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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Food Forward: Top 5 food trends this new year and beyond

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San Miguel Foods Culinary Center (SMFCC) unveiled a mouthwatering glimpse into the culinary landscape of 2024 and beyond during its “Food Forward” event.

The immersive experience wasn’t just a feast for the senses, but a window into the trends shaping our future plates.

San Miguel Foods Culinary Services Manager Llena Tan-Arcenas discussed how technology has influenced and transformed culinary experiences in the past couple of years.

“In recent years, technology, including social media, has played a significant role in connecting people from all over the world. With this, culinary interests have expanded, and many of us have become food enthusiasts in search of diverse flavors. Through this event, we want to further encourage connections through food,” she said.

“While we focused on five specific upcoming trends, what is common and timeless to all, is an emphasis on quality and the ability of food and beverages to give delight–which are all hallmarks of San Miguel products,” Arcenas added.

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Halo-halo bingsu style

Sustainable Dining

As people become more aware of the environmental impact of food choices, a wave of innovative and delicious sustainable dining trends is rising. Consumers are taking the reins, pushing for choices that respect the planet and minimize waste while nourishing their bodies.

Under sustainable dining is the climatarian diet, which emphasizes low environmental impact, promotes plant-forward choices, and highlights the use of local and seasonal ingredients.

For the event, SMFCC creatively translated the sustainable dining trend in two distinct ways. One highlight was Hipong Kabute with Tajin Pickled Mango and Yuzu Soy Glaze—a plant-based seafood crafted from king mushrooms coated. This dish was complemented by yuzu soy glaze and Tajin pickled green mangoes served over crispy nori-rice wrappers.

Healthspan Wellness

In response to the United Nations’ projected demographic shift, consumers are increasingly opting for foods that are beneficial for their health, with vibrant flavors and colors offering functional advantages such as energy, focus, and relaxation. This trend is centered around a plant-based approach, incorporating ingredients such as mushrooms, botanicals, florals, exotic fruits, tropical flavors, protein alternatives, and fermented foods.

Capturing this trend, SMFCC presented Meat-free Adobo Floral Salad with Lychee Beer Vinaigrette, a blend of greens and edible flowers paired with Veega Meat-Free Adobo Flakes, as well as Meat-Free Tapa Iloko Beer-ria, combining the flavors of a local favorite, Iloko empanada, with Mexican-style birria.

Meat-free tapa Iloko beer-ria

Borderless Global Flavors

Motivated by a craving for adventure and communal experiences, consumers are engaging in a worldwide culinary journey. Showcasing diverse cultures and regional gastronomy, current popular global trends include third-culture cuisine, Balkan cuisine, the global influence of local ingredients, the spice heist, and enhanced convenience.

SMFCC presented five distinctive dishes to showcase global flavors, beginning with Pinoy Mezze, a Filipino twist on Balkan-inspired appetizers; Smoked Keso, Kangkong & Luncheon Meat Banitsa—a flaky and filling Bulgarian-inspired cheese pie of filo pastry stuffed; Caldereta Goulash—a savory Hungarian-style stew, Chicken Bola-Bola Kofta—a richly-spiced meatball dish that drew inspiration from Balkan, Middle Eastern, and South Asian culinary influences; and Okoy Chicharon Bulaklak with Rose Water Turmeric Pinakurat Puree and Rose Water Gin Caviar.

Retro Revival and Newstalgia

Comfort food gets a makeover. This yearning for yesterdays has ignited a retropolitan food trend, bringing back beloved brands and flavors from childhood, reminding us of simpler, happier times. But it’s not just about reliving the past; “newstalgia” infuses these classics with modern twists, creating fresh memories alongside the comforting echoes of before.

In line with this trend, SMFCC introduced dishes like Pancit Pares with BBQ ala Liempo, a modern take on the Filipino staple. The traditional pandesal was also elevated through Beer Pandesal with Smoke-infused Cheese and Calamansi Honey Marmalade.

Little Luxe

This trend focuses on pampering and self-care, embracing vibrant flavors and colors to evoke feelings of luxury and happiness. Its goal is to enhance everyday experiences by infusing basic ingredients with global flavors.

SMFCC embraced this trend by crafting four distinct sweet treats. First was Kamote Bicho-Bicho with Cinnamon Hot Honey, showcasing a fluffy Filipino version of a sugar donut. Next was the Halo-Halo Bingsu Style, a milk-based and Earl Grey tea-infused shaved ice dessert topped with grated Magnolia Cheezee. Blending traditional Pinoy halo-halo with Korean bingsu, this dessert featured colored glutinous rice balls over a chocolate-lined edible container, with fluffy shaved ice.

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