Last year’s food trend predictions heralded the dawn of a coconut craze and taco fever. Food trends in 2018 will include more alternatives, new flavors, and an emphasis on environmentally friendly ways of eating.
Some of the more eye-catching BBC predictions involved unexpected pairings … like raw fish and French pastry.
From sushi croissants to pasta donuts, this “era of permissibility” for food experimentation means no end in sight for more extreme fusion creations.
The spaghetti donut hails from the East coast. Made from pasta, eggs, and cheese fried into a donut shape for hand-held ease, this creation originated at New York’s Smorgasburg, a spread of fusion curiosities and Instagram food trends that could be the birthplace of next year’s hot combination, too.
Tea flavors and mocktails
The BBC says 2018 will be the year we see tea win out over coffee. It’ll also signal the rise of non-alcoholic specialty drinks. Floral flavors could unseat the pumpkin spice obsession, according to the Whole Foods predictions for the new year. Botanicals and notes like rose and lavender will fill glasses for health-conscious drinkers looking to curtail their booze consumption.
Just two months ago Leonardo Dicaprio invested in a startup making plant-based meat substitutes. The company, Beyond Meat, is just one of a several companies looking to cater to younger consumers who are increasingly adopting vegetarian and vegan diets.
In August, Bill Gates, Richard Branson and a handful of venture capital firms led a $17 million Series A round of fundraising for Memphis Meat. It’s not a plant-based protein company, per se, but it is one that produces meat without having to grow an entire animal. It has so far produced beef, chicken and duck from animal cells.
Impossible Foods, a Silicon Valley startup that’s been working on developing a meatless burger that bleeds. The team has been a plant-based “heme” (which means “blood” in Greek) that imitates replicates the bloodiness of biting into a still-pink-on-the-inside beef burger. Though heme is not yet available to purchase, expect plant-based proteins like tofu, tempeh, and quinoa to replace meat more often next year.
New (to the mainland U.S.) cultural dishes
The BBC predicts that Hawaiian poke bowls are here to stay.
The popular bowls, made with a layer of rice topped with chunks of raw, marinated tuna or other fish along with vegetables and umami-packed sauces, are ubiquitous in Hawaii and quickly spreading throughout the mainland U.S.
Meanwhile, Whole Foods says Middle Eastern cuisine will truly hit the mainstream in 2018, predicting we’ll see more spices like harissa, cardamom, and za’atar, as well as dishes like shakshuka.
Hyperlocal and low-waste
Local sourcing has been a trend for the last few years, but using foods grown in walking distance of the dinner table is an increasingly popular goal, according to the BBC.
Getting even closer than local farmers markets, some restaurants are opting to grow their own ingredients on-site. The BBC points to Danish chef René Redzepi and his two-Michelin-starred Copenhagen restaurant Noma as a leader of the trend.
An emphasis on reducing waste will also grow in 2018. Expect to start seeing dishes made from food waste or menus planned to use all parts of the ingredients.
In New York City last year, an environmental organization called Feedback fed 5,000 people free meals cooked from produce that otherwise would have been wasted. This event has been replicated around the world in 2017 and predictions say the trend could break through to restaurants in 2018.