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Top Iowa Food Trends For 2015

Confluence Brewing CompanyI love reading all the best-of lists that come out before the New Year. So I figured I would have a little fun and come up with a short list of the top food trends that Iowans can expect to see in 2015, based on what I’ve seen on social media and in the news:

Ancient grains. Quinoa is so last year. Food companies are tapping into the growing popularity of gluten-free everything by offering foods made from so-called “ancient grains” with exotic-sounding names, like amaranth, farro and kamut.

Here in Iowa, Nu-World Amaranth, a grain-processing company based in Decorah, supplies the South American grain amaranth to grocery stores and food manufacturers nationwide.

Farm-to-plate meat and seafood. The National Restaurant Association, in its survey of American chefs, predicts that locally sourced meats will be a top menu trend in 2015.

And Iowa is well poised to capture the trend. Lime Springs Beef, a new beef-processing plant opening in the northeast Iowa town of Lime Springs, plans to offer “traceable” beef from farm to plate. Every animal will have a barcode that will also be represented on the packaging of the final product, making it traceable back to the farm where it originated, according to the company’s website.

Iowa craft brews. It started with Iowa’s wine industry, but now craft breweries are popping up in small towns and cities across Iowa. Deal’s Orchard in Jefferson, is also tapping into the growing popularity of hard cider, which is currently for sale at its on-farm store.