As we try to retrain our brains to write the correct year on our paperwork, it is also the moment when the prognosticators begin to announce the “new food trends for next year.”
In 2014 tea was a common entry on these lists. The Food Channel predicted we’d see more “low tea” due to the influence of Downton Abbey. NPR prepared us to see tea as an ingredient in a wider range of foods, from desserts to entrees to cocktails. Others, like CBS News, believed that Starbucks’ influence would bring more interest to sipping tea on a regular basis. Will tea still feel the love in 2015?
It seems so. TakePart was one of the first to release their trends list and several notes made tea seem like a strong bet for the year ahead. They noted that Asian cuisine would grow in popularity, particularly Korean, Vietnamese and Filipino dishes. Tea is bound to benefit from this rising interest. “Bitter” is the flavor of the year according to Technomics, noting that consumers are favoring darker coffees and chocolates and hoppier beers. These flavor profiles are well represented in tea, leading to potential new audiences.
Tea was one of the top four trends noted for “health nuts” in the TakePart list. Matcha received a big mention for its antioxidants. Kombucha also received a nod in the list of healthful fermented foods. Business Insider also reported matcha as a top pick based on a report from consultants Baum + Whiteman.
Specialty Food News has also released its picks for 2015 and one category was called “Tea’s Time.” They believed that celebrity-backed teas like Oprah Chai, Starbucks’ investment into Teavana and David’s Tea’s spread were sure signs of growing interest.