This year is sure to bring more delectable trends.
With new dietary guidelines in place, and the average consumer worrying more about what they eat than ever before, it appears 2016 will focus on healthy eating.
From organic sports drinks to clean menus, here are 16 food trends we expect to see in 2016.
Food Delivery1 of 17
Long gone are the days where delivery foods only consisted of pizza and Chinese takeout. There are now over a dozen companies that deliver food to your front door from virtually any restaurant, and that number will likely grow in 2016.
Food delivery is a billion dollar industry, and technology has drastically changed the market in recent years. Third-party companies like GrubHub and Seamless may have started the trend, but now companies like DoorDash and Uber have partnered with multiple restaurants to gain stake in the food delivery game.
In addition to getting food delivered from restaurants, companies like BistroMD offer healthy 7-day, 5-day and customized meal delivery plans. Simply place your order, receive your neatly packed delivery (packages come with dry ice to ensure freshness) a few days later, place the healthy packaged meals in your freezer, and heat them up when you're ready to eat.
Savory Yogurts2 of 17
When it comes to yogurt, savory may be the new sweet. If you've been to any Mediterranean restaurant, then you likely know about savory yogurts, like the traditional tzatziki sauce. But just stop by any U.S. grocery store and you'll see the yogurt aisle is stocked with sweet yogurt options that are more like desserts.
However, sweets turning savory is expected to be a big trend and yogurt is likely to be the start. Instead of berries and fruits, vegetables like carrots and parsnips will be packed into yogurts, which will be fortified with vitamins and protein.
Organic Sports Drinks3 of 17
Gatorade announced last year it would be releasing an organic drink in 2016, a move that will likely appeal to many consumers.
Athletes especially are looking for healthy drink options that aren't loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients, but are still packed with the electrolytes needed for recovery. In an effort to retain health-conscious customers, companies that produce sports drinks must find ways to adapt.
Pulses4 of 17
A member of the legume family, pulses include chickpeas, lentils, dried beans and peas. While many of these might have been in your diet pre-2016, the United Nations has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses. Pulses are packed with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, and have a tiny carbon footprint so they're good for the environment, too.
Acai Bowls5 of 17
There have been juice bars, froyo shops and smoothie factories. Now, shops serving Acai bowls are going to hit a street corner near you. Acai (pronounced "ah-sae-ee") is a small berry from South America that's rich in antioxidants. For bowls, the Acai is blended like a smoothie with a banana and non-fat milk. Then it's topped with a variety of add-ons including fruits, nuts and natural sweeteners like honey.
"Super" Milk6 of 17
Fairlife "super milk," a product owned by Coca-Cola, hit shelves last year. Crediting its "ultra filtration" process, the milk claims to concentrate protein and calcium and filter out sugars.
Similar to organic sports drinks, large beverage companies are attempting to diversify their portfolio with healthier options. These "super milks" can contain 50 percent more "natural" protein and calcium than regular milk and 30 percent less sugar.
Veggie Pastas7 of 17
Low-carb diets are here to stay, and pasta is suffering from this growing trend. Want some proof? Pasta sales have dropped 25 percent in Italy and 6 percent in the U.S.
As people search for substitutes for pasta, spiralized veggies have become a trending option. Zucchini, beets, carrots and other veggies have become noodle replacements.
If you want to make your own veggie pasta, the Twist Handheld Spiralizer from Chef'n is a great tool to add to your kitchen arsenal.
While homemade vegetable noodles will continue to grow in popularity, grocery stores will also begin selling prepackaged options—like cauliflower couscous or carrot spaghetti—for convenience.
Poke8 of 17
Ceviche and sushi have always been menu staples at restaurants that serve raw fish. In 2016, the Hawaiian Poke will be the next best thing.
Poke (pronounced "poke-ay") is common in Hawaii, and it's prepared in many different ways. The traditional recipe features chunks of tuna marinated in soy and sesame. The dish has already made its way to Los Angeles and Brooklyn, and its relevance is expected to expand even more in the mainland this year.
Honey Cinnamon Water9 of 17
A quick search online for weight loss reveals tons of drink recipes that can help. Combining cinnamon, honey and water has become one of the go-to options. Cinnamon and honey have many health benefits. They can help suppress appetites, lower cholesterol and speed up the body's metabolism.
Turmeric10 of 17
Turmeric exploded onto the food scene last year, and its popularity will likely continue to grow. Turmeric is a bright yellow powder used for seasoning in many Asian and Indian foods, with curry being the most common dish. It appeared in health stores, juices and supermarkets in 2015, and it's expected to become even more mainstream in 2016.
African Flavors11 of 17
In a survey of over 1,500 chefs, "African flavors" were predicted as a hot trend in 2016. Interest in this flavor profile grew nearly 20 percent from the previous survey.
Americans are continuing to experiment with exotic foods, as Mexican food is no longer the only foreign food option. Middle Eastern and North African spices (like Turmeric) are growing in popularity, making foreign dishes more accessible.
Clean Menus12 of 17
Fast food chains are scrambling to find a way to appeal to consumers looking for healthy menus. According to a survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association, nearly 80 percent of millennials said they're more likely to visit restaurants that offer healthy options. Additionally, 66 percent of fast casual restaurants said their customers have become more interested in locally sourced items.
In an age where restaurants like Chipotle and Panera are mainstays, other fast food places are following suit. Burger King has promised to use cage-free eggs in 2017, and McDonald's has pledged to transition to sustainable beef in 2016, as well as switch to cage-free eggs. Taco Bell will be removing artificial colors and flavors from core menu items and removing trans fats, high-fructose corn syrup and unsustainable palm oil.
Quark13 of 17
Quark is a fresh dairy product traditionally seen in Northern European countries like the Netherlands, Norway and Germany. Full-fat quark is high in protein—nearly double the amount found in Greek yogurt. Demand for protein-based snacks continues to increase, and Quark yogurt could become a go-to option.
Root-to-Stem Dining14 of 17
You've probably heard of farm-to-table dining, but have you heard of root-to-stem?
Sustainable cooking and food waste has become a huge concern. About 20 percent of food waste in the U.S. comes from fruits and vegetables, and cooking with the entire vegetable or fruit, from the root to the stem, is one way to avoid waste.
Cauliflower Rice15 of 17
Another carb substitute, cauliflower rice is a healthier alternative to refined, bleached white rice. Cauliflower is a natural source for vitamins and minerals and is high in dietary fiber. It's fairly easy to make and goes well with a variety of dishes.
Avocado Oil16 of 17
Avocados are everywhere. From sandwich spreads to salad toppers, avocados have become an essential food for many.
This year consumers will see a new avocado favorite: oil. Said to be the replacement for coconut oil, avocado oil has a high smoke point and its flavor isn't as strong as the coconut variety. The best part of all? It's cheaper.