I’m a foodie, and with that self-assigned title comes an awareness of food trends. Some are creative and fun, some are over-the-top, and some are just strange, but nonetheless, they’re a thing, and I’m fascinated by them.
I joke enough about how avocado toast is soooo 2016 (I will always love you, avocado!), that brussels sprouts had quite the run as the “it” veggie, and that mobile coffee shops need to be the next big thing, that I decided to make a list of all the food-focused trends I’m predicting in 2018.
So grab some snacks and take a gander at my guesses for this year’s foodie crazes!
- Turmeric Lattes – Move over matcha, check yo’self charcoal, and lookout out lavender: I predict that turmeric is this year’s “it” latte, and I’m on board! I tried the new Golden Latte at Peet’s Coffee a month or so ago and am OBSESSED. It’s blended with ginger, turmeric, and honey, and I was impressed by its complexity – smooth with a bit of kick to keep it interesting. Added bonus? Ginger, turmeric, and honey are all great for you!
- Pressed Juices – I may have to trade in my kale smoothie jokes for fresher puns, because I think pressed juices are going to be a Thing.
- Sparkling Beverages – Everything’s better with a little sparkle, and this year I predict that beverages will follow that trend. I’m betting sparkling wines will come into their own (lookout rosé!), that flavored sparkling waters (think La Croix and Spindrift) will continue to expand, and that we’ll even see some more interesting concepts like sparkling mocktails and cold brew fizzes.
- “Gut-Friendly” Foods & Fermented Foods – Watch and see . . . Kombutcha’s going to have some competition this year. The concept of “gut health” is continuing to catch on, and so I’m predicting that food is going to get more gut-friendly. I think 2018 will bring more fermented foods to mainstream dining.
- Uncommon Grains – Quinoa was cool for a bit, but this year will be all about even more unusual grains, like hemp, farro, chia, and flax. This is great news for those of us who have gluten issues!
- Gourmet Donuts – Cupcakes are getting their comeuppance and gourmet donuts are having their day! From savory options like cream-cheese-stuffed everything bagel donuts, to non-traditional twists like blueberry cardamom, donuts are going to dominate the dessert scene. P.S. If you’re looking for the best donuts in Baltimore, then count down the days until SUNDAYS reopens at Cross Street Market or visit Dooby’s on the weekends in the meantime.
- Pop-Ups, Food-Trucks, Markets, and Collaborations – As chain restaurants continue to struggle (yeah, sure, blame us millennials), and opening a new restaurant still remains one of the most difficult business endeavors to undertake, I’m betting we’ll see more and more portable, temporary, and experimental dining options. This will include indoor markets and food halls (like Eataly in NYC, Union Market in DC, or R. House in Baltimore), as well as collaborations between chefs and even more food truck festivals.
- Instagrammable Dining Experiences – Instagram is changing the food industry. I said this years ago, when things like freakshakes and pastel coffees started showing up on the scene, and it’s now a well-documented phenomenon. As someone who believes that food can be art, and is easily wooed by a beautifully plated dish, I can appreciate the aesthetic elements that accompany good food. But as the food space gets more and more competitive, I think we’ll start seeing even more restaurants designing dishes that will make a splash on social media.
- Hands-On Dining Experiences – With diners demanding more from their meals, interactive options are going to be on the rise. Cooking classes, chef’s table experiences, behind-the-scenes food tours, and other creative ways to get people engaged with their food will continue to grow.
- Delivery – Companies like Blue Apron and Grubhub are shifting the food landscape as well. Expect to see more Ubers delivering dinner in 2018, as people continue to succumb to “Amazon 1-Click Syndrome” (that’s not actually a thing, I just made it up) and become hermits.
What foodie trends do you think 2018 will bring? Did I miss something you’re certain will be the latest craze? Let me know!