly on opposite ends of the food trend spectrum. Then there was the one list that claimed “Bread is Back” (Yahoo, 2016) implying that wheat has made a comeback after the Gluten-Free phase, while a separate list referenced “Gluten Free Flours” as one of the latest trends (Whole Foods Market, 2016). There were also a lot of references to something called Poke. I have no idea. Seaweed, and the previously unheard of Ube, also got a mention. Again, I don’t even know. Obviously, most of the lists were referencing food trends in larger urban areas and needless to say most people in South Georgia don’t eat things they’ve never heard of and can’t pronounce. To each his own, I suppose.
Despite lots of inconsistencies across the supposed Food Trends of 2016 Lists, there were a few veggie-related trends that came to the top over and over again. Here they are for you:
- The Veggie Focused Plate
Everyone is claiming that veggie based plates are going to become a mainstay for 2016. “Move over meat, it’s the year of the vegetable,” they say. While most of us in the South likely have zero intention of giving up our meat (“Beef. It’s what’s for dinner,” anyone?) you won’t find Southern Valley arguing with the cry to put more veggies on the plate. It’s what nutritionists have been telling us to do for years. Maybe we’re finally listening. And as a farm that makes its living off of people stocking up on veggies, we’re happy to hear that this will be a trend taking place in restaurants all over the country…and we’re hoping a trend taking place in your homes as well!
- Replacing High-Calorie Foods with Healthier Choices
Spiralized veggies came to the top of the lists alongside the general practice of swapping carbs for veggies. Two different sides of the same coin, but not exactly the same thing. While people are continuing to replace high-calorie items with lower calorie items, some are focusing on doing this practice through spiralized veggies specifically. We don’t care if you cut ‘em up, dice ‘em up, slice ‘em up, or spiralize ‘em up – we just say get ‘em on your plate and make a bigger effort to #eatyourveggies in 2016.
- Less Food Waste
This was a top contender on the lists ranging from the idea of utilizing every part of the food item – root to tip – to utilizing misshapen food items that would have formerly been thrown away. There is a huge push for less food waste in 2016 and we’re all aboard that train. The industry has set standards for an increasingly more perfect product each year and while we love a perfectly-formed fruit more than you can imagine (premium prices, anyone?) we also know the value of not throwing anything away. So, we’re loving the fact that the industry is embracing the less than perfect produce these days.
The above was what I gleaned from my perusal of Google, but we’ll throw in a few of our own that have been brought to our attention recently thanks to the good folks at Idea Garden Marketing.
- Snackable Products
Americans want convenience and they want it now. It’s not enough that we don’t have to grow and pick our own food and instead simply purchase it at the grocery store, now we want it already portioned out in snack size amounts. We hear you America and are working towards providing you with smaller-sized items such as our Salad Cucumbers – perfect for a snack or a salad. More to come from us in the future in this category!
- Unique Smoothie Ingredients
It started with adding kale to smoothies, but the trend hasn’t stopped. Since we don’t grow kale, I’ll spend little time encouraging you to put it in your smoothie. But, we do grow bell pepper and cabbage and those are also popular non-traditional smoothie suggestions for this increasing food trend.
The Produce Mom has shared a recipe for a Sweet Bell Pepper Smoothie from Nature Fresh and we’re not saying we’ve tried it, cause we haven’t, but if non-traditional ingredients in your smoothies are the way you like to roll, then we say go for it! And throw a Southern Valley Bell in there while you’re at it.
Even the Pioneer Woman has a recipe for a cabbage based smoothie. And if the Pioneer Woman is wrong, I don’t want to be right. For a woman more known for her use of heavy whipping cream and deep fried everything, we’ll take a shot at her Purple Resolution Smoothie any day.
Here’s to happy and healthy eating in 2016!