Food, Dining and Fitness Trends We’ll See in 2015 - Food Service Matters
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Food, Dining and Fitness Trends We’ll See in 2015

85Cannabis cuisine, ugly veggies and fermented food will be big.

By Melinda Johnson

Will 2015 be the year of ugly vegetables, fermented food and high-intensity interval training? Experts are beginning to weigh in on 2015 trends, and there are some interesting predictions that indicate we’re expanding our palates and yearning for changes to our exercise regime. Here are some of the top predictions for food, restaurant and fitness trends:

2015 Food Trends
Grazing golden agers. People enjoying their golden years in 2015 – that is, those born in 1950 or earlier – are going rogue when it comes to their snacking habits, according to food trends expert Phil Lempert, aka “the supermarket guru.” Raised on three square meals a day, this generation is becoming more comfortable with snacking and will continue to shift to more grazing during the day rather than traditional meals. However, this age group will also be picky about which snacks make the cut – preferring to opt for snacks that offer some nutritional value, such as high-protein sunflower seeds or whole-grain popcorn.

Cannabis cuisine. According the the Sterling-Rice Group, edible marijuana food products will be hot in the upcoming year in states where it’s legal. The ingredient will show up in the classic cannabis-infused brownie, but will also make appearances in more unique food products, like bottled cold-brewed coffee drinks.

Ugly vegetables get their moment. Reducing food waste is becoming a social issue that many have embraced, and consumers will be more willing to use the misshapen and ugly-looking fruits and vegetables they would typically bypass, according to the Sterling-Rice Group. Ugly root vegetables, such as kohlrabi and parsnips, will be replacing potatoes in many dishes as people yearn for different flavors, according to restaurant consultants Baum & Whiteman.

2015 Restaurant Trends
Asian flavors everywhere. Restaurants will be expanding their selections of Asian-inspired cuisine to meet consumer demand for new, complex flavors and more authentic regional dishes, according to food research firm Technomic. Korean-influenced flavors will be hot, as will upscale Japanese ramen dishes and traditional Thai and Vietnamese meals, especially street-food dishes.

Fermented food frenzy. Americans are becoming more willing to dabble in the unique tastes of fermented foods, spurred by health reports that these foods help colonize the gut bacteria and lead to better digestive health. International restaurant consultants Baum & Whiteman predict “fermented” will become a restaurant buzzword in 2015. Kimchi, fermented sauerkraut and kombucha will become more mainstream on menus.

Old world cooking techniques. Our demand for new dining experiences is making the old new again, and according to restaurant and hospitality consultants Andrew Freeman & Co., chefs will be using old world cooking techniques to flavor vegetable dishes. It’s an effort to add flavor without added fat.

2015 Fitness Trends
HIITs are hot. High-intensity interval training, called HIIT for short, is an exercise program that uses short but very intense bursts of exercise, followed by short recovery periods, and it will continue to rock the fitness world in 2015, according to a survey released by the American College of Sports Medicine. The sessions are typically 30 minutes or less, and fans of the technique love it for its efficiency.

Men doing yoga. While yoga has become a fairly mainstream fitness activity, it hasn’t yet caught on as much for men. However, this trend was big at the recent IDEA World Fitness Conference, and 2015 may see more of the male gender practicing their sun salutations. Men are catching on that yoga can be an ideal form of exercise for those suffering from a sports-related injury, and it also helps improve balance and reduce stress.

Body weight training. In an effort to avoid reliance on machines and have more flexibility to work out anywhere, people are becoming more attracted to the benefits of body weight training, according the ACSM survey. Body weight training utilizes back-to-basics exercises such as push-ups and lunges, and best of all – it’s free!

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