12 Lists of Christmas: J. Walter Thompson's Food Trends for 2015

By Dave Fusaro, Editor in Chief

Dec 16, 2014

Introducing the first of what we certainly hope will be 12 lists before the end of the year.

This time of year, everybody seems to be coming out with a Top 10 (or 12 or five) of predictions for the new year or looking back at highlights of the past one. Today's list, from J. Walter Thompson, looks forward into 2015.

To celebrate its 150th anniversary, the ad agency/marketing firm unveiled its 10th annual trends report, The Future 100. While the full list covers a lot of ground -- technology, business, culture, beauty, health & wellness, among others – these are its predicted food & beverage trends (and we quote JWT verbatim):

  • Bone Broth: Blame it on the Paleo thing — meat and meat-associated products have become fetishized. The next stage? Broth as the hot Paleo drink of choice. Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley of Hemsley + Hemsley in East London have a cult following, and their book, The Art of Eating Well, has been translated into three languages. Their mantra, they tell U.S. Vogue, is “Boil your bones.” “Bone broth is the often-forgotten superfood that forms the basis of nearly all our soups and stews. It’s nourishing, simple, cheap and makes everything taste amazing,” says Jasmine Hemsley. The duo highlight the nutritional value of broth, which is rich in omega-3, 6 and 9, as well as minerals. In New York, Brodo, a broth takeout, has introduced grass-fed beef broth infused with ginger to the East Village.
  • Food 2.0 Startups: Faux meat isn’t new, but a crop of food-science startups have drawn venture-capital attention by taking innovative approaches to the concept. Beyond Meat produces a fake chicken that has fooled some experts, as well as a “beef crumble” made with pea protein. Impossible Foods, backed by $75 million in VC funding, makes veggie burgers using what it calls “plant blood,” a liquid that causes the patties to sizzle like beef burgers. VCs are also backing Hampton Creek Foods, which produces the eggless Just Mayo and vegan cookies. San Francisco chef James Corwell has invented a process that transforms tomatoes into a substance that mimics tuna. His tomato sushi is available at several California grocers.
  • Ferment Fervor: As interest grows in sour over sweet in food and drink, more fermented products will find their way onto menus and shelves. London’s Rawduck restaurant is making all its own ferments, pickles and drinking vinegars, and elsewhere in the city, Blanch & Shock Food Design is trying out flavored vinegars such as smoked beer and celery. Chefs Nick Balla and Cortney Burns of San Francisco’s Bar Tartine are experimenting with holding vegetables at certain temperatures as if they were dry-aging meat, says Michael Harlan Turkell, host of “The Food Seen” on Heritage Radio Network: “It’s developing flavor in a way we haven’t experienced in a restaurant setting before.”
  • Cold Pressed Everything: First came juices, then came beauty products and now we have nut milk. “Cold pressed” is becoming a byword for purity and quality. Alt.Milk, a cold-pressed, sleekly branded almond milk, is the latest example, introduced to London by high-end department store Fortnum & Mason.
  • Guilt-Free To-Go: Healthy, ethical fast food will gain momentum in 2015 as a raft of virtuous brands appropriates junk style for the millennial generation. Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson’s eagerly anticipated fast-food concept Loco’l is set to open in San Francisco and Los Angeles next year. Pitched at the same price point as other national fast-food chains, Loco’l will serve carefully sourced, seasonal food for under $6.
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