What is a culinary trendologist?

What is a culinary trendologist?

There are countless job roles in the food and beverage industry, and they’re incredibly varied too – it takes an immense depth and breadth of talent to keep the complex F&B engine running. We’re always intrigued by the lesser-known roles in the industry, so we’re going to talk about one of them today: 

The culinary trendologist. 

What’s that? 

A culinary trendologist is an expert who identifies F&B trends before they hit the mainstream, and analyses them to assess their future potential. It’s an emerging career, with individuals including Mike Kostyo and Christine Couvelier recognised for demonstrating the value of this work and shaping its future potential. 

And that value, in essence, lies in the ability to predict trends and put businesses ahead of the curve – using foresight to enable F&B businesses to make strategic decisions, and drive profitability. 

What are the skills that a culinary trendologist needs? 

Firstly, it’s not a role for someone who’s never worked in food before. Culinary trendologists tend to pivot into this kind of work from other F&B industry careers – they’ve learnt a lot, they understand their sector deeply, and they’ve developed the expertise that enables them to pick up on trends before anyone else does. 

The skills these highly specialised professionals need include…

  • Creativity, with the capacity to think outside the box and connect dots between disparate data and ideas.
  • Deep industry knowledge, ideally within the specific market segment they’re operating in.
  • Analytical skills to anticipate and interpret evolving consumer behaviours and preferences, and link those shifts to broader cultural, society, and economic trends.
  • Excellent communication skills, to enable them to deliver their insights with good evidence and actionable advice.
  • Tenacity and a passion for the future of food – to drive a constant curiosity and willingness to learn, adapt, and understand how a wide variety of influences change the way people choose and consume F&B products.

Who does a culinary trendologist work for? 

They might work for market research firms, or be employed directly by large F&B companies. They may also work as independent consultants, offering their services on a freelance or contract basis to food and beverage businesses. 

Trendologists like Mike Kostyo are building successful independent careers for themselves as influencers and go-to media experts. Kostyo has been featured in media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Food Network, the Chicago Tribune, Bloomberg, and many more. And Christine Couvelier has become a highly sought after trendologist, providing clients with trend watching reports, product and recipe development services, operational audits, and more. 

It’s an exciting career path for experienced F&B professionals who are seeking new, creative, and varied ways to leverage their skills – offering the freedom to develop a fulfilling and unique role for themselves. 

We’re looking forward to hearing from expert trendologists at InFlavour 2024 – and we hope you’ll be there to learn from them too. 

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