10 Biggest Food Trends Of The Decade


This decade saw some remarkable changes in the way we eat. From niche dietary restrictions that became mainstream to people lining up for hours for the latest
Instagram-friendly dessert craze. Let’s take a look at the
most notable food trends of the past decade. Perhaps the purest way to punch up food, from eggs to chicken wings, is to add some spice. Sure, hot sauce has
been around for forever. But going into 2010, Bon Appétit magazine named sriracha the ingredient of the year, and we launched into the new decade with a newfound taste for
the next big hot sauce. Noah Chaimberg: The last
10 years have been great for hot sauce because we’ve
seen the establishment of what was really a nascent
craft-hot-sauce movement, where a lot of people who had started out working at farmers markets have now established brands that are on the scene. Craft hot sauce is here to stay. Nico Reyes: Listen, if
you do cook at home a lot, you need a good hot sauce. Lisa Paradise: You can add spice and flavor at the same time, and that is the beauty of
the hot-sauce revolution. Narrator: Hot sauce grew almost 25% between 2013 and 2017, with $700 million in sales in 2018. 41% of those sales were
from independent producers. So it’s clear we’ve come a long way from a bottle of Tabasco, and our mouths have never been happier
while still on fire. Alana Yzola: Mm! Medha Imam: That’s so hot. That’s so hot! Herrine Ro: I love the fact
that you can eat a hot sauce and have absolutely no idea
where it’s gonna take you. That we are expanding our flavor profiles, our palates, people. Lisa: Your mom would be so disappointed in you. And my mom would be so proud. Herrine: This is a trend that I will stand by until I die. Narrator: The mall food
court was never glamorous and has gone increasingly out of favor as mall traffic in general has declined. But the 2010s have gradually
replaced the notion with upscale, aesthetically
pleasing food halls, trucks, and stalls that
give you really good sampling of the food that that particular city has to offer. No more plastic trays
covered in Panda Express or Buffalo Wild Wings. Herrine: When you step into a food hall, you’re, like, stepping into Blockbuster when you are 6, and the movie options are limitless. Taryn Varricchio: Everyone
you’re with can get whatever they want. No one has to argue; no one has to waste time being indecisive. You just go to this one place, and they have all these options. Narrator: The 2008
recession also contributed to the rise of food trucks, with customers looking for cheaper food and restaurant owners looking
for less risky overhead. Ben Nigh: Food trucks
are a really good way for people to incubate and get their ideas out there. Kinda get their foot in the door. Narrator: With food
truck and stall markets like Smorgasburg in New
York and Los Angeles and Off the Grid in San Francisco, people can experience the food-hall vibe and try out plates from
a hodgepodge of vendors. Alana: I’m kind of known for getting a lot of little things and then trying it and then moving on. Maybe a small meal here, and
then you can [makes noise] cross the street or, like, cross the hall and then get another small thing, and then you have, like, a collection of a variety of foods. Narrator: The food-truck
industry as a whole has grown nearly 7% each year between 2014 and 2019, with vendors taking advantage of the rise in popularity to try out new concepts,
building a fan base before investing in a brick and mortar. Ben: Maybe someday all of, like, the big, empty parking
lots across Middle America will be turned into big
food-truck emporiums. Taryn: What a dream. Narrator: 10 years ago, naming the protein found in most grains was
more of a trivia question than a diet restriction
for most Americans, but it’s often based in
serious health concerns. Dominique McIntee: I have
a cousin who has celiac, and this was kind of before the time when it really blew up,
gluten-free options, and I remember back in the day, she had a really difficult time
finding viable options. Even though only about 1%
of Americans have celiac, an autoimmune disease that attacks the small intestine when ingesting gluten, there are a range of
less-serious gluten intolerances. A host of celebrities, from
Gwyneth Paltrow to Lady Gaga, also spoke out about
their wheat-free diets. The newfound interest in these foods has led to a 2019 market
for gluten-free products valued at $9.5 billion, up from $2.5 billion in 2010, with gluten-free products lining shelves and forcing restaurants
to make gluten-free alternatives available on menus. And if you thought the
world was winding down from gluten-free diets, think again. If there is one food this decade has really managed to
sink its creativity into, it’s desserts crossed
with, well, other desserts. Taryn: A hybrid dessert essentially combines two things in one. So it can be two desserts in one, or it can be a croissant with an everything-bagel seasoning and cream cheese inside, which this place called
Daily Provisions does, and it’s really good. Narrator: We’ve seen cake pops, Cronuts, Bronuts, crepe cakes, cookie and milk shots, churro cones, macaron ice cream
sandwiches, bubble waffles. Truly, the list goes on and on and on. Taryn: People are always
gonna try to be innovative with what they’re making, and combining two things that you know works is just smart. David Kemp: Charcuterie
started hundreds and hundreds of years ago, and that was just the art of preserving meat. Narrator: Gone are the days of sad plates of processed cheddar and crackers at your auntie’s parties. Taylor Rogers: Charcuterie is the art of doing, like, prepared and cured meats with cheeses and, like, nuts and crackers and fruit on, like, a
beautiful wooden board and then serving it to
all of your friends. Shayanne Gal: It used to be, you just take a regular platter of,
like, some, you know, day-old cheese and old meats and just pepperonis thrown on a plate, and now we have all of the add-ons. We have the special mustards, we got the special sauces. Nico: I love when people add
fruit, like, dried fruit. That’s a really good addition that’s, like, I don’t see too, too often. Celia Skvaril: It’s an art
form, and I appreciate it, and I don’t want to eat it because I don’t want to ruin it. But then I eat it
because it’s really good. Taylor: Like, when I walk
into a party and I see a good charcuterie board, I’m excited because I know that the host, like, put time into making that. David: By far, the last 10 years have been the best decade for
charcuterie in America. And, just, if you compare
it to 30 years ago, it’s easily five or 10
times as large as it was. Narrator: Another major
diet trend of the decade was an increased focus on vegetarian and plant-based products. The 2010s brought us more
awareness of animal cruelty, climate change, and health awareness, all of which contributed to this rise. No, that doesn’t mean you’re bound to see more humans ticking
“vegan” on dating apps. The actual number of American vegans is still around 3%, but a whole lot more
people are incorporating meat-free alternatives into their diets. Emily Hein: I’m definitely,
like, a fan of cutting down the amount of meat and
dairy that people eat, mostly for environmental
purposes. I like both. Narrator: Between 2017 and 2018, sales of vegan foods
increased 10 times more than food sales as a whole, with Beyond Meat burgers
and Impossible foods on the menu at food chains like KFC, Dunkin’, and Burger King. Medha: I eat halal, and
that means I have to eat meat that’s basically
blessed in a certain way. So, not many places in the United States serve halal food, and therefore veganism and the vegan movement has
actually really helped me. You want more from your food. Lisa: Exactly. And I feel like now, within the last 10 years,
since it’s taken off, my vegan friends can eat, at least in cities, can
eat almost anywhere. Because there is always an option that’s, like, a well-cooked vegan option. Narrator: Sales of substitute meat went up 451% in Europe in just four years, so while you may not
encounter many more vegans in the wild, “flexitarians,” or people who eat meat products in moderation, is set to be the new foodie
hashtag of the decade. In generations past, milk meant something that came from a cow, was bottled, and ended
up on your doorstep. But these days, whether it’s in a carton at your grocery store or whipped into a latte at a cafe, you’re probably going to have to specify when you ask for milk. Melia Russell: Let’s see
how many milks we can name in the next 10 seconds.
Irene Kim: Oh, my God. Macadamia. Melia: Rice. Irene: Soy. Melia: Almond. Uh, cashew. Coconut. Narrator: Humans have been making “milk” for centuries. But sales of nondairy milk
have more than doubled in the last decade, so much so that cow’s milk producers are petitioning the Food and Drug Administration to debate whether or
not something can even be called milk without coming from an animal that lactates. The double down on oat, soy, coconut, and other milk alternatives
is another trend that derives in part from
environmental awareness and the rise of flexitarianism. Cow’s milk requires a lot of land, water, and fertilizer to generate, not to mention cows’ methane outputs. Celia: Flat flavored water,
I feel like, is disgusting. Bubbly flavored water… Dominique: Yeah.
Celia: Is… Dominique: It adds a little zest. Narrator: Seltzer may be a fancy way of saying water with bubbles, but this very simple beverage is a $2.3 billion industry. Add some alcohol to the can, and you have yourself
a can of hard seltzer. Celia: It’s 12:59, so
I’m drinking a LaCroix. Anna Miller: The problem I have is White Claw taking over
all of the beer shelves in the bodegas and trying
to pretend that you’re a legitimate substitute for
beer, because you’re not. Trisha Bonthu: OK, well, first of all, there’s plenty of beers. Like, there’s so much room for beer. Like, it’s fine if they take
up a few shelves. You know? Celia: I only drink hard seltzer. It really doesn’t give
me as bad of a hangover. I would rather have this than a beer. Like, I like that it
only has 100 calories. Narrator: Competition to become the most beloved seltzer
has taken LaCroix, Spindrift, and White Claw to spin out both regular and alcoholic
cans of bubbly water. Even Four Loko is getting in on the game. Celia: I think it’s
interesting now, though, that these are available in bars, because for a while they weren’t. Things that go in and out
of style really quickly, they don’t bring it to bars. Trisha: I think if beer
companies invest in seltzer, they’re gonna make a lot more money. Narrator: Chef Alice Waters is credited with starting the
farm-to-table-restaurant movement back in the ’70s, and it wasn’t until this decade that it became commonplace, with urban farming making
it easier for people to access locally grown produce. Costal chains like Sweetgreen have made locally sourced food the norm, listing where each ingredient is farmed, giving us the sweet satisfaction of at least thinking we know where our food is coming from. Anne: They have on the
menu, like, the exact farm everything came from. This meat, these vegetables
are all in season and came straight from the farm. Tiffany Chang: You
know, even Five Guys has where our potatoes come
from for our chips. Anne: Our generation as
well has, like, shifted to a bigger focus on knowing
where your food comes from and also being healthier
with the options you choose. Although CBD has had a huge boom in the last few years,
it’s obviously not new. In fact, the first documented use of cannabis-derived products
for medicinal purposes dates back to 2737 BC. Marc Siden: CBD is a
naturally occurring compound of the cannabis and the hemp plant, and the hemp plant, although
it has a very low level of THC, predominately has a
nonpsychoactive compound. It’s been shown to really help with anxiety, inflammation, pain. Herrine: How do you feel about CBD? Alana: I love it! Anne: CBD is great because it just helps enhance that relaxation factor. I know people use it for different things, and you can do it a
number of different ways. You can drink it, you can eat it. Alana: They have
chocolate, they have candy, and there’s so much different variety. Narrator: With the
legalization of marijuana for recreational use in 11 states and for medical use in 33 states, public opinion of hemp-based products has seen a swift shift, and as a result, companies
have been more apt to start producing dosed foods. CBD in food and drink is
still illegal in some states, but that hasn’t stopped
companies from selling it. Marc: There are, you know, prescription medicinal benefits, there are everyday
benefits, and the science continues to get better,
and we’re wrapping it up in a nice presentation
so you could take it, you know, on a daily basis and enjoy it.

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