Activated charcoal, artisanal jerky among hot food trends, according to Toronto agency THP

Canadian Pizza
November 24, 2016
By Canadian Pizza
Toronto – Artisanal jerky, craft-style fizz and Jewish cuisine are just a few of the food trends to watch heading into the New Year, according to THP's 2017 Flavour & Trend Forecast.

The Toronto-based communications agency, along with its in-house team of culinary experts, is releasing its second annual list. "Whether you are a marketer for a food or beverage brand, restaurant operator, or just enjoy cooking or eating, these are the trends to have on your radar for 2017," said Sabrina Falone, director of culinary innovation at THP, in a news release.

Particularly as brands continue to focus on millennials, it is important to aim as much as 40 per cent of owned content at the growth consumer group, said Amanda Riva, CEO of THP. "It's our job to know where trends are in their lifecycle and to keep our finger on the pulse when it comes to consumer consumption habits," Riva said.

The company singled out six items from its top 10 list for 2017:

Fat Is Back
Forget fat-free ingredients. Butter usage is on the rise, and increased by eight per cent in 2015 compared to 2014. "There's a shift back to fuller, richer foods – think full-fat dairy, butter and ghee – influenced by a more conscious consumer who is looking to include less processed and more clean, natural ingredients into their diet," says Falone.

Fancy Fizz
Fifty-six per cent of global consumers want to see more craft-style beverages on their cocktail menus. As a result, fancy fizzy sodas paired with fresh flavours like passion fruit, lavender and more natural ingredients are finding their way back into the glass and elevating the drink experience.

50 Shades Of Black
"Activated charcoal is a new ingredient that's popping up everywhere, from your morning juice routine to your burger bun, and even in your pizza crust," adds Falone. "Don't shy away from dark hued foods next year, lending well to familiar classics like squid ink pasta or risotto, which have not gone out of style."  

Artisanal Jerky
In the last five years, jerky consumption has jumped by 18 per cent. Increasingly, consumers are looking for protein-packed snacks that are portable and easy on the wallet – and jerky fits the bill. But forget what you'd find at the gas station – companies are shifting their focus to artisanal preparation methods that features bolder, globally inspired flavours.

The New Jewish
Today's Jewish cuisine is blending old world flavours with modern twists. This trend is being popularized by a new generation of chefs who are focusing on transforming Jewish classics into beloved favourites with an elevated update, such as matzo ball ramen.

Other ingredients and meal trends that just missed the top 10 list but are worth keeping on the radar include vegan charcuterie, Hatch chile, sumac, alternative protein options like insects, algae and mushrooms and wine in a can.

To read the full report and top 10 list for 2017, visit www.thpagency.com.

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