When Whole Foods recently released their list of the top food trends for 2018, we paid attention. As the new year approaches, we love hearing about the latest culinary fads we can start to look forward to. Some of them are fleeting, like when we tried baby food cocktails last year. Others have surprising longevity: Kale used to be a weird leafy green barely anyone cooked with, and now, it’s basically a diet staple. From floral foods infused with lavender and rose to coffee made with mushrooms (really!), these are the products you can expect to see on store shelves in the coming year, and the industry trends that are on the rise.
1. Floral Flavors
Floral flavors like lavender, rose, hibiscus, and elderflower are finding their way into everything from sparkling water to lattes. You might even see them more and more in savory foods like pesto and salads too.
2. Super Powders
Powdered “super foods” have a ton of uses, and they’re increasing in popularity. Coffee is swapped for or enhanced by matcha, maca, and lucuma powders; turmeric is showing up in lattes and granola; and powdered kale and spirulina are making it easier than ever to make green smoothies even smoother.
3. Functional Mushrooms
In 2018, you might be skipping your morning coffee for a cup of energizing reishi or chaga mushroom broth. Mushrooms are also appearing in personal care products, like shampoo and shower gel.
4. Feast from the Middle East
You’ve been eating hummus for years, sure, but it’s time to explore even more of what Middle Eastern food has to offer. Look for spices like harissa, za’atar, and sumac and dishes like shakshuka, lamb, and grilled halloumi.
5. Transparency 2.0
Customers these days want to know everything about where their food comes from, and food companies are starting to be more transparent about their products. GMO disclosure, Fair Trade certification, animal welfare standards, and environmentally responsible sourcing are all things shoppers feel are important to know.
6. High-Tech Goes Plant-Forward
Plant-based dining is big, but we’re not just talking about soy chicken. In 2018, we can expect to see more innovation in faux meats and dairy, from “bleeding” vegan burgers to tomato-based faux tuna sushi. New plant-based milks, non-dairy yogurts, and vegan cheeses are being developed too, made from items like yellow peas, pili nuts, and bananas.
7. Puffed and Popped Snacks
Crunchy puffed snacks are getting a lot more varied with options like snap pea puffs, peanut puffs, and Brussels sprouts crisps. You won’t be limited to simple potato chips the next time you get a craving for a crunchy, salty snack.
8. Tacos Come Out of Their Shell
Unique “tacos” made from non-traditional ingredients are popping up everywhere. Dessert and breakfast tacos come to mind, but even more out-there styles like poke tacos with nori shells are becoming more prevalent too.
Don’t throw out those beet greens! Root-to-stem, the plant-based answer to nose-to-tail dining, focuses on using every part of the vegetable. Carrot top pesto, turnip green chimichurri, and pickled watermelon rind are some examples.
10. Say Cheers to the Other Bubbly
LaCroix isn’t over by any means, but more and more companies are jumping on the carbonated beverage bandwagon. From fizzy cold brew coffee to sparkling maple and birch sap, these healthy takes on soda only sound indulgent.
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(Photo via ORNELLA BINNI/Unsplash)