While we’ve been captivated by two Royal weddings, #MeToo, and Hurricane Florence, we’ve hardly noticed that 2018 is coming to a close. It’s been a year deep in political turmoil, social causes, and online entertainment. But with all of the unknown ahead, one thing we know for sure is that we can count on surprising new and fun food trends.
This past year had its own edible identifiers. Fermenting was all the rage, and growth is likely to continue. Booze-free beverages took the healthy Millennial scene by storm, and tech competed for dining dollars with DoorDash becoming a household name and Amazon Go announcing plans for more market stores. Cold brew coffee and natural wine were in our cups and Instagram caught everything on camera.
A team of product developers, chefs, and innovators at The Kroger Co. all got together to discuss likely food trends and give us a sneak peak and what will be popular in 2019. Here what will be on your plate as we round out the decade:
1. Subscribing to eating lifestyles
More consumers are in pursuit of health and wellness so various diets and lifestyles will continue to take center stage in the food world. From flexitarian to keto, paleo, vegan, and vegetarian, enough people are adopting these trends to make us all feel and see the effects in grocery stores and restaurant menus. Prepare to see more options in jerky, quinoa, date bars, gluten-free pizzas, tofu and more.
2. Gut-healthy foods
Gut healthy foods are expected to explode in the new year. Fermentation was already popular, but this will be the year of probiotics. Watch for more products using Greek yogurt products, kombucha in flavors like blueberry ginger and raspberry hibiscus, and organic apple cider vinegar.
“More than ever before, consumers are seeking foods that support self-care and healthy immune systems,” Kroger reported. “Consumers will find a growing number of products rich in probiotics — good bacteria — and flavor.”
3. Low sugar and natural sweeteners
Consumers are demanding for lower sugar product options and also natural sweeteners. Look for organic blue agave light golden syrup to take off, as well as orange blossom honey, and organic coconut sugar.
“New solutions and foods will continue to be added to grocery store shelves to help consumers find products rich in nutrition and flavor and lean on sugar.”
4. Plant-based foods
Last year, 31% of people participated in meat-free Mondays once per week. Consumers are finding it easier than ever to incorporate more plants into their diets. There will be an even greater demand for plant-based products like coconut milk, powdered coconut milk, organic hummus, and organic proteins like light red kidney beans.
5. Local, regional and global cuisines
Modern day eaters want authenticity. Local, regional and global tastes are in, but they have to be the real deal — bonus points if they actually come from the source of inspiration. It’s a shopping local meets ‘citizen of the world’ mentality. Adventurous eating is still in, so is spice. Look for barbecue sauces inspired by specific regions including the Carolinas, Texas, and Kansas. Nashville-style hot products, brown butter bourbon truffle ice cream, pimento cheese and harissa kettle chips and bourbon barrel cola.
“America’s culinary heritage is as varied as it is delicious,” said Kroger.
(h/t Food Business News)