by Nicki Wood
Now that we are three whole days into the new year, what do the food prognosticators expect for the year ahead? According to allrecipes.com, cooking and mobile devices will continue to converge. The site's visits from mobile devices surged 340 percent in 2010. Site visitors were usually finding recipes (of course) but also creating shopping lists, which gives me a vivid picture of people standing in the produce aisle doing the bowed-head iPad prayer.
Ethnic food continues to trend, as people re-create restaurant flavors in their own kitchens. Shopping at locally owned producers is up — that's not necessarily news to Bites readers — but the prediction is that nonfoodies are making it a habit to buy from the baker, the chocolatier and the local coffeehouse. And the butcher, 'cept we don't have one at the moment.
Gadgets that were once limited to project cooks and others serious about food prep are now much more likely to be in the average kitchen. Meat thermometers were the top gadget followed by silicone spatula sets and Microplane graters.
Speaking of gadgets, countertop appliances took a bigger share of cooking tasks, with the blender leading the way. The slow cooker, microwave and bread machine also saw big year-on-year gains in usage as reported by the cooks themselves. (I know I'm using a countertop oven for bigger and bigger tasks to avoid turning on the big oven.)
As mentioned previously in trends, pie was hot — page views on allrecipes for pie were up 30 percent in 2010 over 2009.
Drinking at home and entertaining at home continue to rise in popularity. Fifty-six percent of respondents said they're drinking more frequently at home to save money, and 22 percent said they're entertaining more at home. That's expected to continue in 2011.
See the entire allrecipes 2011 trend list here.
Over at foodchannel.com, the top prediction is the comeback in canning, as more people grow their own, or buy produce when local supplies are abundant.
Second on the foodchannel.com list is "men in aprons" — men have tripled the amount of time they spend in the kitchen since 1970. The authors assume laid-off and partially employed men are doing the cooking while women work longer hours in the "she-conomy." I also see a lot of men cooking because they like it — two men in my extended family are the cook in their household.
Foodchannel.com expects to see more chefs getting involved in school cafeterias in 2011 and increased parental involvement in healthier food for students. At the other end of the age spectrum, 2011 is predicted to be a year when aging Americans continue their quest for health-prolonging diets.
Read the full story here
In all this crystal-ball gazing, where are you — on the curve, ahead of it, or somewhere else?