10 Foodie Trends for 2017

What to know to get ahead of the game

If you want to get ahead of the curve when it comes to serving your meeting or event attendees the very latest in culinary trends, then we’ve got the list for you. Sterling-Rice Group, an advertising agency with an expertise in food and beverage, has released its annual list of culinary trends to be on the lookout for. One thing is clear: The living well, living clean trend—which probably can’t be called a trend, necessarily—is only getting bigger. Here’s what to consider for your next menu. 

Eat Cake for Breakfast

Who says you have to wait until after dinner for dessert? This “wake and cake” concept sounds convincing when supported by a Syracuse University study that suggests a dose of chocolate improves cognitive abilities. How’s that for a brain booster?

Hand-Pulled Noodles

The tradition of hand-pulled Asian noodles is quickly making its way into the favorites list of many American diners, with Vietnamese pho, Japanese ramen and Thai pad see ew among the star dishes. But don’t look to your old takeout menus—these are handmade, hand-pulled noodles, and the art of preparing them could even double as a live dinner show.  

Dosha Dining

Doshas, or the biological energies found throughout the human body and mind, are thought to govern all physical and mental processes in an individual. They are ever changing, affected by the day and night, and—the big one, here—food. Mainstays of Indian culture—from street food to mango smoothies to turmeric shots—are making their way into the palates of North Americans seeking to provide balance to their bodies and minds. 

Mocktail Mania

First we had craft cocktails, and now, upscale mixologists are working on creating exquisite mixes—sans alcohol. Fresh-pressed juices, flavored teas, sipping vinegars and muddled herbs and spices are among the favored ingredients that combine to create drinks that can be enjoyed, minus the hangover. 

The (Meatless) Butcher

Vegetables are coming center stage, taking the place of meat-centric dishes and holding their own in flavor and sustenance. Planted-based versions of your favorite meats—chicken, steak, charcuterie—are no longer limited to simply tofu and other replacements, but instead, chickpeas, mushrooms and more.

Get Your Goat

Goat’s milk and cheese have been huge for years, but it seems we will soon be demanding something a bit more from the goat. Poised to become the next “it” protein, goat’s meat and bones are a great foundation for spicy and sour preparations, and the animals are sustainable. 

Trash or Treasure?

Don’t throw those watermelon rinds and cauliflower stems away—one man’s waste is another’s pickles, burgers and even vegan leather. Ingredients destined for the trash bin or compost pile are being reused in creative, delicious ways in an effort to reduce the amount of waste we create. 

Sharing is Caring

With popular programs and apps like Uber, TaskRabbit and Airbnb, the sharing economy has taken off like a rocket. So why not with food? Now, cooking can lead to connections. Apps like EatWith and Umi Kitchen are connecting eaters with communal dining experiences, reducing wasted food and bringing folks together at mealtime. 

Packed Sardines

The rise of Basque cuisine brings the tiny snacking fish front and center. Dressed up in complicated flavors or served simply on toast, sardines will be taking over your canapés menu and surprising even the pickiest eaters.

Migratory Meals

With an ever-moving world population—especially those spurred by the recent migrant crisis—cultures may be having a difficult time coming together. One thing that serves to connect them? Food. By celebrating their unique cultural heritages and cuisines, refugees are finding common ground in their new home countries. “As chefs, culinarians and foodies, we exist beyond politics, in a world of expansive cuisine—an endless culinary comradeship,” said chef Victor Matthews. Look to celebrate these cuisines by serving menus that highlight fresh herbs and flowers, orange blossom, cardamom, sumac, pistachio and more.