Literally Every Single Food Trend Predicted to Take Over 2018

This is the year for regional Mexican food, Earl Grey tea, and… “functional mushrooms”


Food trends are fleeting, as anyone with a fondue set gathering dust in their kitchen cabinet can attest, yet every winter food companies, PR firms, and media outlets pull out their divining rods and assemble their predictions for what’s going to be big in food in the new year.

Outlets frequently often piggyback off each other, pulling from a list compiled by Whole Foods or McCormick spice company with a few rather broad additions from the National Restaurant Association that are easily recognizable by its outdated language (See: “authentic ethnic cuisine”). Others will draw on data-based observations from Pinterest or GrubHub.

There’s some consensus, for example, among forecasters that scientifically engineered plant-based proteins will be big in 2018 thanks to bleeding pseudomeat overlords like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. The world also doesn’t appear to be shedding activated charcoal food anytime soon. Others pulled out some truly original ideas like the rise of Earl Grey tea — in what context is not exactly clear. Who knew that cottage cheese would be “the new Greek yogurt?”

Could it be that all of these trend prognostications are complete BS? Only time will tell. Without further adieu, here is the monster list of literally every single food and restaurant trend prediction for 2018.

Regional Mexican and Chinese (Nation’s Restaurant News)
Asian island cuisine (Restaurant Business)
Restaurants designed for delivery and takeout (Restaurant Business)
“Gut-friendly menu items”/medicinal food (Restaurant Business) (BBC) (Chase Bank) (Fine Dining Lovers) (The Daily Meal)
Creative use of waste/upcycled products/food waste reduction (NRA) (Nation’s Restaurant News) (Specialty Food Association) (The Daily Meal)
Chicken (Nation’s Restaurant News)
Data-driven restaurants (Restaurant Business)
Competitive dining (BBC)
Customized employee training (Restaurant Business)
Labor issues (Restaurant Business)
“Fine-casual” (Nation’s Restaurant News)
Casual restaurants redesigning menus for baby boomers (Restaurant Business)
Israeli cuisine (Nation’s Restaurant News)
Colorful food (Nation’s Restaurant News) (The Daily Meal)
Vegan desserts (Buzzfeed)
Vegetable entrees/veggie-centric/vegetable-forward cuisine (e.g. fresh produce is star of the dish) (NRN) (Nation’s Restaurant News) (The Daily Meal)
Pizza (Nation’s Restaurant News)
Deep frying (Fine Dining Lovers)
Nostalgic foods (Nation’s Restaurant News) (The Daily Meal)
Jewish-style delis (Nation’s Restaurant News) (QSR Magazine)
Oats (The Daily Meal)
High-end no-alcohol drinks (Nation’s Restaurant News) (BBC) (Buzzfeed) (The Daily Meal)
“Farm to shaker” (Nation’s Restaurant News)
Farm to table menus (Chase Bank)
Adjacent wine bars (Nation’s Restaurant News)
“Augmented” cold brew coffee (Nation’s Restaurant News)
Mezcal (Nation’s Restaurant News)
New cuts of meat (e.g. shoulder tender, oyster steak, Vegas Strip Steak, Merlot cut) (NRA)

Earl Grey tea (Supermarket News)
House-made condiments (NRA)
Street food-inspired dishes (e.g. tempura, kabobs, dumplings, pupusas) (NRA) (Supermarket News)
Ethnic-inspired breakfast items (e.g. chorizo scrambled eggs, coconut milk pancakes) (NRA) (Supermarket News)
Sustainable seafood (NRA)
Healthful kids’ meals (NRA)
Ghee (Buzzfeed)
Vegetable carb substitutes (e.g. cauliflower rice, zucchini spaghetti) (NRA)
Uncommon herbs (e.g. chervil, lovage, lemon balm, papalo) (NRA)
Authentic ethnic cuisine (NRA)
Ethnic spices (e.g. harissa, curry, peri peri, ras el hanout, shichimi) (NRA)
Peruvian cuisine (NRA)
Specialized tea (BBC)
House-made/artisan pickles (NRA)
Heritage-breed meats (NRA)
Modern Italian (Fine Dining Lovers)
Thai-rolled ice cream (NRA)
Affordable food (QSR Magazine)
Tactile foods (Forbes)
Entertainment and technology (QSR Magazine) (BBC)
Savory desserts (Fine Dining Lovers)
Healthy and indulgent foods (QSR Magazine)
Drinks with “exotic” ingredients (QSR Magazine)
Alternative sweeteners (Specialty Food Association) (Chicago Tribune) (Fine Dining Lovers) (The Daily Meal)
Black foods/goth food (QSR Magazine) (Specialty Food Association)
Instagrammable foods (QSR Magazine)
Cottage cheese is the new Greek yogurt (Chicago Tribune)
Spicy-sweet, savory-tangy flavor pairings (QSR Magazine)
Fast and convenient food (QSR Magazine)
Ethnic-inspired kids’ dishes (e.g. tacos, teriyaki, sushi) (NRN)
Donuts with non-traditional filling (e.g. liqueur, Earl Grey cream) (NRN)
Gourmet items in kids’ meals (NRN)
Ethnic condiments (e.g. sriracha, sambal, chimichurri, gochujang, zhug) (NRN)
Ancient grains (e.g. kamut, spelt, amaranth, lupin)/traditional bread (NRN) (Specialty Food Association) (Fine Dining Lovers) (The Daily Meal)
Hyper-local (e.g. restaurant gardens, onsite beer brewing, house-made items (NRN) (BBC) (Fine Dining Lovers)
Chef-driven fast casual concepts (NRN)
Natural ingredients/clean menus (NRN)
Grain bowls (The Daily Meal)
Environmental sustainability (NRN)
Locally sourced meat and seafood (NRN)
Locally sourced produce (NRN)
Simplicity/back to basics (NRN)
Farm/estate-branded items (NRN)
Geographic cocktails (Food & Wine)
Artisanal whiskey (Food & Wine)
Equality (Fine Dining Lovers)
Cristalino tequila (Food & Wine)
Arctic cuisine (Chase Bank)
Small batch gins (Food & Wine)
Plant-based foods (Forbes) (Specialty Food Association)
No-broth ramen (Forbes)
Filipino cuisine (Forbes) (Specialty Food Association)
Delicious injections (Forbes)
Facial recognition payment (Forbes)
Floral flavors/edible flowers (The Daily Meal) (Whole Foods)
Super powders (Whole Foods)
Functional mushrooms (Whole Foods) (Fine Dining Lovers) (The Daily Meal)
Middle Eastern foods (Whole Foods) (Specialty Food Association)
Transparency food labeling/food transparency (Whole Foods) (Specialty Food Association) (Fine Dining Lovers) (The Daily Meal)
Plant-based proteins/heme (Whole Foods) (BBC) (Chase Bank) (Buzzfeed)
Puffed and popped snacks (Whole Foods)
Tacos especially tacos with different types of wrappers and fillings (Whole Foods)
“Root-to-stem” cooking (Whole Foods) (Specialty Food Association) (The Daily Meal)
Sparkling beverages (Whole Foods) (The Daily Meal)
Sizzling egg crepes (McCormick)
Souping replaces juicing (Buzzfeed)
Gyros meet arepas (McCormick) (Fine Dining Lovers)
Dessert bao buns (McCormick)
Berbere spice blend/North African spices/African flavors (NRN) (McCormick) (Buzzfeed)
Tanzanian BBQ (McCormick)
Japanese Izakaya eats (McCormick)
Wellness drinks/superfood coffee (McCormick) (Self) (Buzzfeed)
Hot pots (McCormick)
Slower-growing animals (Nation’s Restaurant News) (Supermarket News)
“Trash fish” at chains (Nation’s Restaurant News)
Naan (Nation’s Restaurant News)
Cannabidiol/Cannabis food (Nation’s Restaurant News) (Specialty Food Association)
In-house distilling (Nation’s Restaurant News)
Georgian wines (Nation’s Restaurant News)
Algae (Supermarket News)
Political food (Fine Dining Lovers)
Seafood snacks (Supermarket News)
Indulgence snacks (Supermarket News)
Healthy snacks (Self) (Buzzfeed)
Nuts and seeds (Self)
Omega 9s (Chicago Tribune)
Plant-based probiotics (Chicago Tribune)
Chicory root fiber (Chicago Tribune)
Pseudograins (Chicago Tribune)
Single-serve snacks and meals (Self)
Family-style dining (Virtuoso)
Poke (GrubHub) (BBC)
Timut pepper (BBC)
Lettuce chicken wraps (GrubHub)
Bulgogi bibimbap (GrubHub)
Korean condiments replace Sriracha (Buzzfeed)
Roasted cauliflower (GrubHub)
Spicy tonkotsu ramen (GrubHub)
Kimchi fries (GrubHub)
Air frying (Buzzfeed)
Cinnamon buns (GrubHub)
Cowboy cooking (Chase Bank)
Pumpkin soup (GrubHub)
Comfort food and dessert (Chase Bank)
Brisket sandwiches (GrubHub)
Yellowtail belly (GrubHub)
Communal table dining (Chase Bank)
Mini corn dogs (GrubHub)
Pork belly (GrubHub)
Brick pressed chicken (GrubHub)
Shio ramen (GrubHub)
Korean fried chicken wings (GrubHub)

Leave a Reply