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Analyst Predicts Top Food Trends for 2014

NEW YORK — A continuing move toward healthier eating will meet desires for bright tastes and pureness that will resonate in the kitchen in 2014, a leading food analyst predicted.

Kazia Jankowski, associate culinary director of Sterling-Rice Group, Boulder, Colo., said these trends are reflected in Sterling-Rice’s annual list of 10 cutting-edge food trends, to be released this week. The list is based on consultation with celebrity chefs, product developers, restaurant consultants and grocery store shoppers, and reflects products and tastes expected to move from the culinary leading edge to mainstream in 2014.

In an interview with SN, Jankowski said all 10 trends share a common thread of “a desire for foods you can trust, that have a pureness to them.” This includes some indulgent foods, some unusual proteins, and some familiar tastes used in new ways.

Following are Sterling-Rice’s “Top 10”:

Lemon Steps Into the Sun: “Pure, versatile and nostalgic,” Jankowski expects to see lemons used in juices, as a preserve, as an addition to staples like yogurt and as a pastry ingredient. “Lemon’s bright flavor is fresh and unadulterated. It ties into the cuisines of the Mediterranean, which are growing in popularity.”

Tea Leaves the Cup: Jankowski predicted tea’s “natural, earthy tastes” will bring flavorful twists to foods — often while substituting for less-healthy ingredients like butter, bacon or oils.

Middle Eastern/ Mediterranean Cuisine: Healthy and flavorful, tastes from Turkey, Israel and other areas of the Middle East will join pizza, garlic and chickpeas in popularity, Jankowsi said.


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Dairy Goes Nuts: Riding a trend toward dairy-free, chefs will turn to nut milks from cashews, almonds and peanuts for sauces, drinks and dinners, Jankowski said.

The Year of the Yolk: Like lemons, a taste for bright and bold flavors will help egg yolks bring a new richness to foods in 2014.

Refined Classic American Eats: Counterbalancing the healthy trend, a desire for classics like wedge salads, steak tartare and other “straightforward, full-fat foods” will provide familiar tastes that will be hard to resist, Jankowki said. These classics will move aside popular basics like hot dogs, milk shakes and burgers, she added.

Poaching and Steaming: These healthy cooking techniques will get a new boost as cooks replace water with smoky liquids, teas, coffee, beer and wines for flavorful poached and steamed proteins and vegetables.

Watch SN's video interview with Kazia Jankowski

Seaweed Beyond Sushi: Not just a sushi wrap anymore, umami-rich and healthy seaweed will find its way into salty snacks and seasonings in 2014, Jankowski predicted.

New Twists on Pasta: Citing restaurant trends serving squid-ink canestri and herb and tomato pastas, Jankowski said to watch for pasta doughs made with exotic flavors and global seasonings in a variety of shapes and sizes.

New Flavors of Farm-to-Table: As foodies turn their backs on industrially produced meat, they are filling their plates instead with exotic proteins they know aren’t factory farmed: “Goat, rabbit and even pigeon meat raised by small-scale producers will give us choices we can feel good about and a new palette of flavors for experimenting in the kitchen.”

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