TREND 1: High-tech goes plant-forward
Plant-based diets and dishes continue to dominate the food world, and now the tech industry has a seat at the table, too.
By using science to advance recipes and manipulate plant-based
ingredients and proteins, these techniques are creating mind-bending
alternatives like “bleeding” vegan burgers or sushi-grade “not-tuna”
made from tomatoes. These new production techniques are also bringing
some new varieties of nut milks and yogurts made from pili nuts, peas,
bananas, macadamia nuts, and pecans.
Dairy-free indulgences like vegan frosting, brownies, ice cream,
brioche and crème brûlée are getting so delicious, non-vegans won’t know
the difference—or they might choose them anyway!
TREND 2: Puffed & popped snacks
New technology is revolutionizing all
things puffed, popped, dried and crisped. New methods of
processing and combining ingredients have paved the way for popped
cassava chips, puffed pasta bow ties, seaweed fava chips and puffed rice
clusters. Good-old-fashioned chips also get an upgrade as part of the
trend, with better-for-you bites like jicama, parsnip or Brussels sprout
I love Chickpea Pops by Squeaky Pops! They come in Cheddar Cheese and Apple Cinnamon flavors. Recipe linked here.
TREND 3: Tacos come out of their shell
Tacos are shedding their shell for new kinds of wrappers
and fillings too—think seaweed wrappers with poke filling. Classic
tacos aren’t going anywhere, but greater attention to ingredients is
upping their game. One end of the spectrum is hyper-authentic cooking
with things like heirloom corn tortillas or classic barbacoa. And thanks
to brands like Siete, there are grain-free options for paleo fans too.
TREND 4: Root-to-stem
nose-to-tail butchery and reducing food waste, a few forces are
combining to inspire root-to-stem cooking, which makes use of the entire
fruit or vegetable, including the stems or leaves that are less
commonly eaten. Recipes like pickled watermelon rinds, beet-green pesto
or broccoli-stem slaw have introduced consumers to new flavors and
textures from old favorites.
Read my recipe for Beets and Balsamic on a Bed of Quinoa and Beet Green Patties.
TREND 5: Sparking Bubbly
LaCroix may have
paved the way, but now there’s an entire booming category of sparkling
beverages vying for your attention. Just don’t call them “soda.” These
drinks are a far cry from their sugary predecessors. Flavored sparkling
waters like plant-derived options from Sap! (made with maple and birch)
and sparkling cold brew from Stumptown will are shaking up a fizzy fix.
Shoppers are also toasting mocktail must-haves like Topo Chico and Whole
Foods Market Lime Mint Elderflower Italian Sparkling Mineral Water.
Cheers to the other kind of bubbly!
TREND 6: Transparency 2.0
More is more
when it comes to product labeling. We want to know the real story behind
our food, and how that item made its way from the source to the store.
GMO transparency is top-of-mind, but there are other important details
such as Fair Trade certification, responsible production and animal
Zego Foods is a trend setter in the industry. They stand behind their commitment to transparency. They make small batches that are glyphosate tested and allergy tested. They WANT consumers to know they care about what goes into the products and they check each step of the way!
TREND 7: Middle Eastern Influences
culinary influences have made their way west for years, and 2018 will
bring these tasty traditions into the mainstream. Things like hummus, pita and falafel were tasty entry points, but now
consumers are ready to explore the deep traditions, regional nuances
and classic ingredients of Middle Eastern cultures, with Persian,
Israeli, Moroccan, Syrian and Lebanese influences rising to the top. Spices like harissa, cardamom and za’atar are hitting more menus, as
well as dishes like shakshuka, grilled halloumi and lamb. Other trending
Middle Eastern ingredients include pomegranate, eggplant, cucumber,
parsley, mint, tahini, tomato jam and dried fruits.
TREND 8: Floral flavors
culinary stars have embraced edible petals for years, but floral
inspiration is finally in full bloom. From adding whole flowers and
petals into dishes to infusing botanical flavors into drinks and snacks,
this top trend makes for a subtly sweet taste and fresh aromatics. Look
for flowers used like herbs in things such as lavender lattés and
rose-flavored everything. Bright pink hibiscus teas are a hot (and iced)
part of the trend, while elderflower is the new MVP (most valuable
petal) of cocktails and bubbly drinks.
TREND 9: Super powders
serious power players. Because they’re so easy to incorporate, they’ve
found their way into lattés, smoothies, nutrition bars, soups and baked
For an energy boost or an alternative to coffee, powders like matcha,
maca root and cacao are showing up in mugs everywhere. Ground turmeric
powder is still on the rise, the ever-popular spice used in Ayurvedic
medicine. I love incorporating matcha, maca, and beet powder (one at a time of course) in yogurt with some berries to start the day.
Smoothie fans are raising a glass to powders like spirulina, kale,
herbs, and roots for an oh-so-green vibrancy that needs no Instagram
filter. Even protein powders have evolved beyond bodybuilders to pack in
new nutrients like skin- and hair-enhancing collagen.
Read my post for a adding beet root powder to yogurt. The same can be done with cinnamon, matcha, maca, and acai. Beet Powder ... ADD THE RED.
TREND 10: Functional mushrooms
advocates are buzzing about functional mushrooms, which are
traditionally used to support wellness as an ingredient in dietary
supplements. Now, varieties like reishi, chaga, cordyceps and lion’s
mane star in products across categories.
I love making pizzas with OYSTER MUSHROOMS (Recipe Linked Here) and adding LIONS MANE to yogurt or a smoothie in the morning to ease stress.