With food and drink trends highlighting the global move towards health and environment, 2018 promises to set a precedent in the food quarters
Gut health, as has been discussed in the health pages, is the biggest food trend this year, creating newer market for items that feature fermenting, pickling and preserving. Some of the gut-friendly foods or probiotic-rich foods include fermented vegetables, fermented soybeans, cultured dairy and non-dairy products, fermented grains and beans, fermented beverages and fermented condiments like raw apple cider vinegar.
Non-alcoholic drinks are gaining popularity, with supermarkets stocking the shelves with these beverages to meet the requirements of today’s health conscious youth. On the list of non-alcoholic beverages are premium tonic waters with interesting flavours and botanical mixes.
On the condiment counter of the year is the timut pepper from Nepal. It is sharp and fresh and gives out a tingling residual heat.
As tea continues to hold its grip on the breakfast zone, 2018 will see it gaining additional mileage with herbal and green tea becoming all the more popular.
Forget the glazed varieties; the New Year will see doughnuts coming in unique fillings and flavours. From banana malt and espresso cardamom flavours to doughnuts filled with Snicker bars, doughnut lovers are in for big treats.
Croissants too will receive a new lift with fillings that can be best described as unique. According to food experts, laminated dough, which is used to make pastries such as croissants, are set to become essentials for bakeries, with flavours ranging from matcha to red velvet.
Expect Hawaiian food to become mainstream, as Poke bowls are fast gaining popularity around the globe. Poke is a raw fish salad, which can be customised according the tastes and requirements of the diner.
Meat alternatives are gaining momentum in the food industry, as meatless burgers become a part of the menu in most restaurants. The meatless burgers are prepared with what is called ‘heme’ (pronounced ‘heem’ and derived from the Greek word for ‘blood’); it is a molecule that gives meat its pink colour and flavour and even makes it bleed. The heme is expected to lead the market for sustainable meat alternatives.
As countries focus on dishes created with locally sourced ingredients, restaurants are becoming hyper local in their menu selection. The trend, apparently, is for dishes created with ingredients sourced within walking distance. There is a growing sense of localism to ingredients, making food so much more interesting.
Breakfast items are receiving an ethnic twist to cater to millennials who seem to be content with only brunch on weekends. The new twists to old breakfast classics are expected to add that element of attraction to the morning meal. Restaurants are joining in with recipes that are ethnic in their presentation or style.
Vegans on the rise
There is a distinct move towards veganism, as many a chef is employing tofu, tempeh and quinoa in their dishes. The focus is on taking dishes back to their plant-based roots.
While 2017 saw food and plant-based diets dominating the market, 2018 will groom its popularity further. With innovations in farming sector, this trend is expected to go a long way in not only reducing food wastage, as almost every part of the vegetable is used, but also in helping protect the environment.
Ancient grains (a grouping of grains and pseudocereals that are considered to have been little changed by selective breeding over recent millennia) are expected to make a comeback, especially with cereals, snacks, noodles, breads and other bakery products.
Grains and seeds
Protein-based grains and seeds are also on the top of the trend list, with hemp, chia, and flax becoming common add-ons in foods like yogurt, oatmeal, and peanut butter.
Check out the Social Media trends of 2018.