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USA Today had a piece the other day looking at the top 12 food trends likely to dominate the nation’s food culture, based on what its reporters saw at the recent Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. Among them:

• Salt: “Forget Morton. If it's not Himalayan or Northwest Indian Salish-inspired, alder-smoked, it's so 20th century. Salt's in chocolate, on caramels, and sailing off store shelves. It's the finishing touch to multiple dishes.”

• Artisan chocolate: “Small producers who carefully source their cocoa beans are turning out chocolate bars that can cost as much as a mega-bag of M&M's, but taste a lot better.”

• Korean food.

• Quick response (QR) codes.

• Seaweed. “It's one of the hottest trends in West Coast lunchrooms and starting to take off nationwide.”

• Better and tastier gluten-free options.

• DIY. “The public fascination with how our food is made shows up not only in a hundred food shows on TV, but also kits that help people create foods that seem out of reach. These do-it-yourself food kits contain all the ingredients and detailed instructions, making the novice a pro in the kitchen.”

• The butcher renaissance. “When people are paying a lot of money for their meat they want someone selling it to them who really knows the cuts and how to prepare them.”

• Food trucks.

• Drugstores as food stores. “Stores are branching out beyond snack foods and cookies. Duane Reade stores in New York have installed specialty food areas in their stores, and Walgreens is branching out with more fresh and prepared foods to go.”

• Healthy snacks. “Snacks today don't have to simply taste good, they also have to be good for you. Store shelves are starting to sport an array of chips and other snack foods with inventive, healthier ingredients.”

• Pickles. “The lowly American pickle is staging a big comeback in the East and South. There's old-fashioned chow-chow pickle relish, artisan cucumber pickles and a host of cultured products, the result of lactic acid fermentation, that would make an Amish housewife proud, if a little puzzled.”
KC's View:
The one I find most interesting in this list is the “DIY” trend ... it seems to me that this is one that can get adapted by a lot of marketers at both the retailer and manufacturer levels.