Food Trends 2017

It’s that time of year again, no not the holidays but that look forward into the crystal ball to see what food trends we can expect in 2017.  Food trends don’t start and stop January 1st. We expect to see a continuation of ideas such as the movement towards healthier food options and shorter, more recognizable ingredients used in restaurants and food products.  Panera, McDonald’s, YUM brands, Subway and many others are working to fulfill their commitments to phase out the use of human antibiotics in chicken, sourcing cage free eggs, removing artificial colors, artificial flavors, unnecessary preservatives, and excess salt from their menus. 

Vegetables Moving to Center of the Plate

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Kindred Bbq Jackfruit Sandwich

Memphis BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich at Kindred in San Diego

New plant based alternatives to animal protein will find their way onto menus. At the independent operator level  you may soon see jackfruit; the tropical fruit which when shredded mimics the meaty texture of pulled pork.  

Impossible Food Burger Jpg

Impossible Food's Plant Based Burger

You may have heard about the veggie burger that looks and taste like beef and it actually bleeds? According to the Impossible Foods website the Impossible Burger is made of recognizable ingredients: wheat, coconut oil and potatoes. The not so secret ingredient that contributes the color and taste of meat when cooked is “heme”.  Heme is an iron-containing molecule that carries oxygen in blood. There is high concentration of heme in red meat, but it can also be found in plants. The company has discovered how to extract heme from plants and produce it using fermentation.   Though the plant based burger that bleeds is limited to a handful of cities and restaurants such as San Francisco’s Jardinière, it has repeatedly sold out since its debut.

The popularity of plant based alternatives to animal protein and vegetables as the main dish is catching on.  Whether it is concern over water and land resources or simply trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle the food industry is paying attention to what consumers want.  Tyson foods, the US’s largest meat processor in 2016 purchased a 5 percent stake in Beyond Meat, a company based in El Segundo, California that makes “meats” form protein sources like soy and peas.  

What is Old is New Again

Regenerative Grazing

Regenerative Grazing- The use of densely packed animals moving quickly through pastureland allows for soil-building events to occur.

Consumers are interested not only in where their food is coming from but that their food is being grown in a way that least harms the environment. Regenerative Grazing is the new buzz word coming out of the regenerative agriculture movement.  This growing movement involves farming practices that regenerate soil depleted of nutrients from planting crops.  The use of densely packed animals moving quickly through pastureland allows for soil-building events to occur. This is not a new method, rather the natural cycle performed by grazing herds for thousands of years. 

Chili Shot

More than Heat it’s Complex Global Flavors

Spicy  food is hotter than ever but consumers are looking beyond pure heat for flavor and complexity.  African Peri Peri pepper, North African Harissa, Korea’s sweet hot and savory Gochujang, China’s mouth numbing Sichuan peppercorn, Japan’s citrus spicy Yuzukosho and Togarashi,  Middle Eastern Skhug, South American Aji Amarillo and Aji Panca are global flavors of heat that will you’ll be seeing more of in the coming year. The regional flavor of heat as seen with Nashville Hot Sauce is already burning its way into the hearts of foodies as shown by the long lines to get into restaurants like LA’s Howlin’ Ray’s Nashville Hot Chicken.  

Sugary Drinks Are Out as Plant Water Grows in Popularity

Plant Water 2

Consumers the past decade have been moving away from sugary drinks and are looking to quench their thirst with plant waters.  The health conscious consumer feels good about a drink that comes from nature and may have benefits beyond hydration.  Vita Coco, a leading coconut water brand initially promoted the lower sugar, and potassium content, and electrolytes until they had to contend with a 2011 class action lawsuit regarding exaggerated claims. No matter, consumers find plant waters to be beneficial and consumption is on the rise.  The fight for shelf space will continue as other plant water beverages, (Drink Maple -Maple water, Calif water’s cactus water and  Arty Water –artichoke water)  try to copy coconut water’s success. 

Always Hungry

Kagome continually has its ear to the ground on food and flavor trends that affect the food industry so we may bring new and innovative ideas to our customers. We are hungry, curious and excited for our next meal, the next new flavor experience, our next opportunity to serve you!

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Kagome Asia

With 10 facilities and growing, Kagome has aggressively expanded operations from its base in Japan to Taiwan, China, and Malaysia. Kagome Japan has an exceptional commitment to quality, teamwork, science and technology. Kagome Japan is home to the world's largest privately held tomato seed bank with 7,500 varieties. It is also where many of our proprietary processes were nurtured and brought to fruition. Kagome Japan's core values are shared across its family of companies.

Capabilities in Asia include a colorful variety of fruit and vegetable products such as sauces, drinks, ready-to-eat meals and probiotics.

Kagome Australia

Kagome Australia is expanding into sauce production from tomato farming and processing. The opposite growing season in Australia gives us added flexibility. It will be the first fully vertically integrated operation in the Kagome family.

Kagome Europe

HIT, a Kagome subsidiary in Portugal, is based in a superb tomato growing region. These tomatoes are highly prized for their color and sweetness, which HIT turns into unique tomato ingredients and products. A newly established Agricultural Research Center studies new seed varieties and processing technologies in collaboration with other Kagome teams.

Kagome USA

Kagome USA has manufacturing and R&D facilities on both coasts, in California and Arkansas. Capabilities have evolved from pouched tomato sauces to include cream sauces, compound butters, margarines and spreads, and portion pack. With unmatched access to consistent tomato crops and other raw materials, the US operation is highly scaled, flexible, and efficient to meet global demands. United Genetics, a seed company based in California, recently joined the Kagome family.