Looking back on 2017, our focus on street food, charcoal flavours, unusual spices to edible bugs has made it a colourful year. Looking at what is trending, the following outlines where we feel the focus is for 2018…
1. Environmental Consumption
Consumers continue to want to know where their food is from, truth in labelling and see packaging with less waste however there will be more focus on food options that are good for the planet that you can feel good about consuming such as:
Peas naturally fix nitrogen into soil, making them an ecofriendly alternative to soybean plants.
Lentils are the top ‘climate-friendly’ protein.
Tomatoes, nuts and broccoli have low carbon footprint.
2. Food as Medicine
With the growth in understanding how food affects our health, we are developing food that addresses depression, increases brain functions and acts as medicine. Doctors are advising on specific diets of food to tackle specific issues. Gut health will remain top of mind with probiotics like kimchi, miso and kefir continuing to invade diets.
3. Food Tourism
Now that food has moved from sustenance to entertainment, the tourism industry, including hotels and tours, is spotlighting the foods in the local region and specific to cultures. It is the experience tourists are looking for…
4. Visually Sensory
Instagram and the social media trend has meant that unless your food is sensory on all levels, particularly in its presentation, it won’t cut through. The crazier and bonkers it appears, the more it tends to trend.
5. Mocktails and Cocktails
As we get healthier and less focussed on booze as a nation, we are more interested in mocktails and fruit-based cocktails. The health-conscious millennials are drinking booze less and less. Premium tonic waters with interesting flavours, non-alcoholic spirits and botanical mixes are flooding in to fill a gap in the market.
6. Clean Eating
With more and more chefs embracing plant-based proteins ingredients such as tofu, seitan, lentils black beans, tempeh and quinoa, veganism is on the rise. People are talking about keeping a clean diet, meaning low sugar, high protein, wholesome vegetables. It’s kind of a back-to-basics approach, which is refreshing. However, you can still indulge in dessert if you’re avoiding dairy and eggs. Vegan desserts are popping up everywhere, featuring coconut oil in lieu of butter, cashew milk instead of cream, and flax seeds in place of eggs.
And instead of reaching out for the good old faithful potato chips, you will see a better-for-you snack food like crispy snap peas, brussels sprout chips, or salt and vinegar–roasted edamame – oven roasted or air fried.
We are seeing chefs focussing on produce in season, growing their own herbs and utilising ingredients from their surroundings, and applying their creativity and personality to them.
Restaurants are encouraging patrons to share with share plates and creating environments again for the family to dine. It’s how you grew up, with a lot of food and family gathered around the table for hours.
9. Savoury Desserts
Savoury desserts have been taking hold for a while but this trend shows no sign of slowing. They will continue to dominate menus as more chefs look to incorporate new ingredients into their dessert offerings. Cauliflower will invade your chocolate mouse, bacon on your donut, green tea in your ice cream, yeast sprinkled like sugar!
10. Online Shopping
Online shopping will continue to grow for the time poor with low cost to enter. With technology developed in the 80s finally coming into trend, smart fridges producing shopping lists of what you need to order will become mainstream.
Have a great 2018!