10 HOT FOOD & BEVERAGE TRENDS FOR 2018
Food and beverage trends for 2018 are diverse. The increased interest in health will lead to more vegetable dishes, alcohol-free cocktails and probiotic foods. Other forecasts involve an upsurge in the popularity of Middle Eastern cuisine and Poke Bowls, along with an expanded variety of tacos. Here is what you can expect to see in the coming year.
1. VEGETABLE FOCUS
The demand for vegetarian meals is projected to grow. As large servings of meat are no longer in vogue, vegetable burgers are appearing more often on menus, reports The Daily Meal. Recent technological innovations have made such dishes tastier and easier to prepare. You’re likely to encounter “vegetable butchers,” who can make meatballs and steak out of lentils and chickpeas.
Wellness-conscious consumers wanting to curtail their alcohol consumption are opting for mocktails, or non-alcoholic cocktails. The drinks often feature floral or botanical flavors like lavender or rose. You’ll find an increasing number of restaurants offering creative mocktails to give diners nonalcoholic choices other than soda and iced tea.
3. MIDDLE EASTERN INFLUENCE
You’ll see dishes and spices from the Middle East come into the mainstream. The trend started years ago with the entrance of hummus and pita into the western food market, but consumers are now ready to more fully embrace the cuisine of cultures from the region, including Moroccan, Israeli, and Lebanese favorites. In addition to dishes like grilled halloumi and shakshuka, ingredients such as cardamom, mint, eggplant and pomegranate will be incorporated into more menu items.
4. HAWAIIAN POKE BOWLS
Hawaiian Poke Bowls will remain hot. If you adore sushi, you’ll love this dish, as it consists of a layer of rice topped with vegetables and pieces of raw, marinated fish. It resonates with today’s consumers because it can be prepared quickly and is customizable with a broad scope of flavors.
5. NEW KINDS OF TACOS
While classic tacos are here to stay, new varieties are emerging in breakfast and dessert menus. You’ll also notice a greater selection in shells as well as fillings, for example, seaweed-wrapped poke tacos. Other shell choices include grain-free tortillas and tortillas made with heirloom cornmeal.
Mushrooms are no longer merely a side dish or an ingredient to put in a pot roast. Varieties traditionally used to support wellness–including reishi, cordyceps, chaga, and lion’s mane will be added to a range of beverages, forecasts Whole Foods Market. Don’t be surprised to see them in coffees, teas, smoothies and bottled drinks.
7. GUT-FRIENDLY FOOD
Under Fine Wraps predicts the trend to eat foods that promote gut health will gain traction. Such products include yogurt, kefir and fermented foods such as natto, tempeh and kimchi. Prebiotics like onions and garlic will also play a prominent role.
8. BREAKFAST ALL DAY
Chefs are using more eggs, so it follows that more eateries are offering breakfast foods 24/7. Many people enjoy these menu items at nontraditional times of the day, so restaurateurs have found expanded breakfast to be a sales driver. In addition to expanding the hours during which breakfast dishes may be ordered, eateries are also increasing the variety of options.
9. INCREASED TACTILITY
You’ll enjoy joining other cooks in exploring how to add texture, a characteristic that gives diners a more tactile experience. Chewy or crunchy elements will make an appearance in beverages, and candy may be included in baked goods. Natural ingredients, such as the pulp of fresh produce, will be incorporated into more foods to enhance their mouth-feel.
10. FULL DISCLOSURE
Due to widespread distrust about food safety, manufacturers will be under a heightened pressure to make full disclosures on product labels. This will entail information on where and how food is grown, harvested and prepared. Top concerns are GMO transparency, Fair Trade certification and animal welfare standards.