Apparently, being a “locavore” not only spotlights one of the biggest food trends in years. It’s not only the reigning buzzword in the food biz–it’s also been named “Word of the Year” for 2008 by the New Oxford American Dictionary. How about those apples? What is a locavore?
A locavore is a person who focuses on purchasing, preparing and consuming foods grown locally as much as possible. Why is this a big deal? Think of it: this growing trend has induced consumers to shop at farmers’ markets and local farmstands in increasing numbers. This has spurred increased purchases in natural and organic produce, sustainable agriculture and a bit of a reduction in greenhouse gases.
According to a terrific article on 2008 food trends in the Philadelphia Inquirer, titled: Trends on 2008’s Front Burners, this can only lead to: “…a healthier environment–and healthier consumers.”
Besides the inclination to purchase local, fresh, natural and organic foods, several other food trends were spotlighted in the article:
* Probiotics. If you haven’t noticed already, these healthy bacteria that have made yogurt such a wonder food, have been added to a number of other food products of late.
* Natural zero calorie sweeteners. No need for chemicals. Check out the natural herb stevia, and the intro of erythritol.
* Umami. The Japanese art of adding rich ingredients to punch up flavors in foods without adding fats, sodium, sugar, calories. . . .
* Eco-friendly. From sustainable agriculture to environmentally sound foods and food packaging.
* Farmers. Producers of the foods noted chefs and gourmet food purveyors are using will be put in the spotlight more and more.
* Convenience food. More take-out food options to load into your mobile phone’s memory for instant speed dial.
* Online groceries. Catching on as delivery times and order fulfillment improve.
* Niche eateries. Tapas bars, sushi and seviche bars move over. There are more specialty focused cafes on the way.
* Cooking with kids. More cookbooks on the subject than ever, as well as kids’ cooking classes and prepacked kids’ foods and beverages in the markets.
* Bottled water? With environmentalists railing about the huge amount of plastic waste generated–even if it can be recycled–purified tap water is becoming far more attractive.
What do you think of these trends? Am I missing something that you think belongs on this list?
Better yet: can you coin a word of your own that you think captures a current trend? I’d love to hear from you.