5 food trends I’d really love to see in 2013

If you’re looking for predictions about The Next Big Thing in cooking, I’m afraid you’ve come to the wrong place. I sadly know nothing about which ingredient or particular national cuisine or new restaurant is going to take 2013 by storm. But here are five trends that food experts are predicting that I’d REALLY love to see happen over the next year.

  1. More sustainability and less waste – experts are predicting that the food industry AND consumers will be taking a greater interest in sustainability and food waste in 2013. With issues like food waste rising on agendas in 2012 (see here for some shocking infographics on food waste), food companies invested more in technological solutions to cut waste and increase efficiency, while waste saving projects flourished. Fingers crossed this trend really will continue – and we in the rich world will stop wasting on average a third of the food we buy!
  2. Less meat, more veg – with the cost of beef and chicken set to rise by around 4% in the US, some, like Phil Lempert, author of SupermarketGuru.com, predict that 2013 will see the debate about sources of protein in our diets really take off. Whether that’s through new investment in ‘fake meat’ technology, or a greater emphasis on recipes that call for more vegetables and less meat without compromising taste, it seems the battle to reduce meat consumption in the rich world is on. And I’m so glad to see my New Year’s Resolutions are so, erm, on trend.
  3. Increased transparency and traceability – 2012 saw growing consumer outrage over the lack of transparency about what’s really in our food (remember pink slime?). NGOs and other organisations have been quick to try to fill the gap, developing Apps and advice to help consumers find out of their food contains GMOs, antibiotics or other undesirables. What I hope is that this demand for greater transparency extends not just to what’s in our food, but also where it comes from and how it’s made. Which leads me smoothly onto the next prediction…
  4. More interest in food supply chains and the people that work in them – according to TriplePundit, being a sustainable foodie is not just about buying local anymore. 2012 has seen growing concern about how workers are treated by big food companies at every stage of the food supply chain – and an increasing number of people doing something about it. If we can push big brands and food companies into being more transparent about the people employed in their supply chains, we’ll be one step closer to raising wages and living standards.
  5. More collaboration on creating a better food system for everyone – over at BuckyBox, they’re predicting that rising pressures on our food system and growing resource constraints mean we’re going to have to work together to do more with less in 2013. That sounds like no bad thing, and organisations like BuckyBox and Food+Tech Connect’s Hack Meat project are leading the way – I’m looking forward to seeing much more in 2013!

 And one I really don’t want to see, even though it doesn’t look like we can avoid it…

  • Food prices rise even higher – we’ve all noticed by now the effect of rising food prices over the last few years. Sadly, after a year of floods, droughts and hurricanes, many are predicting that food prices are set to rise even further in both the US and the UK – and elsewhere too. Yet another reason to stick to my resolution to budget better in 2013…

What are your food trend predictions for 2013? Here’s some more interesting stuff on 2013 food trends: