This article, from Eater, is fabulous. It caught my eye on Facebook today, when Richard Gorelick shared it as part of his "Crontinuing Croverage of the Cronut Crisis." (He's posts a lot about cronuts...or at least he did, back when they were in the news every five minutes. Now it's only ever seven minutes.)
The article is so good that I don't even really have much to add, except to note that it hits all my sweet spots: food + trends + that annoying tension that exists when companies try to use research to simply create trends, without realizing that you can't make fetch happen.
Another reason I love it: use of the "can't make fetch happen" phrase, which is one of my favorites, in reference to Peruvian food, which I have written about here like every other year...and also for the Sun - because it really is a thing here in Maryland.
Peruvian cuisine aside, the article is full of good observations and valid points about how food trends emerge, explaining that to understand what might be the next trend, you have to look beyond the tangible characteristics of the last trend to understand the need it filled. People lined up for cupcakes, then they lined up for cronuts. That does not mean that they will, next, line up for Croissan'wiches, even if Burger King starts making them with artisanal butter, in a converted factory in Queens or whatever. I know how those conversations sometimes go within marketing departments. It might look like pastries that start with "C" are consistent winners - but they are not.
My takeaway, of course, is not that you can't predict or identify trends. It's just that you need better research.