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As we look to the New Year, we look forward to new projects, new partnerships, and, of course, new food trends. Here’s a look at the food and beverage trends set to take center stage in 2014.

1) Donuts: Not only have these doughy delights taken 2013 by storm (move over, cupcake), they are set to continue trending into 2014. Tapping into the convenience food trend, the donut offers single-handed edibility and a variety of fun flavors and forms, appealing to Millennials’ ongoing quest for new, interesting flavor combinations.

2) Tea: Beyond tea time, tea flavors are set to influence flavors in dairy beverages, cocktails, ice cream, and other infused foods and drinks.

3) Ginger: In addition to seasoning soups and sauces, ginger is expected to make a big splash in the beverage industry, with alcoholic ginger beer gaining quite a bit of buzz. The ginger trend reflects both the growing influence of Asian flavors and consumer demand for spicy flavors.

4) Szechuan: As Millennials seek spicier foods, a variety of hot chilis like the Szechuan pepper is bringing heat to a greater variety of dishes in 2014. Set to inspire baristas with its citrusy zing (think Szechuan margarita) and liven up snacks and sauces, the Szechuan pepper is likely to spice up grocery shelves with its trend-inspiring heat.

5) Homemade (with help): Home cooks are seeking to put their personal spin on dishes but often don’t have the time to make a full meal from scratch. Enter almost ready-made meals that leave some of the preparation, assembly, and even seasoning to the consumer. Kraft’s Recipe Makers give home chefs the chance to customize their culinary creations with a few ready-made shortcuts.

Author
Nicole Hill assists clients in growing their businesses and brands by identifying opportunities, then developing and implementing goal-driven strategies.

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