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As the New Year Looms, Top Trends for 2016 Emerge

It’s almost the end of 2015. Companies are finishing up their holiday parties, employees are setting their out-of-office notices and business takes a short-yet-needed respite. The month of December brings with it ugly sweater contests and holiday contents, and perhaps most of all, lists letting us know what’s going to be big in 2016. Fortunately, we at the Food Institute aren’t the only ones looking ahead.

Experts at Whole Foods Market believe that uncommon meat and seafood will be the biggest trend of 2016, as lesser-known meats and seafood options make their move from high-end restaurant menus to hometown America’s kitchens. The trend is thought to be accelerated by heightened awareness around food waste alongside an increased and renewed interest in artisan butchers. Popular picks like salmon, tuna and shrimp will be partially replaced by responsibly farmed paiche and wild-caught blue catfish.

Pinterest notes that avocado oil is set to replace coconut oil at the top of the health food chain, noting it can be used to replace mayonnaise in many recipes. The social media site also found the switch from sweet to savory and do-it-yourself artisan olive oils to be popular topics for those looking ahead into the new year.

In the foodservice sector, the removal of tipping is considered to be a top trend for 2016. The Food Channel believes that Joe’s Crab Shack, the first major chain to test a no-tipping policy, and the popularity of Danny Meyer and his advocacy of the process, will propel the program to a number of chains nationwide. Just make sure to watch out for “hospitality included” charges on your bill.

Although digital seals continue to grow, brick-and-mortar stores can still survive by adding fewer new outlets. Instead, they can begin to focus on omni-channel options in 2016, according to Software AG’s 10 Disruptive Digital Trends Retailers Need to Know report. Software AG also predicted that customer-centric personalization, differentiation by price and real-time inventory visibility will be major trends in 2016.

If you’re looking for other 2016 food trends, don’t hesitate to check out a recording of our recent webinar “What to Look for in 2016” featuring Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert. Just click here.

From all of us at the Food Institute, we wish you a happy holiday season and a healthy and prosperous 2016!