Dec 31
Top 10 Food Predictions for 2010
posted by: dawn in Columns, Uncategorized on 12 31st, 2009 | |

Gazing into my Crystal Ball, I thought I would share my top 10 food predictions for 2010 in no particular order.

1.  Latin favors will reign supreme. I don’t think this one is a stunner to anyone.  Rick Bayless and others are driving a Latin flavor revolution not to mention that the Latin population is one of the fastest growing in the United States.  I grew up in California, I didn’t know Mexican food was “ethnic” or “exotic”  I just thought it was food and everyone had a neighbor that made tamales at Christmas.  (I’ve since learned the hard way that isn’t true! *pout*)

2.  Locally owned restaurants will gain favor over chains. This one is a bit of a risk, but I think there’s a reason that Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives is one of the top shows on Food Network.  We all long for something with more character than the bland salty food proffered by national chains.  Not to mention that even though the economy is coming back right now we all have less money to spend.  It feels better to support your neighbor than a huge faceless corporation.  Help me out — replace one of your regular chain dining evenings with a local restaurant.  I don’t want to be right just to be right, I want the neighborhood joints to succeed.

3.  Locally grown moves to the backyard. There is a lot of talk about reconnecting with your food.  It seems like a lot of marketing speak dreamed up by PR people.  I think the media is trying to convey understanding where your food comes from is becoming more important, knowing where your fruit and veg are grown and how the livestock/dairy/poultry in your personal food chain are raised is important.  The quality of homegrown food cannot compare.  We can’t all raise grass fed beef, but certainly we can plant herbs and small plants even on a balcony.

4.  Cooking skills will continue to suffer. A vast majority of people have no idea how to cook.  Just because you turned on your oven doesn’t mean it’s homemade.  Economics are forcing more people out of restaurants and into the grocery store but they still aren’t filling their carts with fresh meat, dairy and produce.  This statement is based on my totally unscientific, self congratulatory observations at the grocery store.  A quick glimpse into other customers’ buggies reveals a lot about them.  Most of the time it tells me that people are super dependent on heat and serve foods.  That’s because there is a perception that it’s easy and “homemade” because they used a skillet or the oven.  If only they’d read the ingredient lists.  Dear friends and readers share your knowledge; save a diet save the world — teach someone to cook basic food at home.

5.  Organic is not going to grow much as a segment. People desire the benefits of organic, but faced with the price tag they opt out.  We have to find a way as a country to make organic food more affordable.  I remember a time that dairy farmers were paid not to produce.  Perhaps we could consider government subsidies to make organic more affordable.  Pesticides, hormones and antibiotics are harming people’s health but we talk and don’t act.

6.  We return to our roots. Three times in 2009 humble spaghetti and meatballs graced the cover of high profile epicurean food magazines (i.e. not Family Circle).  Food offers memories and comfort.  Think of how a whiff of a perfume or other scent can take you to another place, food does that tenfold.  In a world where people try to blow up planes on Christmas day we need comfort anywhere we can find it and simple rustic food is an easy place to turn.  People are going to return to childhood foods, mac and cheese, soups, roasts, fried chicken, breads, culinary comforts.  This doesn’t have to mean we’ll quit being inventive — perhaps truffle salt will grace your mashed potatoes.  We’ll blend today and yesterday with gusto on our plates.

7.  Fat Free, Carb Free will be replaced by additive free. We Americans love to obsess about our diet and search for the miracle cure in the form of food.  We feast on acacia berries, anti-oxidants, free radicals and so on.  In 2010 we’ll stop looking for the mystery additive and seek natural foods.  Probiotics will replace preservatives.

8.  Artisinal Foods become the hottest luxury item. Forget caviar (assuming you could ever afford it) the new chic food to treat your friends to on special occasions will be small batch artisinal foods, handmade sausages and salumis, locally cured hams, specialty chocolates; small batch liquors and so on.

9.  Eco Friendly Packaging. I don’t think we are ever going to give up the convenience of single serve foods because there are too many lunches to pack but manufacturers are going to look for new forms of packing that are more friendly to the environment.

10.  Real cheese comes to the table. There’s nothing wrong with cheddar, mozzarella or provolone but there’s a groing interest in locally crafted cheeses.  Countries are starting to recognize the importance of stamping area of origin on their cheese (France & Italy were way ahead on this one).  There’s a huge interest in uncommon or if you prefer “gourmet” cheeses.  This will grow in 2010 and more dairies will begin producing specialty cheese using their environment and techniques vs. quantity to differentiate themselves.

And as a bonus:

11. has more readers than LOL  A girl can dream!

Here’s to you and an amazing 2010!

16 Responses to “Top 10 Food Predictions for 2010”

  1. wow alot of thought went into this and you know most of this is right on…especially growing our own garden ,we are reverting back to depression times which for families were the best…enjoyed the read thanks and happy new year

  2. I have to agree with you. Thanks for this great read. Happy New Year!!!

  3. This is so fun to think about! I can’t wait to see what ends up happening!

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Whineaux, darlene. darlene said: Cooking With The Whineaux» Blog Archive » Top 10 Food Predictions …: Organic is not going to grow much as a s.. […]

  5. This is great. I just did our Chocolate predictions and hopes for 2010 over on The Chocolate Cult too.

    What impact do you think the economy and continued discussion of health care issues will have on food?

  6. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by Whineaux: My 2010 food trend predictions.

  7. There was a study released in Nov that proved your point #4. There are a lot of people out there who think Hamburger Helper is “cooking from scratch” (

    Harry Balzer of The NPD Group also said, “You want Americans to eat less? I have the diet for you. It’s short, and it’s simple. Here’s my diet plan: Cook it yourself. That’s it. Eat anything you want — just as long as you’re willing to cook it yourself.”

  8. I just read another article about point #4 that when we cook with whole foods instead of processed food we find it more filling and eat less. It’s in this month’s cooking light.

  9. I think that the economy is going to force people to be more conscious of what they buy, to cook at home more and perhaps even seek vegetarian sources of protein. This month’s Cooking Light and Cuisine at Home both feature tuna casserole recipes – that has to be a reflection of price.

    I can only hope that the healthcare discussion will lead to some treatment for obese people. Right now only the best of healthcare plans offer support. No matter what you think of obesity (choice, lifestyle, disease …) treating people will reduce overall health costs.

    I also hope people will start to focus on eating fresh whole foods and steer away from pre-prepared foods. Rather than look for the diet miracle food — just eat good food in moderation. Almost everything science thinks about food gets disproved. Eggs cause cholesterol circa 1984 now they are a perfect form of protein in moderation. Chocolate has health benefits, moderate alcohol consumption has health benefits…. The tough thing for this prediction is that people will have to think for themselves instead of believe what the media tells them.

  10. As a fellow Californian transplant, I feel your tamales-on-Christmas-Eve pain. Luckily, I was home for them this year!

  11. you were very lucky! I suppose I could make them but it’s a two day ordeal!

  12. I understand that this post is very much based on local or even national trends but I would have to say that 3, 4, 6 and 8 will be happening worldwide! Very interesting, indeed!

  13. Thanks! I’ve been tickled as the January food magazines come out — I’m seeing a lot of what I said covered in articles. And Saveur features humble Spaghetti this month (though with a meat ragu vs. meatballs)

  14. Great list! I like #6. I wholeheartedly agree that we are returning to our roots more each day. There’s something about making a recipe that your grandmother served or recreating a dish form your childhood that just warms the heart!

  15. Interesting list Dawn – thought provoking for sure!

  16. Gotta love Guy Fieri helping out small business with his show especially in these tough

    times. We went to Albuquerque only because of the show and we also saw James Taylor while we

    were there so an excellent road trip for the family.

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