Food Trend v’s Food Fad: How new food become a trend?

When people talk about food fads or trends, it can be hard to recognize the difference for a lot of us, so what is the difference?

Food Trend: This is when a food is starting to become a household name and is probably going to be around for some time

Food Fad: A good way of looking at this is a ‘fashionable’ food, so not something that is generally going to catch on, and will generally be dropped after a short time.

How Will You Recognize a Fad from a Trend?

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If it is your business to spot food trends early on, there are a few ways you can do this. Try looking on menus in restaurants, look at what ingredients are being used, and what appears to be popular.

Look at what high profile chefs are doing; what ingredients are they buzzing about? Look in the media, on TV, and in magazines, what is everyone talking about? This will probably be the start of a trend, especially if it appears to be everywhere, and everyone is talking about it.

This works with diets as well, so look to see what all the experts and doctors talking about?

When you are doing your research, look for shared ideas and designs across all the food and fashion industries.

How Do Trends Pick-up Speed?

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In today’s climate, people seem to want more natural and authentic foods, and there appears to be a shift toward supporting local produce more and more.

With more people using social media these days, it is easy to keep an eye on what is trending and why. There seems to be a shift toward being a bit more healthy, which has driven many food trends. For example, we see more gluten-free and non-dairy meals in the media, our stores, and menus.

There is also a massive shift toward plant-based foods, with flexitarian eating becoming more popular due to Generation Z’s input, with statistics suggesting vegans and vegetarians could make up a quarter of the population by 2025!

Typically there are five stages to form a food trend.

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  1. It becomes available in popular restaurants with top chefs using it.
  2. It becomes available in stores that target culinary professionals and serious home-cooks; it will also start to make an appearance in food magazines.
  3. The mainstream food outlets and restaurants will begin to start using it. Mainstream restaurants
  4. Lifestyle publications and newspapers will feature it
  5. Is widely available in local grocery stores

This is the general rule of thumb, but sometimes an ingredient or diet can hit hard and fast and become popular quickly!


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