We Asked A ‘Flavor Lab’ To Tell Us About The Next Big Food Trends

12.20.16 3 years ago

When times get tough, there’s one comfort that we can all cling to: food. Because food doesn’t try to take away human rights. Food is simply there to help us celebrate the greatest moments in our lives. What would a birthday, holiday, or anniversary be without the stuff? A lonely, tepid affair, that’s what.

In celebration of the fleeting joy food brought us this year and in anticipation of all the wonderful times it will bring us in 2017, I spoke to Dana Peck of the innovative flavor lab, Pilot R & D, about what trends we’ll see in the year to come. She’s an expert in that. At Pilot R &D they seek to take the creativity, innovation, and craftsmanship of the best Michelin star restaurants in the world and deliver it to a much broader audience. So Peck works on the frontier of all the latest food advances and trends. And according to her, we’ll definitely see some interesting movements coming to play in 2017.

1. Clean Labels Will Be Important.


We’re already seeing a push towards “clean label” foods. And that’s a trend that’s not going anywhere, Peck told me. Though the term “clean label” can be vague (and mean different things to different people) it basically means that people will be looking for whole ingredient foods on their labels with less chemicals and preservatives. Look for that trend will continue to expand and grow.

However Peck warns that people shouldn’t confuse “clean labels” with foods that are vegan or gluten free. “There are people who are vegan because they are interested in eating more plants or whole ingredients and want to stay away from a bunch of other ingredients,” she said, “but in order to make vegan cheese and gluten-free bread, you also have to use ingredients that those people ordinarily wouldn’t want to touch.”

So remember “vegan” doesn’t necessarily mean fewer ingredients.

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