Will These 11 Food Trends of 2011 Survive in 2012?

Everything has its trends, whether it be fashion, technology or music, and food is no different. Now that we are celebrating a new year and 2012 is here, do you think any of the following food trends will last throughout this year, too? Here are some of my thoughts regarding the food trends of 2011.

  1. Bacon — Everything tastes better with bacon, right? In 2011, chocolate was even found paired with bacon. I love bacon like anyone else, but remember this should fall into the “occasional” food list because of the higher fat, saturated fat and sodium content of bacon.
  2. Organic — I do my best to incorporate organic foods into our meal plan to avoid chemical pesticides and hormones. Organic food products somehow became synonymous with health last year. This is not necessarily true because someone could make a dessert with lots of organic butter and organic sugar that would be filled with empty calories.
  3. Paleo DietThis diet is “based on the simple understanding that the best human diet is the one to which we are best genetically adapted,” using foods available prior to the Agricultural Revolution like fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and seafood and excluding dairy products, grains and sugars. Not a bad way to restructure your diet and include more healthier food options that most people are lacking . Just remember that with any diet or meal plan, it has to work for you for the long haul.
  4. Gluten Free — Products without gluten became quite popular due to the increased awareness of gluten intolerances and Celiac disease.
  5. Quinoa — Speaking of gluten-free, quinoa is a gluten-free whole grain that also consists of a complete protein. It is a delicious and healthy food choice that you should try.
  6. Coconut Water — This natural, potassium-rich drink became popular as an after-workout recovery drink. In the end though, it will help with potassium intake, but it is not naturally high in sodium, which is what we lose most when we sweat. Therefore, unless you are an athlete, regular water is probably your best. Unless you are just enjoying it for flavor like me, since I grew up with it as a child.
  7. Green Tea — This antioxidant-filled beverage is great cold or hot.
  8. Vegans, Vegetarians and Flexitarians — Since it’s a diet that is structured around produce, as a dietitian of course I like it. Just make sure you learn how to get some lean protein in, too.
  9. Cake Pops — So good and indulgent and at least they are little. Remember not to overdo it with these sweet treats. They are too cute, aren’t they?
  10. Sliders — There are the old-school sliders that we all know of in hamburger form, but now there are mini sandwiches in all forms, from chicken to fish to veggies.
  11. Cleansing, Juicing or Detoxification Diets — These must be thought of as a temporary diet or meal plan, since they will not keep you sustained for the long run. There are many other ways you can detoxify your body; try drinking more water or exercising regularly.

Looking back, 2011 reflected a mix of food trends — from culinary nostalgia (bacon, sliders and cake pops) to food activism (organic, vegetarian) and our never-ending quest for the holy grails of health (Paleo diet, green tea).

Did I miss any of your favorites? Do you have any ideas for what 2012 will bring us? Do you think any of these food trends are here to stay? I’ll be blogging on what to look out for in 2012 later this week, so keep your eyes peeled. Happy New Year!

Update: My 10 Food-Trend Predictions for 2012

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