Five Predicted Food Trends For 2012

By: Saira Malhotra

It is 2012 and there is an influx of predictions all around. Pundits and people seem to have answers to: what's in store for the economy? Which celebrity couple will split? Will black be the new black? Organic or commercially grown?

Some goals (the basis for many predictions) for the New Year, dissipate without a trace, others are followed through with rigor, and then of course there is always the presence of a curve ball that sets us on a new track altogether.

This week, highlighted some of the trends we could expect to see in the food world for 2012.  Feel free to share yours:

1)      Increasing food prices

It is safe to assume that food prices will increase given the year farmers and fuel companies have had all over the world. With a restricted availability of grain, not only will prices continue to increase for products that use them, so will the livestock that are fed with them. According to economists, one can expect an average price hike of 3% this year, while others argue that some food items will be subject to a 40% increase.

2)      Prudence Prevailing

The last few years of an ailing economy has provided re-education on how we can live within lesser means. Figures demonstrate that even if circumstances allow people to live large, they are choosing not to out of habit and precaution. Eating less meat during the week and cooking at home are on the rise and are predicted to continue that trend in 2012.  Another area one can expect to see growth is the 'food truck'. Offering gourmet options at affordable prices, many are prepared to forgo the luxury of sitting at a restaurant to eat good quality food that will not burn a hole in their pocket.

3)      Healthy eating

Knowledge is power and now that the everyday person understands the value of healthy eating, there is no turning back. Responding to this shift in mindset, manufacturers will continue to replace junk food in vending machines with healthy snack options, such as, nuts, fruits, hummus.

4)      Established brands will show stability in the market

Since the baby boomers account for the largest percentage of grocery shoppers, they will continue to purchase their trusted brands that are resident pantry products in their homes.

5)      Social media

Facebook, Twitter, and other media outlets will continue to grow as food communicators. Whether it is an application that calculates calories or a desire to share pictures of your favorite restaurant dish, this viral form of communication will not be taking a rain check.

Photo: WarzauWynn 

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