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Bacon, sardines are among top food trends for 2010, ad agency says

December 15, 2009 | 10:28 am

Sardines Bacon, wine cocktails and a consumer backlash against ubiquitous nutritional claims by food manufacturers are among the top food trends for 2010, according to advertising agency J. Walter Thompson.

Here are five of the top trends compiled by the agency, which counts food giants Nestle, Kellogg's and Kraft among its clients.

Bacon is no longer just for BLT sandwiches: The pork product is showing up in cocktails made with bacon-infused liquor or the new Bakon Vodka. It's also in desserts such as bacon-and-egg ice cream and chocolate bars.

Fast food goes organic: The ad agency says organic has become “the new hook in quick-service eateries.” It cites chains such as Organic to Go, Naked Pizza and O!Burger popping up around the U.S. and notes that the trend has hit Europe, too.

Wine cocktails: Look for bars and restaurants to do more mixing of wine with juices, distilled spirits and sodas to create new flavor combinations and cocktail-like drinks with lower alcohol content.

Health-claim backlash: Government authorities and health and nutrition experts are paying more attention to the proliferation of health and nutrition claims from food and beverage brands, pointing out inaccuracies and asking for changes. Shoppers also “will increasingly take health messaging with a grain of salt,” according to JWT.

Sardines are the new tuna: Once again plentiful in Monterey Bay, the fish will appear on menus, often grilled or pan-roasted. It’s being touted for good environmental credentials and its good for you, too. Sardines are low in mercury and high in omega-3 fatty acids.

-- Jerry Hirsch

Photo: Sardines on toast. Credit: Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times