Disclosure: I received complimentary products as a thank-you for this post. All opinions are my own.
Cub® Foods recently polled Minnesota’s foodie elite to gather their insights on what hot, on-trend foods and cooking techniques will rise to prominence and please palates throughout the North Star state in 2015. According to local food experts, the trend toward fresh, local and organic foods with “clean” ingredient lists is expected to continue to gain traction and become more mainstream this year. In what may be a surprising — and mildly controversial — prediction, they also say we’ll be eating less bacon, America’s favorite all-purpose pork product, and fewer doughnuts in 2015.
Here’s a sampling of some of the food trends local experts predict for 2015:
· Hometown Favorites. Demand for natural and locally sourced foods shows no sign of slowing. Food experts predict that Minnesotans will seek even more responsibly sourced foods from local farms and growers.
· Call of the Wild. Home cooks will increasingly embrace their inner caveman and cavewoman with high protein meals flush with grass-fed meats, seafood, nuts and fresh produce. As an offshoot of this, grass-fed beef and bison, and wild game such as venison, rabbit and duck will become more common features at the dining table.
· It’s All About Those Veggies. Local food experts expect people to make a conscious effort to eat more fruits and veggies in 2015. Cauliflower, avocados and grapefruit will be hot, and look for Minnesotans to try more hybrid vegetables like broccoflower and discover little-known gems such as jicama.
· Ancient Grains Continue Historic Run. While it may be hard to pronounce quinoa (KEEN-wah), this small but mighty grain packs a powerful punch of protein that is great for a side dish and in salads. Local experts predict lesser-known ancient grains — such as millet, freekeh, farro and amaranth — will be competing with quinoa for dinner plate real estate this year.
· Hotdishes Are Hot! The beloved Minnesota comfort food will get a modern makeover as home chefs customize recipes and lighten them up with new, better-for-you ingredients and global flavors. These dishes are easy to make and ensure plenty of leftovers. Sriracha-Honey Tater Tot Hotdish anyone?
· The Party Is at Our House. 2015 will be the “Year of the Dinner Party,” according to Minnesota food experts. Minnesotans will start experimenting with larger dinner parties and regular “supper clubs.” These events, however, will likely be more informal with a focus on smaller servings, comfort foods and great variety.
· We Like It Hot. No, Really. Minnesotans might have a reputation for being spice adverse, but food experts see the demand for hot and spicy flavors heating up.
· South of the Border. Latin American food will join Mexican as among Minnesotans’ favorite ethnic options in 2015. And according to one local food expert, it’s time to “Watch for Cuban.” Consumers also will seek out more Middle Eastern and Moroccan foods as their interest in dishes with unique spices and strong flavors continues to grow.
· Move over Bacon. While there will always be a place for bacon in many beloved dishes, food experts say the nation’s borderline-obsessive love affair with the pork product is cooling to a more manageable level. It will still appear at breakfast, lunch and dinner, but bacon-infused everything will fall out of favor.
· Sayonara Soda! Minnesotans will be drinking less of the sugary stuff and their “diet” counterparts this year. Instead they may discover drinks like Kombucha, a popular drink made with fermented tea and shrubs, and nonalcoholic fruit punches made with fruit vinegars. Once popular in Victorian times, these unexpected beverages are seeing a resurgence in popularity.
· Home Grown. The trend toward healthier eating will inspire more Minnesotans to grow their own food at home or in a community garden. Experts also predict that pickling, canning and preserving will increase in popularity among home chefs in 2015.
· Craft Craze. In another nod to all-things-local, Minnesotans will be drinking more local, craft beers, craft spirits, wines and local soda brands in 2015.
About Cub Foods
Cub Foods offers customers the freshest produce, widest selection and food expertise throughout the store to meet their everyday grocery needs. In addition to innovative local, ethnic and organic food sections, Cub stores offer shoppers multiple in-store services including fresh bakery, full-service deli and meat departments, pharmacy and banking. Cub Foods, based in Stillwater, Minn., was established in 1968 as one of the nation’s first discount grocery stores. Cub was purchased in 1980 by SUPERVALU (NYSE: SVU) and currently operates 67 stores in Minnesota and Illinois. For company news and information, follow us on Twitter at @CubFoods and Facebook at www.facebook.com/Cub, or visit our website at cub.com.