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Kim Severson On The Art And Social Science Of Food Trends

Kim Severson forecasts meatballs will continue to be big in food trends in 2018.
Kim Severson forecasts meatballs will continue to be big in food trends in 2018.
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Are cake pops a momentary fad, or are these hand-held, one-bite desserts indicative of a larger trend?

As it turns out, food trend forecasting is as much an art as it is a social science, according to Kim Severson. Based in Atlanta, Severson covers the nation’s food culture for The New York Times. She joined Lois Reitzes on “City Lights” to parse the distinction between food fads (like the Cronut) and trends (like farm-to-table fare).

Here are a few of Severson’s predictions for 2018, along with some selected commentary:

  • Meatballs will continue to be big.
  • Poke could “see a severe drop-off … because good, fresh fish is hard to do well.”
  • Cannabis in cooking: With increased legalization and decriminalization across the United States, cannabis-flavored and cannabis-infused foods will likely see a bump in popularity.
  • Food Delivery: With Amazon’s recent purchase of Whole Foods, the race to get groceries (along with meal kits and take-out food) will heat up.
  • Nutritional Powders like collagen and turmeric will continue to make their way into our smoothies.
  • Brown Butter everywhere.

But molten chocolate cakes? They’re timeless.

Learn more about food trend forecasting from Severson’s 2016 article for The New York Times here.