Real Food Trends 2010: The Back Story

Here are a few predictions for 2010:

1.  Dinosaurs Will Close.  Many big name restaurants in major cities will close their doors following the sad example of Chanterelle (NYC).   The economy simply cannot support the plethora of high-end places and my deep-pocketed friends tell me it’s no longer fashionable to drop big bucks routinely.  Want to know who is closing first?  Here’s a clue: Go to Open Table and check out which restaurants are offering 1000 points for customers who dine on Friday and Saturday nights.  www.opentable.com

2.  Stock Will Rise @ Walmart, Costco, and Other Food Warehouses. People are going to stock up on well-priced food and eschew the upscale and artisanal, local or otherwise, as, respectively, its value is limited and the dollar has little buying power for European goods.

3.  Food Trucks. No rent, low utility bills.  The whole country is gonna look like a Hobo camp.

4.  Pizza. This is the first name in Proletarian food.  Being from N.J., I enjoyed slices from the time I could walk.  No, it was before, in my bottle, liquified.  Anyhow, it’s good and it’s cheap.  We’re not talking about “gourmet” pizza (see Prediction #1)–“Gourmet” pizza?  Except for Wolfgang Puck and Lydia Shire, geniuses with baked dough, the term is like “military intelligence.”  I mean the real thing: Lombardi’s, Grimaldi’s, the Original Ray’s, Santarpio’s, Pepe’s, Sally’s, The Modern, and Galleria Umberto, to name a few.  How you doin’?

5. Unemployed Cooks Will Start A New Cultural Movement. We’re going to see and hear more great garage bands and post-Hip Hop, Hip Hop.  Mom, send money, I’m this close to signing a contract.

6.  Global Corner Joints. Diners, pubs, izakaya, Stube, brasserie.  Good, reasonably priced food and lots of beer.  In NYC, DBGB is a good example.  In Boston, we have Post 390.  Food will be increasingly simple and fun.

7. Ingredient of the Year.  Pasta.  No doubt about it.  A one pound box, a can of tomatoes, olive oil, an onion, a celery stalk, and a carrot ($5, total), and you can feed a family of four.  You know how Italians look back at Rome with pride and regret?  Welcome to America in the 21st century.

8.  Speaking of China.  We’re going to hear more about dicey food products coming from China.  The food safety standards there are kinda quirky.  Guy does what he wants, gets caught, and is executed by the state.  Why do we still import food from China?   Because without their loans to our banks, it’s over.  They hold the chits.

9.  Recipes.  At last count, there were a bazillion recipes on the web, in cookbooks, on T.V., on the radio, and in newspapers.  2010 will see fewer recipes.  Take two slices of bread, insert  ham, apply mustard, look through Want Ads.  That should get you through the year.

10.   The Popcorn Ploy.  More people will try to sneak candy, cans of soda, bottles of water, and popcorn from home into movie theaters to avoid high prices at concession stands.  Ushers, be on the lookout!

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5 thoughts on “Real Food Trends 2010: The Back Story

  1. Grim but funny… and probably at least somewhat on the money. But we find that people are still buying mostly what they want… as long as it is on a special or at a reduced price (a real reduction, not a fake). They are budget conscious but not desperate. Maybe the desperation will come later. We can hope not!

  2. I think your observations are spot on. But regarding Prediction #1, this dinosaur is heartbroken about Chanterelle, where my husband I went to celebrate special occasions for 22 years. The food and wine were spectacular, and Karen Waltuck and staff treated us like visiting royalty. Yes, it was expensive, but I felt we were getting value for our money.

  3. You are not thinking about the key appeal of pizza, which is that it is the only fresh-baked bread most American’s ever eat. As you say about pasta, it has a great margin once you buy the oven. I think your most interesting prediction is about trucks, which avoid rent, but do run on gasoline or diesel (or used french fry oil).

  4. I think that we will have the great red food and blue food divide. That one color will shop more around the outside of the food store and the other on the inside. Marketing will become color coded, and the frequent shopper supermarket cards that track our buying will secretly help us to make the same choices as others of our political shade.

    Cheetos will rarely be found in the same cart with Yukon gold potatoes and old-fashioned oatmeal will not be found with diet Dr Pepper. The unifying food group will be light beer — after all, we all watch the Super Bowl

    We won’t even notice we are being studied… Med Schools will have studies in 30 years to track food additives residues and related disease. ACK!

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