Remember the low-fat trend of the 90s? What about the juicing trend from the last ten years? If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that food trends come and go, but each year, we’re always excited to see how the food (and nutrition!) scene is shifting.
Hyper-Local The number one culinary concept for 2018 is projected to be “hyper-local cuisine.” More items are going to be produced on-site – some restaurants may even begin brewing their own beer! Many restaurants are also growing their own produce, and some may even keep animals to create their local menus. This is an exciting trend for foodies and environmentalists alike as concern over the industrial food system grows. Producing food hyper-locally is not only sustainable through utilizing fewer resources – especially in terms of transport – but fresher food is also likely to be more enjoyable for diners.
Food Waste Reduction In addition to opting for more local options, chefs are also helping lead the charge for a more sustainable food system through food waste reduction. To that end, chefs are adopting “root to frond” and “nose to tail” mentalities to utilize all edible parts of plants and animal-based foods in creative ways. For example, making a pesto out of carrot tops rather than throwing them away. Another way they’re reducing food waste is by using imperfect or “ugly” produce and highlighting less popular cuts of meat.
Plant-Forward Cuisine As many are looking to include more vegetables in their diets, plant-forward (and plant-only) options continue to make their way onto menus. Ancient grains and veggie substitutes for dishes that are traditionally carb-based (check out how to make cauliflower rice!) are expected to be particularly popular. Veggie hybrids like broccoflower are also expected to heat up this year.
Healthful Kids’ Meals Another exciting trend is more nutritious meals for children. As childhood obesity continues to be a concern in the United States and beyond, an effort to encourage healthy eating habits from a young age can have a major lifelong impact. Children exposed to more flavors and types of foods early on are more likely to be adventurous eaters and to eat more fruits and vegetables. Some of the trends that chefs are exploring include baked instead of fried children’s items, whole grains, and even salads specifically for children.
As new trends arise, some are also starting to wind down, including pumpkin spice, egg-white omelets, and flavored popcorn, according to the National Restaurant Association’s survey.
What trends have you noticed? Share and post your thoughts!