Restaurant consultant group Baum + Whitman has released their annual list [pdf] of food trends for the upcoming year. Last year, they declared kale and avocado toast DOA and this year, they're predicting that pasta will be...replaced by vegetables. Over our dead bodies.

The group reports that pasta sales in the United States are down 6% in the past five years— thanks in no small part of the growing gluten-free movement—and that it's since become an "endangered species." Coming to bury pasta? Vegetables, namely spiralized veggies like zucchini and sweet potatoes that resemble spaghetti in shape. Vegetables in general are set to have a banner 2016, with concerns about animal proteins for health and environmental reasons leading more people to reach for the cauliflower instead of the cow.

Poultry, however, seems excluded from the vegetable push, as fried chicken is expected to increase in popularity, somehow, next year. Some might say that trend has passed in NYC, but Nashville Hot Chicken is set to be the next big thing in deep fried bird, with spicy foods in general set to get fired up, too. Poke—Hawaiian raw fish, already a BFG in LA—"Newish Jewish"—Sadelle's, Black Seed etc.—and açai bowls (really?) are also on next year's dining horizon.

Meanwhile, snacks are going more savory, like chili-lime potato chips, plant-based proteins bars, jerky and the like. The report also mentions savory yogurt making a splash, but no, yogurt is not a snack.

Other food-related trends: the end of tipping, with the new charge led by Danny Meyer; the rise of boutique food delivery like Caviar, Postmates, DoorDash and UberEats; and restaurants opening inside retail shops, like a giant capitalist ouroboros.

The snack-sized version of the report are the 2016 buzzwords, the easily digestible morsels we'll parrot while dining at the outcropping of quick-service Acai Bowl eateries poised to take over the juicing market:

  • Falafel
  • Kombucha
  • Burnt vegetables
  • Poke
  • Globalized ramen
  • Seaweed on popcorn
  • Booze at fast food restaurants
  • Everything bagel and General Tso flavorings
  • Paella
  • Nashville Hot Chicken
  • RIP frozen yogurt and bone broth and (hopefully) juice bars
  • Food Halls
  • Ending food waste
  • Philippine cuisine