The Radar: What’s Hot and What’s Not in 2016

Our LifeStyle FOOD experts, Sammy and Bella, take us through what's hot (and what's not) in 2016.

Food trends come and go - and some quicker than others.

In the year ahead, we can look forward to more ethical eating, support for local produce, and a continued obsession with Avocado. 

We'll be eating uglier vegetables and more expensive Chinese food, and waving goodbye to coconut oil and insects. (Were they ever actually a 'thing'?)

Here are the food trends to look out for in 2016:

  • Bone Broth: Let’s be honest, this is just chicken soup in Paleo language. Drink a cup for your dose of daily "Jewish penicillin".
  • Slow Cooked: some things never change. We all love slow cooked meat! The only thing that changes is the name: braise, casserole - same thing.
  • Expensive Regional Chinese: Sichuan, Yunan, and Shanghai food reigns supreme. Michelin-starred dumplings replace dodgy spring rolls.
  • Amaranth: This ancient grain is set to take over quinoa
  • Cauliflower: Kale just isn’t cool anymore. Make “rice”, “hummus”, whole roasted, and even pop it on pizza. Expect prices to rise.
  • Matcha: next big Asian ingredient

  • Innovative Desserts: Extreme, indulgent, absurd, calorific. The Cronut phase has passed and crazy shakes are on their way out. What’s the next obsession?
  • Coconut: New derivatives such as coconut yoghurt, coconut sugar, and coconut blossom will continue to grow. Coconut oil will slow down.
  • Olive Oil: People are going back to basics, realising that olive oil is the healthiest oil to cook with. And no coconut flavour to ruin your dishes!
  • Fermenting: Everything we can get our hands on! Kimchi, sauerkraut, cucumbers, and beetroot leaves are favourites. If you’re ever in Warsaw, check out Solec, a restaurant that specialises in bringing back ancient fermentation techniques. Overall, our taste buds have changed. Sour is the new Umami.


  • Butter: in any way shape or from. Finally people are realising margarine was made by the devil.
  • Smoked Food: everything. Especially beef brisket. Watch the price of this humble meat rise, just like lamb shanks in the 90’s.
  • Artisan Butchers: We’re starting to care more about our meat, and supporting local businesses. Vic’s Meat in Sydney’s posh suburb of Woollahra is more like a meat museum than a butcher.

  • Local Food: new farmers markets are opening everywhere, and organic vegetable growers are building great businesses! Out Of Our Own Backyards, or Ooooby, delivers boxes of locally-grown, organic veg to homes across Sydney.
  • Sustainability, 'Ugly Vegetables': Ozharvest and World Food Day are really pushing the message of minimising waste and valuing food. This year's Expo Milan was all about sustainability, breathing new life into the issue. Harris Farm markets introduced an “imperfect picks” range of "ugly" - and therefore heavily discounted - fruits and vegetables. Sustainable seafood will continue to be expensive, but will also have a strong market.

  • Ethical Eating, Fair trade: Fluctuating coffee prices have put pressure on local coffee farmers. We’re starting to care more about putting money into their pockets instead of the big guys. Ethics will continue to be a big issue, with animal rights of pigs set to be top of the agenda in 2016. FYI, Foie Gras is out, out, out.
  • Craft Beer: micro breweries are stealing a growing market share.
  • Cold Drip Coffee: aficionados need more than just half-strength piccolo coffees. Cafés are going old school with filtered coffees and fancy cold drip apparatus.
  • House made: restaurants are putting the effort back into cooking from scratch.
  • Chef-y Fast Food: Check out David Chang’s “Fuku Mania”, and locally, even Macca’s has a new 'Create Your Taste' menu. Fast food is getting a makeover.

  • Insects: The biggest flop of 2015. No one actually, seriously ate insects.
  • Vegetarian: meat portions are shrinking and veg portions growing in restaurants across the country. (It probably something to do with the huge growth in meat prices in the last two years, but who’s complaining? It’s better for the earth!) Check out Bon Apetit mag’s Restaurant of the Year, Al’s Place in San Francisco, where vegetable dishes are the mains, and meat dishes are the sides.
  • Gluten Free: some studies say 8/10 GF products are sold to people who don't suffer Coeliac's disease. Please, can this stop?!?
  • Green Juice: Juice diets just wont go away, but it’s the lazy persons meal. Just eat salad and vegetables – and you’ll get the fibre as well as the green goodness.
  • Filipino, Persian: hot new cuisines
  • French, Italian: will never leave us
  • Lobster Roll: New England-style. This dish has been brought back to life by Andrew McConnell at Melbourne’s Supernormal.
  • International Breakfast: We’re a nation obsessed with brekky, and now, Aussies are looking to different cultures for inspiration. Bondi’s Shuk specialises in the Israeli shakshouka.



Shakshukas and Sandwiches by @farrahs #shukbondi #bondi #healthy

A photo posted by Shuk (@shukbondi) on

  • Avocado: The most pinned food of 2015
  • Food Hall: Can someone please open more European style food halls? Produce-driven specialist shops, and cute bars to eat snacks.

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