October 31, 2014
Last week we brought you the ten most affordable foodie cities in the United States. This week we look at upcoming food trends as predicted by Sterling-Rice Group (SRG), a Colorado-based branding and communications firm that specializes in all things culinary. SRG predicts that 2015 will see consumer food preferences "driven by a continued interest in global cuisines, balanced nutrition, community connections, and a desire for adventurous eating experiences." Without further ado, here are the top ten food trends for 2015, as explained by SRG:

10. The Ugly Fruit & Vegetable Movement. Imperfect-looking produce "no longer gets picked over as food resourcefulness and efforts to combat hunger come into sharper focus."

9. The Hunger Games--Restaurant Edition. "Dining concept incubators create lively experiences where curious diners test experimental eateries and vote with their forks in revolving pop-up settings or hip dining parks."

8. Farm to Table Kosher. "Kosher food businesses address consumer demand to eat in more sustainable, conscious, and cultural ways."

7. Coconut Sugar Sweetness. "Boasting a lower glycemic index than white sugar makes coconut sugar popular among consumers-from natural food fans to sweets-loving Paleos to Southeast Asian food lovers-looking for better-for-you foods."

6. The Local Grain Network
. "Products made from freshly milled flour are making their way to consumers thanks to the growing network of farmers, bakers, and chefs committed to local grain production."

5. Incendiary Charcoal.
 Asian styles of super-hot burning charcoal enhances "breads, crackers, and even cosmetics."

4. Hop-Free Suds.
 "Channeling their medieval predecessors, craft brewers are making unhopped beers with herbs, spices, and bitter plants yielding unique and intriguing flavors instead of hoppy bitterness.

3. Cannabis Cuisine. "Edible marijuana moves far beyond cliched pot brownies. In states where it's legal, look for new, sophisticated options from gluten-free baked goods and confections to bottled cold-brewed coffee and flavored syrups."

2. Matcha Madness. "The never-ending quest for wellness and energy will lead many to Japanese matcha, a nutrient powerhouse green tea now hitting the market in convenient formats like lattes, sodas, and ready-to-drink cans."

1. Advanced Asian. "From Filipino food to a new generation of Thai, not one but a host of more complex and true-to-region Asian foods will dominate in 2015."

Source: SRG