I found this article on Slashfood which nicely explains how a food goes from trend to table. As you can see, food trends seems to be much more haphazard an event than colour selection (it’s like being famous: you need to be at the right place at the right time, noticed by the right people).
Anyway, from what I can see, here are the main trends the pundits are predicting--I don't list all of them, but ones that I saw several people addressing):
No more Atkins (and other fad diets). Carbs aren’t the enemy (the enemy is what people do to and with them). Thank gawd.
Comfort food: Maybe it’s a reaction to Atkins (many comfort foods are high in carbohydrates)…maybe it’s a sign of our communal stress, but with many destressing activities, simplicity is key.
Edible, balanced portions made up of healthy and quality ingredients: I’m pretty happy about this one: quality over quantity in manageable portions.
Asian and South American cuisines: I’ve seen several references to Japanese and Indian dishes along with Argentinean and Brazilian foods.
Adventure eating: Bland is boring, flavour is favoured.
Punt the pre-brined pork in favour of the real thing: Since it’s the only option at certain grocers (grr), some consumers have decided to live (and eat) without it and some are going to proper butchers to fill their needs, which for some include Berkshire pork (kurobuta pork).
Chocolate. Dark Chocolate. Need I say more?
Bread: Breads made from great ingredients, including whole grains.
Food Blogs: according to Lucy Waverman, there are 1.5 million food blogs in existence.
McCormicks 2006 flavour forcast's highlights include: anise, caraway, “chai blend” (cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, white pepper), marjoram, paprika, saffron and sesame.
Okay, anyone who knows me—what I cook, what I eat, and what food and life advice I give will say “yeah, you’ve just written up your own rules and claiming them to be trends. Well…ironically enough many of these points mimic my constant babblings. It’s either a happy coincidence or people have finally started listening to me…I know which theory I’m voting for
Okay, for those of you who want to do some of your own reading, here’s a bunch of links (usual caveats re: subscriptions):
2006 flavour trends forecast (foodprocessing.com)
The foodie forecast 2006: fish, fat and fun (Globe and Mail)
20 picks for 2006 (phillymagazine.com)A survey of culinary trends just around the bend. (qsrmagazine.com)