What are the hottest culinary trends of 2016? It depends on who you ask. Any way you slice it, the food & beverage trends of 2016 will not disappoint. We’ve compiled the latest and greatest insights from industry experts and summarized them into a comprehensive guide. Be careful not to drool on your keyboard!

12 Global Food and Beverage Trends

Nation’s Restaurant News and Mintel share their insights behind 12 global food and beverage trends – a must read.  According to Mintel, active lifestyles are trendy, and so are foods that provide energy, hydration, and protein.  Mintel also shares the importance of food marketing – advising consumer packaged goods marketers to experiment with vibrant colors and novel shapes to make products worthy of social media posts.

Jelly Donut Milkshake

9 Fast Food Trends

According to Quick Service Restaurant (QSR), one trend getting more attention than any other is clean eating. Clean eating is defined as food made with ingredients free of additives, antibiotics, and other artificial components. Just this past fall, Panera Bread, Subway, and other fast food companies announced their plan to drop artificial ingredients from their menus.

Panera Web Slider

Flavor Forecast for 2016

McCormick, a global leader in flavor, recently unveiled its 2016 flavor forecast. Among the emerging trends is a spotlight on Southeast Asian notes, specifically, Malaysian and Filipino flavors. McCormick says they are responding to the evolution of our insatiable appetite for spice. Rendang Curry, a Malaysian spice paste, and Pinoy BBQ, a popular Filipino street food, will deliver on bold new falvors. As for proteins, quinoa has been the protein-packed darling of ancient grains for quite some time, but now, cranberry beans and black beluga lentils are quickly rising to the top.

Curry

Technomics Takes on Food Trends

According to Technomics, burned menu items is yet another trend. These include menu items such as charred fruits and vegetables, desserts with burnt sugar toppings, and cocktails featuring smoked salt, and smoked ice or syrups.

Burnt Carrots

Top 10 beverage trends

Restaurant Hospitality reports on top beverage trends including cocktails with fresh herbs & spices, shim cocktails, fermented drinks and smoked cocktails such as this Smoked Negroni served over smoked ice cubes.

Smoked Negroni Cocktail

Whole Foods Market Experts Forecast Top 10 Food Trends

On Whole Food’s trend list are off-beat and more sustainable seafood species such as responsibly-farmed Paiche and wild-caught blue catfish.

Paiche Plate

Pinterest Predicts These Food and Drink Trends

On Pinterest’s list are avocado oil, pour-over coffee, and beertails.

pintrest

20 Trends Chefs Expect in 2016

Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN) predicts these 20 trends including ethnically-inspired breakfast items, as well as some overall menu trends for 2016, including savory hybrid burgers.

Chipotle-salmon-burger

Which savory, trendy item sounds good to you? My niece in Chicago recently told me gourmet hybrid burgers are all the rage in The Windy City. She sent me this recipe for Toasted Pecan, Cranberry, and Gorgonzola Turkey Burgers – on my list to make this week.

Last but not least, if you have an appetite to learn more about food news and insights, then bookmark these two sources for an ongoing, up-to-date feed. *pun intended*

Nation’s Restaurant News Food Trends

The Huffington Post Food Trends