Around this time food analysts start to predict and report on trends we’ll being seeing in the next year. Things we’re happy about include craft marshmallows, the decline of cupcakes, the rise of Sriracha, more gourmet comfort food (like at our beloved, reservations strongly recommended, Pittsburgh gastropub Meat & Potatoes), mainstreaming breakfast for dinner, and arguably more pre-prohibition cocktail making.
Here’s what we’re wishing for in 2012:
- More products to review, and with more frequency.
- More event coverage. Tell us where the party’s at – we’re there!
- More nostalgia-induced returns of soft drinks. Marketers now know how attached our generation is to our awesome childhoods. Pete & Pete is out on DVD, The Muppets have a new and hilarious movie, and we all have dead Tamagotchis in our closets. When Josta was taken off the market in ’99 I was really upset – but I might have been the only person who actually LIKED the taste, and yet they’re still making Moxie – the official state drink of Maine – which tastes like toothpaste and cola were put in a paint shaker, so I don’t know what the hell that’s about. Josta would make an excellent Kraken and Coke, and I want to see it make a comeback. Orbitz, however, can stay in the dark recesses of our taste memory.
- Less extreme-flavored vodkas. We’re honestly not so happy about the popularity of these new flavored vodkas, and hope to see them drop off. We agree with our friends when they say they bought the latest solid-food flavored vodka and it was awful. I asked a rep at Whiskey Fest what I would want to mix Wedding Cake Vodka with and she said pineapple juice. I pressed her for more options and got nowhere. And with most other flavored vodkas of the night I didn’t finish the sample, either.
- A proper domain name. We’re just being lazy.
- For the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to get their act together. Since the debate on privatization hit a climax this year and the wine vending machines had to be removed from our grocery stores (I hold a grudge since one of them munched on my drivers license for 20 minutes), we have seen some positive changes. Their re-branding is nice, ordering is a bit easier, we like their new magazine Taste, and there was a sudden increase in in-store coupons. We really don’t want to see anyone lose jobs, but the reports about the PLCB’s finances are troubling.
- Great small batch distilleries with hip marketing and cool themes like Wigle and Tub keeping up the good work.
- A good, comprehensive write-up about drinking cocktails in Walt Disney World – coming to you in late February. Shanna’s favorite ride is either La Cava del Tequila or the Maelstrom. Tough choice.
- More readers like you!
- And more Facebook likes and Twitter followers.