The Future of Food


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"The Future of Food," a trends report by Hong Kong based communications firm CatchOn, has identified macro movements, hot spots, personalities, ingredients, design trends and the buzzwords shaping the food scene today.

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The Future of Food

  2. 2. In interviews with chefs, restaurateurs, journalists, artists, gourmands, interior designers, food explorers and culinary culturists, CatchOn has shortlisted the influences shaping our relationship with food, identifying macro movements, hot spots, personalities, ingredients, design trends and the buzzwords shaping the food scene today. Many of these trends are driven by either abundance or scarcity, but all are fueled by a collective creative force unlike anything we’ve seen before. The Future of Food explores where food intersects with pop culture, personalities, traditions, technology, art and design. THE FUTURE of FOOD
  4. 4. Print publishing may be dwindling, but books centered on food – and not just your garden-variety cook books – are booming. Niche bookstores like Kitchen Art & Letters, Omnivore Books on Foods, Rabelais, Amber Unicorn, and Heirloom Book Company are thriving in the U.S. Foodzines – quirky specialty magazines dedicated to the art of food – like Kinfolk, Cereal, Fricote, Rocket and Frankie are gaining a cult following for their food spreads. Brooklyn’s Food Book Fair, The Ballymaloe Lit Fest of Food and Wine, and Oxford Food Festival are making rock stars out of chefs, food critics and commentators. Taschen and Phaidon’s verdant portfolio of culin-art books like Mugaritz: A Natural Science of Cooking by Andoni Luis Aduriz; The Art of Cooking With Vegetables by L’Arpege chef Alain Passard; and Faviken by Magnus Nilsson are both eye candy and mouth-watering. Rich in metaphors, cultural and historical references, food and literature is also proliferating in the classroom (Princeton University’s recent Literature & Food course and Oxford Gastronomica), carving its own genre in university syllabus. Whetherit’s gastronomes, foodzines or deftly illustrated cookbooks, our current food obsession has exploded from ourplates on to pages in a way that blends literature, art and photography. 01 FOOD for THOUGHT
  5. 5. 02 We have the Slow Food UK movement to thank for this trend. Their recent Forgotten Food program put the spotlight on small-scale quality produce “threatened by industrial agriculture, environmental degradation and homogenization.” While the Farm-to-Table movement is not new, the cooperatives, civic initiatives and subsidies such as this point to a growing trend that shows no signs of abating. The moniker “Forgotten” is brilliant -- it’s not about what’s rare but hints at what needs to be remembered and celebrated. In Philadelphia recently, the Festival of Forgotten Foods served up oyster stew and fried catfish with waffles to showcase Philly’s culinary heritage. Booths, a “proudly local food store” chain in the UK, created a list of Forgotten Foods putting once-endangered food products like unpasteurized Wensleydale cheese to tiny, sweet Morecambe Bay potted shrimp, back on the tables. Driving this trend: environmental concerns, a knack for nesting, heritage revival in face of urbanism and plain old nostalgia. From SLOW TO FORGOTTEN
  6. 6. Consumers are finding it increasinglyimportant to know the provenance of theirfood. It’s about reconnecting food and culture and a heightened awareness of what we put into ourbodies. Whole Foods are among the many retailers championing this, sourcing local products like beer, cheese and oysters, among many other items, to fill their shelves. As a result, people are spending more time and money on learning food techniques that were commonplace for their ancestors. Homemade yoghurt making, pickling, canning, utilizing stone-ground whole grains, home smoked fish, beekeeping, and rooftop gardening are among the top trends. A whole industry of artisanal food makers have sprouted. 03 BACK TO OUR ROOTS
  7. 7. As food supplies reach crisis proportions, entomaphogy(eating insects) will eventually become a more palatable practice. But it will be a long and arduous conversion process. While caterpillar casseroles, locust lasagnas and silkworm soufflés may leave many more wan than wanting, insects’ protein-rich diet is already making its way into livestock feed through companies like Enviro-Flight in the US, Entologics in Belgium and AgriProteins Technologies. It’s also gained steam among agri-academics and food fairs in the United States and Europe, while the practice is commonplace in China, Southeast Asia and Mexico. Intrepid diners can start sampling San Francisco-based Chapul’s cricket energy bars; toasted grasshoppers (chapulines) at Carte de Oaxaca in Seattle, and New York's Toloache; Hotlix’s “crickettes”; or Crispy Cajun Crickets at the Bug Appétit cafeteria in New Orleans; and Thai- seasoned crawlers at Sticky Rice in Chicago, and Typhoon in Santa Monica, California. Check out your culinary options at FAO’s Webportal of Edible Insects. 04 BITTEN BYTHE FOOD BUG
  8. 8. Almond milk was the fastest growing non-dairy milk alternative last year in both sales and popularity, experiencing a sales increase of 79%. So, what are dairy farmers doing to stay afloat? They are innovating their packaging, sizing and styles.  But this isn't doing enough - US milk sales have dropped to the lowest level since 1984, according to the US Department of Agriculture.   According to a new report from Packaged Facts, this was the result of increased consumer awareness of plant-based milk health benefits along with the growing popularity of veganism. Other popular non- dairy products include soy milk, rice milk, coconut milk, hemp milk, sunflower seed milk, and oat milk. almond milk soy milk hemp milk 05 NOT MILK?
  9. 9. Those of us who rely on the ability to book tables online, preview menus in advance, and order/pay for takeout all without ever having to speak to anyone (except for answering the door to collect your dinner) will be excited to learn that dining technology is just getting started. The tech world is hard at work creating apps that will further change our dining experiences, for the better of course! 06 FOOD APP and COMING
  10. 10. “What are the things people (us especially) are most excited ABOUT” NoWait is a Pittsburgh-based startup that has developed an app where customers may leave their information with the host, and opt to receiving a text message when their table is ready. Customers can also check their status in line through a provided link via text message where they can access, “What’s My Place”, in the line. The Melt in San Francisco encourages people to place orders for their grilled cheese sandwiches in advance through a mobile site. A QR code is then generated that allows customers to swipe and pick up their food on- the-go. To ensure quality, their customized grills are timed so that the food is ready in exactly 2 minutes after each order is swiped. Queuing and table management systems: Mobile ordering systems: Restaurants and fast-food outlets are exploring alternative payment methods to facilitate the checkout process. For example, customers can tap their smartphones or tablets or pay using apps for Google Wallet, Paypal, LevelUp and Square. While these options have become more apparent and available in the past year, studies have found most customers have not caught onto this trend. At Inamo in London, interactive tables allow customers to do everything from order meals, play games, watch the chefs prepare their food via a webcam, to ordering a taxi after their meal. Mobile and e-payment: Virtual menus available tableside: 07 FOOD APP and COMING
  11. 11. 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 Small Plates/Big Tables:  small plates usher in bigger shared tables Hi-Tech/Hi-Touch:  techno-digital blends with organic-tactile surfaces and finishes Materiality: Wood, Glass…and COPPER Hot Feature: Lighting continues to take center stage with sensual silhouettes like Zaha Hadid’s Avia and Aria lamps, Brokis & Lugi, and Arik Levy for Baccarat Say What? Acoustics, finally, becomes an integral part of design Give a Hand to: Artisanal tile makers, ceramicists, textile weavers, craftsmen refashioning pieces from rescued wood and found objects Public Kitchen Up Close and Personal: Chef’s counters Modular Furniture Green 08 10 DINING-IN-DESIGN TRENDS
  12. 12. Rise of the “pint-size gourmands”, kids are turning food critics. Children as young as five are now writing and talking about food. David Pines (writer of Pines Picks: A Kid’s Guide to the Best Things to Eat and Drink in New York City) and Eli Knauer (Adventures of a Koodie) are just a couple who have already made a name for themselves in the US, but will we see the same in Asia and Europe? Following the success ofJuniorMasterChef, kids’ cooking shows have appeared all around the world. These TV programs have played a majorpart in shaping a trend where we’re seeing children begin theirimpressive culinaryjourneys from a veryyoung age. Children’s cooking classes are nothing new but these programs have also developed into one of the hottest trends in upscale culinary travel. In recent months, hotels and resorts around the world have launched culinary classes and programs for kids. Hyatt is known to be a pioneer in the development of kids’ cooking classes on vacation and The Peninsula Beverly Hills has also recently launched the Young Pastry Chefs program. Kids are increasingly invading the kitchen and in turn, learning more about what they're putting in their bodies and the origins of that food. This is part of a bigger global movement by parents who want their children to adopt healthier diets. Foodie Kids Kids in the Kitchen Cooking Classes NEXT GENERATION GOURMANDS 09
  13. 13. “Sleep on the floor if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go.” Anthony Bourdain
  14. 14. CULINARY TOURISM “The question isn’t whetherculinarytourism is growing – which it is, exponentially. It’s how it’s growing.” Peter Greenberg, CBS News Travel Editor Been There/Done That Food & Wine Tours Italy & France Farm-to-Table Cooking with Chefs Trips arranged by ‘travel agents’ Eating before going to the airport International food guides Next Up Walking tours of back alley street food & markets South America Agro-Tourism Foraging/Hunting with Chefs Trips guided by food anthropologists Airports as culinary destinations Local food & travel blogs/forums 11
  15. 15. HOT! UPCOMING! Portland Lima Beirut Tel Aviv Barcelona Copenhagen Bangkok Brooklyn Marrakesh Melbourne Singapore Chengdu Ho Chi Minh Manila Shanghai Dubrovnik Istanbul Ljubljana 12 São Paolo La Paz CULINARY TOURISM
  16. 16. These 10 cities ranked the top of the list as hot food tourist destinations. People are traveling to these cities to explore the vibrant food culture, discovernew ideas and concepts, sample the best of street food culture, taste organic and locallysourced produce and ultimatelyembark on a culinary adventure. Bangkok for owning the street food movement Barcelona for giving the Catalan region yet another reason to break away from Spain Brooklyn for its abundance of small, seasonal and uber- stylish joints Copenhagen for championing ‘local’ and ‘organic’ restaurants while never compromising on design and interiors Lima for 500 years of fusion influence and amazing indigenous ingredients Marrakesh for enabling diners to enjoy a hookah pipe all the while eating fine French cuisine blended with local spices Melbourne for its multicultural influences, variety of affordable restaurants and quality inner-city food markets Portland for being arguably the most original gastronomic destination in America, where you can eat everything from food- truck feasts to affordable tasting menus Singapore for its remarkable food revival over the last few years, including everything from hawker centers to Michelin-starred private kitchens Tel Aviv for its blend of European and Middle Eastern cafe culture and a mod-Med movement 10 DINING DESTINATIONS 13 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10
  17. 17. Theymaynot be travelling there yet, but foodies should keep these destinations on theirradar. 14 10 EMERGING EPICUREAN CAPITALS Beirut for its rich farms, orchards, vineyards and waters Chengdu for having arguably the spiciest food in the world (next to Indian cuisine of course) Dubrovnik for embracing the best of both Western and Eastern European cuisines Ho Chi Minh for its cheap eats, ever popular pho, and first-rate coffee Istanbul for combining flavors from all the countries in south east Europe, the Middle East and Africa La Paz for its biological diversity in terms of agricultural produce Ljubljana for its incredible produce, wines and seafood; a perfect mix of Balkan and European influences Manila for being a food-loving culture and melting pot where an economic boom could hopefully and finally trigger a culinary revival São Paolo for putting Brazilian food back on the map, thanks to a new generation of chefs who focus on local ingredients and tradition Shanghai for having the world’s best soup dumplings next door to a modern Michelin- starred restaurant 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10
  18. 18. Julia Child “You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces — just good food from fresh ingredients”
  19. 19. Sriracha This essential condiment has moved beyond spicing up Asian soups, noodles and stir-fries to being incorporated into a variety of cuisines and dishes Ginger For leading the charge in the Asian-ization of world cuisine Fresh Kaffir Lime Leaves For their incredible aromas and adding subtle but distinct flavor to dishes Sticky Rice The possibilities are endless and it is an ingredient that finds its way into a worldly array of cuisines Rice Flour All of a sudden everywhere on menus, adding a peppery hit to ceviches, as a garnish for short ribs, or as a topping for smoked salmon tartines Ancient Grains Expect these grains to be featured in food promoted for their protein content Sardines Because eating them doesn’t deplete the food supply chain and the little guys are packed with nutrients Kimchi Kimchi will continue making its way onto restaurant menus. Expect to see it appearing with surprising partners Horseradish This tingly ingredient is popping up on menus all over the place. Move over wasabi, there’s a new player in town Rhubarb A vegetable that beautifully masquerades as a fruit. It’s easy to grow, store and create an endless array of dishes with 10 HOT INGREDIENTS 16
  20. 20. Mimolette Passion fruit Peruvian potatoes Pu-erh Tea Purity Farm Organic Ghee Sambal Belacan Sherry Vinegar Sriracha Tasmania winter truffle Valrhona chocolate Yunnan ham Yuzu 479° Popcorn Acquerello rice Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Christine Ferber for Pierre Herme’s Ispahan Jam Coriander Cortas rosewater Cumin Ermes Torricelli Aceto di Balsamico Fage Greek yogurt Il Boschetto Arrabbiata Dipping Oil Iranian saffron Maldon salt HOT PANTRY In the pantry and shopping lists of world-class foodies 17
  21. 21. Andrew Tarlow for understanding that people care about what they’re eating and the people behind the ingredients David Thompson for rediscovering old ingredients and staying true to tradition Ferran Adria for what he’ll do for the future of food with his foundation Ben Shewry for his curiosity and natural inclination towards the foraged and found Heston Blumenthal for his inventive approach to cuisine Elena Arzak for being the future of a Basque culinary institution Enrique Olvera for making Mexican food more than just tacos & burritos The Roca brothers whose combined skills have put Girona in the global dining map Claus Meyer for championing  the cuisine of Bolivia, blending avant-garde cooking methods with local ingredients Imtiaz Qureshi for reviving India’s royal culinary traditions 18 22 HOT PERSONALITIES
  22. 22. Seiji Yamamoto for his boundary- pushing ideas Manish Mehrotra for delivering an authentic yet fresh and quirky culinary adventure Yoshihiro Narisawa for making the topic of sustainability and sourcing especially relevant Rene Redzepi for championing food terroir Massimo Bottura for his maverick approach to modern Italian gastronomy Malcolm Lee for modernising Peranakan cuisine Yoshihiro Murata for pure refinery and attention to quality Magnus Nilsson for showing that it’s possible to eat out of your snow-filled backyard Paul Pairet for his highly personal and completely original cuisine Yotam Ottolenghi for marrying exuberance with serenity 19 22 HOT PERSONALITIES
  23. 23. HOT! HOT! HOT!HOT! HOT! HOT! HOT! HOT! HOT! HOT! Localized Pickling Service Small plates Small producers Umami Vegan South America Ethnic fusion Non-endangered species Urban Farming Diversity Domestic Experiential Flavors Farm Fresh Fermentation Heirloom Heritage Grains Homemade Organic International foods 20 FOOD WORDS
  24. 24. Bacon Bordeaux Cow’s Milk Cupcakes Degustation Egg Froths Frozen Yogurt Gluten-Free Offal Molecular Gastronomy Reinvented fast food Shark’s FinSoda stream Truffle Oil OVERDONE FoamsSoda stream Bistronomique 21 FOOD WORDS
  25. 25. ABOUT Us At CatchOn, being a committed foodie is almost a job requirement. Over the years, we’ve grilled Asia’s leading chefs, turned sommeliers into celebrities and hosted our share of power breakfasts. Like our favourite restaurants, CatchOn provides a unique menu as a brand and creative PR consultancy offering integrated services that include brand development, market research and media relations. Based in Hong Kong and with offices in Shanghai and Beijing, over the years we’ve spiced up brands, cooked up creative ideas, stirred up media interest, and made the unsavoury palatable. With special thanks to our contributors and respondents: CFC, PC, AR, NK, CF, AW, CW, JG, KV, JL, CN, JN, NM, PB, YJ, RL, SN, IB, BC, LT, JC, FKK, RB, KL, LG, KF, JW, MK, BR, AC, GL, MC, PP, AB, JCK, AC, VT, CL, MG, CY, PL, TR, NB, JC, AS, VL, ITYC, AS, LF, CS, MH, CC, EA, OF, JJA, SJ, BP, SL and DH. Who is CatchOn?