10 Food Predictions For 2016

December 31, 2015

Gluten-free, hand-torn artisanal pasta with a side of roasted Brussels sprouts are so 2015.

A new year means new food trends. In 2015, the dining public wanted healthier options, crazier combinations, with epic flavors, and all signs point to more of it that in 2016. So get ready, because a lot of tasty stuff is coming your way.

While we’re no crystal ball, here’s what you should expect.

1. Avocado Oil Explodes

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Move, coconut oil, get out the way! Photo: @celebrityyounatural

Coconut oil is so 2015. There is a new oil in town, and it’s from everyone’s favorite fatty fruit. We all know avocados are high in oleic acid, a healthy monounsaturated fat, that is claimed to be great for your heart, skin and other benefits. Expect to see more of it used in everything from skin care to hair care, and obviously, to cooking.

2. Hawaiian Cuisine Comes Ashore

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We’re guessing there’s already a poke joint opening in your 'hood. Photo: @extrapetite / Instagram

The islands are sneaking their flavors and ingredients into everything, it seems. Focusing on fresh, quality ingredients — poke and pineapple chief among them — to surfers favorite breakfast, the loco moco, their influence is making for some wild mashups. More importantly, Hawaiian eateries are popping up everywhere between Los Angeles and New York.

3. Ice Cream Sandwiches

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This age-old classic is about to blow up. Photo: @themilkshop_la

First we had the cupcake fad. Then we had donuts and macarons. This year, it will be the ice cream sandwich. Expect an overhaul in dessert, given that it’s already on its way. Local creameries are popping up everywhere, and this old-school, classic setup for kids is getting an upscale rebirth for adults in the know.

4. Spicy Flavors Boom

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My tongue is already on fire and I haven’t even tasted this. Photo: @shelleyzzzzzz / Instagram

Sriracha’s rise to practically a foodie religious icon was a sign of the changing times, and that was 2014. No more retreating into taste bud safe zones. The world, as it spins wilder and weirder, is taking things up a notch there’s no place for boring. From spicy chocolate to spicy booze, we’re ready to sweat more than ever at the dining table.

5. No End For Slow Coffee

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Brewing has become the ultimate art form. Photo: @coffeeexplorer_hiroshi / Instagram

Coffee has moved into an era of craftsmanship that shows no signs of slowing down. Whether it’s cold brew, pour over, single origin, or limited batches, coffee is taking its time to get to you, but baristas are ensuring that it’s worth it.

6. Homemade Whiskey And Other Booze

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Who’s up for a little moonshine? Photo: @angorrelli / Instagram

Beer brewed from home has enjoyed a stable subculture for years, but it’s expanded to include everyone in the mood for a level-up. Distilling whiskey and infusing rum at home is now being embraced by those who aren’t dedicated to the art of craft brews.

7. Vegetables As Main Attraction

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Fresh produce is so 2016. Photo: @jveuxuneviehealthy / Instagram

Each year, the western world takes a closer step toward the healthy life altogether, even if it seems more like a foot drag. A favorite challenge of chefs now is getting meat eaters to fall in love with vegetables, transforming them from sideshow dish to main-stage attraction.

It’s happened with individual veggies, like Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, but kitchen crews are starting to inch vegetables as a whole into the spotlight with meat-like treatments.

8. Solid On-The-Go Lunches

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I’d be okay with this every day. Photo: @lovemaycup / Instagram

Each year, it seems like everyone’s getting busier. We’re adapting accordingly with the rising dependency of more substantial, high-end, on-the-go bento-style lunch boxes, typically filled with healthy options.

It lessens a need for Tupperware, which leads to a somehow nasty habit of racking up too many containers while losing a hefty share of lids. It also makes it easy to mix it up each work day.

9. Healthier Snacking Options

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Consumers are getting wise and demanding healthier options. Photo: @syd_healthynfit / Instagram

As on-the-go lunches improve, so do our snacking choices. Both large food companies and smaller start-ups are putting out healthier snacks for busy professional, preceding lengthy ingredient lists with fewer preservatives, fewer chemicals and all around, simpler recipes.

10. Flavored Water Expands

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Because flavorless H20 just isn’t good enough. Photo: @

kanya

/ Instagram

From cinnamon-apple to a fruit medley, people are opting out of bottled water for less plastic and more flavor. Whether infusing filtered water at home or expanding the freebie at restaurants, water is taking a turn for the better.