4 food trend predictions for 2016

What will you be seeing more of in 2016? Say goodbye to kale, the cronut and farmhouse pickling — and wake up to slow coffee, street food and schnitzel instead.

You might be waking up to the slow coffee movement and German comfort foods in the next year

Grilled corn, cold brew coffee and German comfort foods are some of the food trends consumers should expect to see in 2016. (CBC/Melissa Dunne/Liam Britten)

In 2015, it was all about farmhouse inspired pickling, house made deli meats, the cronut and of course, kale, but what does 2016 bring?

After analyzing menus and interviewing chefs, owners and consumers in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K., a Chicago-based research company Technonmic has revealed the trends they're predicting for Canada.

​1. Taste of Bavaria 

Get your lederhosen and dirndl ready. It might feel like Oktoberfest year-round.

German comfort foods like sausages, spaetzle and schnitzel are already being embraced by consumers and the classic fare is expected to evolve with more modern menus.

2. Rise of street foods

Expect to see a lot more diversity to hit your streetwise palate this year.

Technomic predicts chefs will draw inspiration from countries with well established street food culture, like China and Mexico.

Items such as pork belly wrapped in buns, otherwise known as the "Chinese hamburger", and elote, Mexican grilled corn with chilli powder, salt and cheese, will see their day in mainstream menus.

However, Aimee Harvey, managing editor of global content at Technomic, does warn it may turn some people off.

"Once they see it trickle down to a mainstream level where it's at their local chain ... they feel like maybe this has been extended too far, this is not really authentic," said Harvey.

3. Slow coffee movement 

Coffee is always a staple but Harvey says innovators will push your cup of joe to the limit this year. 

"It's almost as if anything can be done to coffee and consumers will be interested in it," said Harvey.

Some of the ideas on the horizon: 

  • cold brews where coffee is steeped overnight in cold water
  • unique, limited edition bean batches
  • pour-over techniques
  • coffee tasting bars

4. Mixology​

All hail the bartender — or "mixologist" if you're trendy.

Cocktail culture is expected to continue its reign.

Even beer and wine will get a hit of hard liquor turning them into beer- or winetails.

Food writer from Eat North, Dan Clapson, goes further and specifically predicts rum-infused tropical drinks will take off, thanks to the rising popularity of the Tiki bar trend.


To hear the full story listen to the audio labelled Food trends for 2016 with the CBC's Daybreak North.

With files from Robin Summerfield

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