As 2016 draws to a close, it’s time to look ahead (thankfully, as you’re no doubt thinking…), and, specifically, to the food trends that may be heading our way next year.

The industry experts at Whole Foods have put together a list of ten food trends we’re likely to taste in 2017, and it makes for really interesting reading.

So interesting, in fact, that we thought we’d summarise it for you in one, handy, pocket-sized blog post by highlighting the most fascinating. If you’re a restaurateur, the list below could prove very useful indeed as you plan your menu for the year ahead.

Just be ready for some surprises…

Wellness Tonics

So many people seem to be on a health kick these days, therefore it’s no wonder that superfood-powered healthy beverages are likely to make a splash (sorry) next year.

Expect to see drinks containing add-ins such as turmeric, apple cider vinegar and maca. We’re guessing they’ll taste nice. Surely…

Products built from byproducts

Now there’s a tongue-twister for you. We’ve seen ‘upcycling’ in home decor and clothing, but it sounds like the process of re-using stuff that would otherwise be consigned to the bin may well be heading the way of food, too.

Experts believe we’ll see an increasing number of foods in 2017 that have been created from byproducts. Imagine the whey generated during yoghurt production being turned into a probiotic drink, and you’re somewhere close.

Coconuts. Coconuts everywhere.

Coconut is slowly making its way into all manner of foods, including sandwiches, chips and other stuff you simply wouldn’t have associated with a fruit normally found in sweeter delicacies. Where will it arrive next?

Turning Japanese

Many people believe that the Japanese diet is a primary reason people hailing from that part of the world enjoy longer lives than the rest of us, so it stands to reason that we’ll probably see further Japanese influences (that extend beyond sushi) entering the western food market.

Fancy condiments

It’s time to get ready for some new dips. Fancy dipping your fries into ghee, habanero jam or black sesame tahini? That’s probably the kind of thing diners will be looking for when it comes to condiments in 2017.

New pasta

Pasta made from everything from lentils to quinoa are expected to be a big hit next year with ‘spiralized’ veggies also predicted to make a series of appearances in pasta-based dishes in 2017.

Rise of the ‘Flexitarian’

If you’ve not heard of this buzzword before, it refers to people who class themselves as ‘semi-vegetarian’. Nope – your guess is as good as ours, but it’s a phenomena that could make its way into your restaurant with diners wanting to experience healthy food, their way. Say “hello” to ‘personalised nutrition’!

There are an awful lot of new terms, phrases and mindsets to come to terms with in the above list, but if one thing’s for sure, it’s that we’re in for an incredibly eclectic 2017, food-wise!

View the whole list here.

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