Top 10 Trend-setting Vegetables

Portobello mushroom stuffed with yellow onion, red pepper, spinach and cheese.

It’s not just fashion, hairstyles and interior design that have changing trends, even vegetables can be trend setters.

The online Canadian foodie magazine, bon appétit traced vegetable trends over a period of more than four decades, and published there top ten list of trend-setting vegetables this week.

Top Ten Trend-Setting Vegetables

Avocado Pears were the greatest trend setters in 1969; they even inspired a decade of avo-green appliances.

Beets made their culinary mark in 1982, and have stayed majorly trendy ever since.

Sun-Dried Tomatoes began trending in 1985, adding a distinctive punchy flavour to all kinds of dishes. They are still trendy.

Rocket, that tangy herb the Americans call arugula, hit the vegetable top ten in 1990, paired with everything Mediterranean, from sun-dried tomatoes to olives and thinly sliced Parmesan cheese.

Asparagus made its mark in 1993, steamed until limp but still a little crunchy.

Portobello mushrooms, served as the “meaty” part of a vegetarian meal, trended in 1995.

Heirloom tomatoes were the vegetable of 2006, heralded by food critics and a new foodie elite for their taste and varied colours.

Brussels sprouts, still dreaded by some, were trendy in 2010, particularly when roasted with bacon or sprinkled with good farm butter and slivered almonds.

Heirloom carrots came into their own in 2011, like tomatoes, featuring sweet tastes and colours other than orange.

Kale was the major trend setter in 2012, served raw in salads, sautéed, or roasted to make flavoursome, ultra-wholesome “chips”.

Vegetable Trend Predictions for 2013

Food industry market research firm, Technomic, predicted vegetables en masse would take centre stage in 2013. They singled out former veggie heroes, carrots, Brussels sprouts and kale as likely favourites.

The New York Times predicted raw or lightly cooked root vegetables would be king.

Sysco, a global leader in selling, marketing and distributing food to restaurants and other facilities in the US, Canada and UK, in their TrendSpotter, 2013: Flavors of the Future predicted that veggies would be “on center stage”. Ingredients they singled out from top dishes at three top restaurants were:

  • Squash
  • Beet
  • Carrots

Asked to suggest which vegetables they thought would trend next, members of an international culinary forum were quick to say they’d seen enough of Brussels sprouts and kale. Instead, their bets were on:

  • Baby green Lima beans
  • Cabbage, particularly the Nappa cabbage
  • Celery root
  • Chard
  • Kohlrabi (try it pureed in soup)
  • Parsley
  • Romanesco
  • Rutabaga – one of the favourites

 Mollie Katzen, seen as something of a pioneer in the world of vegetarian cookbooks thinks cauliflower could be one of the future trend-setting vegetables.

Whatever the pundits say, one thing is clear, nowadays it’s trendy to be eating veggies. Fullstop. Not surprising since research has proved that eating more vegetables is key to a healthier, longer life.  And it’s not just the trend setters you should be eating; concentrate on what’s fresh and seasonal, or what you can grow easily in your own home veggie patch, like lettuce, peppers or tomatoes.

Annette (58 Posts)

Annette Welsford has a partial degree in Horticulture and a Post Graduate Certificate in marketing. Having lived in the cold, temperate and hot parts of Australia and the UK, she has gained experience over the years with gardening in a variety of climates. Annette also worked for a fertilizer company where she was responsible for developing, editing and publishing a range of technical manuals on nutrition and fungal diseases for a wide range of horticultural crops including tomatoes. Annette is Managing Director of Commonsense Marketing Pty Ltd, a publishing and marketing company, responsible for the editing, design and worldwide marketing of the How to Grow books, and other products. Commonsense Marketing also provides expert offline and online marketing consulting and design services to a variety of small to medium sized businesses.


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One Response to “Top 10 Trend-setting Vegetables”

  1. Len says:

    Still working on gttieng things in place, and I ended up being busier than I expected this was just meant to be a quick write-up, but when I have more food to process, I hope to add to it (and that should be soon, as the tomatoes are starting to come in!) Thanks for the suggestion!

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