Today the sun goes down on 2013, the first complete calendar year of The Usual Saucepans. At the risk of sounding beyond my years, it’s gone very quickly, hasn’t it? We’ve had a meteor, 3D printed guns and more sensational news stories than we can really give a monkey’s about. And that’s only the smallest fraction of it – no Blurred Lines, Twerking or the loss of an unquestionably great political leader (wrong as it feels to put those in the same sentence).
There have also been a few prominent food trends as well that kept haunting us in 2013, some we enjoyed and others that we’re just a bit bored of now. Baked goods (preferably in nice pastel-coloured cases or a marquee somewhere in Somerset) were once again predictably high on the chart, and despite some people shouting about how they’d had enough, it seems that TV baking is more popular than ever! It’s got another couple of years left in it, so I’d get used to it.
Much as it pains me to give them ‘column inches’, this piece wouldn’t be right without a mention of cake pops, pie pops and everything else that comes with the obsession of putting everything on a stick and suffixing its name with ‘pop’. They seem to have been absolutely everywhere in 2013. Hopefully a trend we’ve seen the back of.
Unsurprisingly we’ve also seen the continuing rise of ‘eat cheap’, with everyone telling you at every juncture their top tips on how to feed you and yours for under and arbitrary sum. Scoffing as that may sound, it is indeed a truly serious issue that we, as a nation, need to face up to. Perhaps since it has got to the stage where there’s a story virtually daily about food banks, and it is time for some action? And I don’t mean marketing executives across the land making a fortune capitalising on our need to eat (be it cheaply or quickly). Cynical, you say? Depends on your perspective, says I.
So – back on a lighter footing – what will it be in 2014? Well here are my top four predictions:
The Bake Off will continue to prosper. Its move to BBC1 and its ever-increasing popularity will make it loose some of its original charm – and we will be engulfed in a delightfully hilarious, seemingly un-inronic hipster-esque foodie backlash with people telling woeful tales about how they watched it before it was cool (shouted to the world on Twitter, most probably). Look forward to some more spinoff series and lots of merchandise – because who doesn’t want a ‘pale mint’ mixing bowl and matching stand mixer?
‘Naked’ will be the new ‘Pop’. Unadorned, lightly drizzled and baring all will be even more popular that shoving pies on quite unnecessary sticks. It’s graced the cover of Delicious. and will be coming to a local baking competition (GBBO themed, naturally) near you soon. This will continue until people realise that it’s actually quite hard and you need to get the sponge underneath absolutely perfect. I had a go a while back, it’s not as easy as it looks!
I’d hazard a guess that very soon – if we haven’t already – we will collectively get over ‘Higella Gate’ and realise that we still quite like her. Actually, she’s involved with a reality cooking series starting on Channel 4 next week – I’d say that by the second ad break no one will care whether it’s icing sugar or not.
Vegetables will be back in fashion. OK, they never really go anywhere, but much like soft fruit seems to be filling more of the supermarket every year, I think that simple, fresh veg will be everywhere next year. And I’d also put money on the fact that we’ll see more ‘basics’, ‘value’, et al. bags than before. Much as we keep getting told that the economy is recovering, it takes a bit longer for that to relate to back pockets. There will be more ‘Feed for a Fiver’ in 2014 – perhaps it will be the reality check we need.
And finally, I think that there will probably be lots and lots of food blogging. I can’t decide what I think will happen with food blogs in 2014, but I have a sneaking suspicion that as the media and marketers become ever more inclined to take an interest in what bloggers are saying we will see a couple of breakaway successes. Here’s hoping integrity will win over quick financial gain or free samples, making it something that can have some longevity.
On that note it seems like those bells are getting ever closer, Happy New Year, when it comes, and I wish you all a delicious 2014.
What do you think of the predictions? Share your thoughts and what you think will be big in 2014 below.