Health-conscious eaters will enjoy new food trends.

Almost every year, a few new foods become trendy, often made from materials that people previously paid little attention to. In 2013, it was the cronut and the ramen burger. If you’ve never heard of either of those items, join the club.

But for the record, a cronut is a croissant-doughnut pastry that, rather than being fried like a doughnut, is made from a laminated dough that’s then sugared, filled and glazed. A ramen burger is pretty much what it sounds like, but instead of the ramen noodles forming the “meat” portion of the sandwich, they constitute the two buns.

This got me to thinking about what the trendy food items will be in 2014, so I did a little research. Here’s what an article posted on CBS News predicts about food trends this year:

• Food produced by companies that are known for giving back. A survey reveals that 62 percent of consumers want to support companies that donate to social causes that are important to them.

• Edible food packaging. Apparently food that comes in packaging that you can eat will also be popular. I’m guessing that in the case of snacks such as the Twinkie, people may unwrap it, toss the Twinkie into the garbage and eat the wrapping. An ice cream truck brand called Coolhaus is already wrapping some ice cream sandwiches in edible material.

• Foods you can order online will grow in popularity, and grocery stores may add pickup windows to their buildings.

• International flavors – including spices and seasonings – will become the hot items to have in your kitchen.

• Snacks will become much healthier, including ones you’ll grab at checkout counters.

• Herbal teas will continue to grow in popularity, and not only for their medicinal value. They’ll start rivaling other popular beverages for pure taste.

• “Super” grains such as freekah and teff are expected to become part of Americans’ diets in 2014. Cauliflower – in a variety of colors and combined with a variety of foods such as potatoes – will be all the rage this year.

• With allergies on the rise, expect to see lots of foods that are “free” from gluten, soy, nuts and dairy. Products made from coconut could be on the rise.

What are your predictions for the course that food will take in 2014? Do you agree with the predicted trends listed above, or do you think other food trends will become more prominent? What new food trend would you like to see more than any other? Please join us at the table for this discussion.

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