The latest foodie forecast from SideDish, from the U.S. Center for Culinary Development, predicts that 2010 will mark a return to simplicity.

More and more brands are introducing simpler versions of their products, such as the Milky Way Simply Caramel bar. New candy bars include Twix Java Chocolate Cookie Bars and the 3 Musketeers Truffle Crisp Bar, “both illustrating the growing sophistication of flavors in the candy bar world.”

Meanwhile, Target is unveiling its Archer Farms Simply Balanced private-label line extension with products free of artificial flavourings, synthetic colours and trans fats.

Simplicity also means a return to comfort food classics like childhood favourite mac and cheese, with variations on the traditional recipe being featured in new cookbooks such as Michael Symon’s “Live to Cook” or “Two Dishes” and also at hip restaurants in New York City and beyond; new global variations on fried chicken; and chefs embracing oft-overlooked, affordable and sustainable fish like the mackerel.

Even the pancake’s more sophisticated spherical Danish cousin, the aebelskiver, which is served with syrup or jam, is being introduced to North American palates with Williams-Sonoma featuring pans and mixes for the unique pancake and New York magazine is reporting “that a Brooklyn saloon, Henry Public, also offers the treat dubbed Wilkinsons. They are served with rum-caramel dipping sauce or jam.”

Not to forget the ultimate comfort food, artisan pizzerias are popping up across the United States and fuelling the renaissance of the pizza pie with “with creative chefs updating pies with long-fermented dough, hand-made cheese and rustic toppings baked in 900-degree ovens.”