Grapevine Stories

2016 Food Trend Predictions

1601 Food Trend Predictions_Black Schnitz
As we ring in the New Year, it’s out with the old and in with the new. Here at Grapevine we have been busily collecting trends that we are seeing emerge in our travels to help brands to navigate the ever-changing food and beverage scene and best position their products within the world-leading Australian marketplace.

While certain “trends” have situated themselves more permanently into the food scene (don’t expect to see avocado toast going anywhere), some crazes have had their fleeting moment in the limelight. Can you say American BBQ? Don’t even get us started on donuts, cronuts and layered milkshakes!

With some trends halfway out the door, we’re already getting a glimpse of what’s next. With a focus on flavour, wholesome ingredients, and catering to all dietary tribes, here are our predictions for undercurrents in the Australian food market:

Black is the New Black

If the LBD is the go-to for a feel-good outfit, black food is becoming the go-to for feel-good eats. From detoxifying coconut charcoal to black alkaline water, this is the slimming colour of 2016.


Step aside espresso martini, there’s a new drink in town. We challenge you to find a single bar in Melbourne that’s not offering an Aperol Spritz of some sort, from Prosecco pairings through to gelati-style pops, it’s the drink of choice this summer.

Seeing more Seaweed

Nori and kelp are no longer exclusive to Asian specialty shops and your take-out sushi lunch; expect seaweed to take the lead from zucchini spirals as the new pasta alternative, offer a new shade of salad greens and an umami-packed dried snack.

The ultimate elixir: Turmeric

This vibrantly coloured root is whirled into nutritious smoothies and juices, but you can also expect to see its pop of colour in restorative soups, sauces, meat marinades made from scratch and even “golden lattes.”

Mocktail Hour

Trying to cut back on alcohol this year but don’t want to sacrifice your social life? Easy. Bartenders are starting to mix up beautiful mocktails packed with herbs, aromatics and edible flowers, so you won’t get stuck sipping on a Shirley Temple.

Beyond Soy

If you have visited a café any time recently, you’ll know that soy is no longer the only dairy alternative for coffee drinkers. Other nut and plant-based milks like almond, cashew and coconut will become staple coffee complements for your local barista in 2016.

Soft Serve

Step aside Choc Tops – Aussies are looking for sophisticated soft serve this summer. Think self-service bars where you can load up on crunchy granola toppings, tropical fresh fruit, sticky candy and more.

The fermented frenzy

With all the rage in gut health, it’s no surprise that kombucha, sauerkraut and other funky fermented ingredients will start appearing in supermarkets and on restaurant menus – this is a great way to add a boost of health and subtly sour flavour to your day.

Bravo for Brodo

We’ve already seen brodo cropping up at cafes and independent retailers, but you can expect to see more and more of this supposed all-curing bone broth in 2016.

Going with the Grain

Whether you’re gluten-free or not, ancient grains are all the rage in the health space. This pattern will only continue to increase, going well beyond quinoa. Once lesser-known grain varieties, such a teff, freekah and farro will continue to make their way into veggie burgers, salads and risottos.

Root to Stalk

Chefs are going beyond nose to tail butchery – we’re seeing an increase of whole vegetables on menus, maximising usage and minimizing waste. Beet greens anyone?

Popular Culture

Cobb’s has really kicked off this category, and this is only the start of the craze for gourmet corn that has been popped and puffed. Not only will we see more varied popcorn flavours, we’ll also see this puffed kernel star in recipes, indulgent desserts and even mixed into muesli toppers.

“So Jelly”

No, not the scary lime green stuff of your childhood – we’re talking pure cooked collagen from the bones of pasture-raised cows. You can buy it powdered and add it to smoothies, tea, baked goods and more. This protein-packed substance has a wide breadth of potential health benefits – if you’re not convinced, allow gelatin pioneer Sarah Wilson to shed some light.

Au Naturale

Organic zealots don’t stop at food – they want all natural wines as well! Organic/biodynamic wines already pepper some of the trendiest restaurant menus, and we expect this pattern will only continue to spread.