Between my inbox and my RSS feeder, I was bombarded with lists of food trends for 2011. Seems our obsession with cupcakes may finally be waning, but it has been replaced by pie. Restaurant News predicted that the top trend of the year will be pie in all forms — sweet, savory, big, bite-sized, even blended into milkshakes. Several other lists also mentioned that pie will be huge this year.


I like pie, so I’m happy about this trend, but there are other predictions that are good news to those of us interested in sustainable and healthy foods. Here are a few that caught my attention:

Chefs will develop relationships with local beekeepers (Restaurant News). This is good news because one of the ways to combat colony collapse disorder is to boost the native bee population. If chefs are supporting small, local beekeepers, the beekeepers will have the incentive and the money to continue to build their colonies.

Foraging will grow in popularity. (Epicurious) My simmering interest in foraging for food got a little stronger when I read “The Art of Eating In” last year. This trend of finding foods that are growing naturally may come of age this year.

Chefs will focus on locally sourced meat and seafood (National Restaurant Association). About 1,500 chefs were asked about the top trends of 2011 and local meat and seafood came out on top (followed by locally sourced produce).

Sodium, sugar and high fructose corn syrup in processed foods will be reduced (Mintel). Food manufacturers have been quietly reducing sodium for some time now and that trend will be joined by a “quiet reduction” in sweeteners. One thing to look for will be sugar and stevia combining to lower sugar content. I don’t know a lot about stevia, so I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not.

Inspirational cooking will gain in popularity (Food Trotter). You know when you look in your pantry and refrigerator and decide to make dinner based on what you have to use up? Chefs will be doing the same in 2011. Chefs will be “creating what they feel like cooking with the ingredients they have during that day.” This means more local food and perhaps less food waste.

Have you seen any food trend predictions for the new year that have caught your interest?

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Food trends for 2011
Food predictions for the year ahead are flooding in — and some are worth a second look.