Last year I shared some food and drink trends for 2017; these included healthier sodas, new and interesting teas, and “free” food as in dairy-free, gluten-free and allergen-free. As we close out the taste bud trends of this year, let’s take a look at what’s in store for 2018.
- Meat alternatives are going mainstream. Look for plant-based proteins like tempeh and beet burgers to hit the scene, as well as nut and seed-based butters, cheeses, spreads and schmears.
- The regional cuisines of 2018 are Nordic; think colorful veggies, alternative berries (juniper and lingonberries ), and beet-cured salmon. Filipino flavors like stir-fried pancit and chicken adobo are showing up in the spotlight. Chifa, authentic Peruvian Chinese, and Middle Eastern cuisine will also be all the rage. And since we simply cannot give up our Mexican cuisine, expect it to be “reimagined” this coming year.
- Popped sorghum will start showing up in granola and snack mixes.
- Smoothies are now featuring superfood powders made from maca, moringa leaf and fossil shell flour.
- Medicinal mushrooms are chock full of health benefits and are beginning to take a starring role in coffee, chocolate, hot chocolate, and drink mixes. And though there are no actual mushrooms in it, mushroom popcorn looks like fun!
- Sparkling beverages continue to show up in a plethora of flavors, some new to the scene are fizzy coffee, carbonated maple water and more. La Croix has certainly added some interesting flavors to their lineup as of late, including blackberry cucumber, apricot and cherry lime.
- Nostalgia will bring items like meatloaf, French onion soup, casseroles and deviled eggs back in vogue. Expect to see chefs bring a signature twist to these old faves. Also, we will see a return to traditional bread (I can hear the mainstream bakers’ sigh of relief).
- Taco Tuesday is still a thing, but expect to see new and interesting tacos, even dessert tacos!
- While rainbow and unicorn foods are not going away anytime soon, an anti-dote has arrived to the scene and been spotted on Instagram – Goth Food. Black Latte anyone?
- And by the way, food is great, but Instagram-able food is even better!
If you are looking to wow the taste buds of your meeting attendees, be sure to include a few of these menu items into the mix. Enjoy!