by Weber Shandwick

When it comes to food, Australians are considered to have some of the most sophisticated palettes in the world. But according to Food Forward – an annual food trend report – our food choices in 2014 are going to become more diverse with new and different influences from around the world and unique food combinations keeping our taste buds satisfied.

The findings from Food Forward, published by Weber Shandwick and unveiled today, forecast the biggest food trends for 2014. The report was collated from food experts nationwide, including food editors, chefs, bloggers, nutritionists and senior business executives, plus a survey of more than 1,000 Australian consumers.

As a food-lover, keen cook and wannabe foodie, I jumped at the chance to share a taster of what’s in stall for 2014 via the Weber Shandwick blog. And in a nutshell, (excuse pun) it all boils down to seven (very) different trends.  Here are my favourite four:

The Demise of International Flavour Boundaries 

We’re likely to see an explosion of creativity on our plates from the continued rise of South American and Korean cuisine. “Mutant dishes” like sushi tacos, ramen burgers and Italian burritos are also expected to be big hits.

Wholesome Home-Cooking Prevails

Home cooks will continue to relish in entertaining friends and family at home this year. This is also impacting our dining out preferences, with nearly half of Australians surveyed (48%) rating home style cooking as their favoured dining experience, followed by shared plates (24%) and fine dining coming in at only 19%.

With this, restaurateurs are predicted to take advantage of a growing preference for casual dining, and food experts expect to see a rise in simpler menus and single-item restaurants. Great news for people who tend to agonise about what to choose on the menu.

Gourmet Getaway

It seems we’ve become so food savvy in Australia that we’re now selecting holiday destinations based on their food and wine offerings. The ‘gourmet getaway’ as its aptly been coined is a result of one in three Australians already travelling to destinations, purely because they’re renowned for delicious cuisine.

Technology Takeover

In this day and age, technology is at the forefront of everything we do. And as Food Forward has shown, with food it’s no different. It seems we’re moving closer towards a desire for single-item technology such as all-in-one kitchen appliances. Nearly one quarter (24%) of people surveyed voted this (all-in-one kitchen appliance) as their top kitchen item this year. Food experts predict a rise in simple and more innovative, culinary technology to create the ultimate kitchen of convenience.

On a personal note, I’m pleased to share that experts are also predicting a rise in genuine free-range products, organic produce and grain fed meat as Aussies opt to favour what I like to call “Farmer Friendly” diets.  This however, is causing shoppers quite a conundrum. While there is a clear desire to support local farmers and to know how and where it has been farmed, our household budgets are the final decider in the purchase.

This is only scratching the surface. But if you’re interested to find out about the other trend clusters including The Rejected Vegetable, Socialising Food and The Great Shopper Conundrum, or even to see what the other hot food items are – you can view the entire 2014 Food Forward report here.

Written by Amanda Porter, Senior Account Supervisor, Consumer Lifestyle – @amandajp82 /

Food Forward 2014 surveyed 1,000 Australian consumers and food experts across the country to predict the biggest trends for the coming year. This report marks the third year of the survey. 

Image credit: ManEatManila 

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