Food holds a special place in our lives. It is a part of who we are and operates as a medium to express our cultural identity. 2017 was a curious year when it came to new food trends going mainstream. From huge soup dumplings and Buddha bowls to cones with chicken waffles, there were plenty of new things to give your taste buds a new experience. Every new year, we promise ourselves that we’re going to try some new food, right? And if you’re wondering what new food trends are taking restaurants by storm this year, don’t worry we got you! We’ve analyzed all the latest innovations and developments in the food industry to determine what you’re going to want this year – and the best part is, you don’t have to run all the way to exotic stores to enjoy them.
The past decade has witnessed a rise in the ‘veganism’ fad among people. Consequently, there has been an explosion of new vegan food trends, ingredients and innovative recipes in the market. Today, vegan food has moved away from being tagged as ‘boring’ to more delicious options. One trip to the market or a retail store is enough to understand the progress that plant-based eating has made, as last year’s vegan food trends have become grocery-store staples now. As consumers are becoming more mindful of the products they put in their bodies and of the environmental impact they have, manufacturers have started becoming more conscious while catering to these needs. For instance, big brand names like Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers, Häagen-Dazs, and Halo Top have introduced vegan flavors recently. Here are our top picks of the vegan food trends that mean good news for our plates and taste buds this year:
- Meat alternatives
Cruelty-free meat alternatives is one of the vegan food trends that has been going mainstream in recent times. Recently, there has been a huge rise in innovative plant-based options, including lab-grown meat made from cultured animal cells. Last year, we witnessed an increase in the popularity of meatless burgers such as those from Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat. And now they’re becoming available at restaurants and grocery stores across the nation.
- ‘Black food’ trend
Activated charcoal is one of the most innovative and healthy vegan food trends doing the rounds today. They are known for being able to draw toxins from the body and help with your well-being. Activated charcoal also lowers cholesterol and supports digestive health. Vegan food companies have introduced food trends like charcoal ice-cream and water that are becoming highly popular among the vegan population.
- Full-fat everything
Fat is back in trend. Vegan food products that are high in fat content, such as avocados, coconut, nuts, and seeds instead of processed, are becoming favorites among people. These vegan food products ensure that consumers intake healthy fats, which are not harmful to their body.
- Vegan desserts
Giving up on desserts and other tasty foods are one thing that gives people second thoughts about going vegan. But not anymore. As more people realize that desserts can be awesome without animal products, they have begun to find substitutes for eggs and dairy in their sweet treats. This year, we are guaranteed to see a revolution in the field of vegan desserts. You can expect vegan donuts glazed with maple syrup, vanilla icing or filled with delicious jam, and many more.
- Edible flowers
Edible flowers were used, in the past, only for pretentious dishes in Michelin-starred restaurants. But edible flowers have now become one of the most popular vegan food trends among food addicts. Vegan food companies have started to incorporate such flowers in dishes prepared, thanks to vegan foodies showcasing beautifully floral dishes on social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. The most popular choices of flowers in vegan food include pansies, carnations, and nasturtiums.
To know more about the vegan food trends and challenges facing vegan food manufacturers
No matter how old we grow, for many of us, chocolate is something that has stayed close to our heart all the way since childhood. And for the sweet tooths out there, it is nothing less than an epitome of heaven. The chocolate confectionery industry is one such sector that is not restricted by age; therefore, the growth of this industry is indefinite and promising. In fact, the industry has shown a steady growth for more than a decade now. Manufacturers in this sector continue to innovate around the flavors and texture, this is one of the reasons why innovative chocolate confectionaries are always on the top food trends charts. The growing number of consumers who are intrigued and more than willing to give even the most outrageous innovations in food trends a try is what is fueling such experiments. So, get ready to be awed by some of these innovative food trends in the chocolate confectionery market:
Dessert as an ingredient
We have always heard of chocolate being used as an ingredient in desserts, but desserts being used as an ingredient in chocolate confectionery? Well, that’s new. From crème brulée to crepes and tiramisu –a whole other range of desserts is slowly becoming popular flavors. Beyond baked desserts, we are also seeing things like milkshakes and ice cream flavored chocolates being launched. The German company Kaoka has launched an organic dark chocolate with buttery crispy crépes
Manufacturers are increasingly experimenting with types of citrus flavors other than the commonly used orange flavor in chocolate confectionery. Indeed, over the past year, the number of chocolate products flavored with lemon has doubled, globally. And beyond simply lemon, we are seeing more elaborate variations – products with lemon, yogurt, and pepper, or with lemon oil. For instance, Gepa The Fair-Trade Company in Germany has launched a white organic yogurt chocolate bar with lemon zest and pepper.
Vegetables and chocolate
A heavenly mismatch of vegetables in chocolates is one of the interesting food trends to keep an eye on. Though still in the niche stage, chocolate confectionery launches in Asia (especially in China) containing vegetables are gradually gaining traction. Chocolate covered potato chips, pretzels, and popcorn are some of the commonly seen innovations in this category. In Japan, for instance, Mujirushi Ryohin has launched the ‘Purple Sweet Potato Chocolate’, with white chocolate and purple potato paste.
Cereals in chocolate
Certain cereals have been included within chocolate for a while, but we are now seeing other types of cereals moving in – such as granola and muesli – that give the chocolate more texture. Other grains moving into chocolate include quinoa, as seen in the Agave Quinoa Sesame in Milk Chocolate bar from the US company Seattle Chocolate.
A wide range of fruits including the likes of strawberry, raspberry, and cherry are already being added to chocolate. However, going by the latest food trends, there are now a lot more types of fruits being integrated into the production of chocolate confectionery. Peach is one of the fruits that have become more common, as seen in Poland with Luximo Premium, which launched Luximo Premium Praliny Nadziewane o Smaku Brzoskwiniowym (Chocolates with Peach Flavored Filling).
To know more about the innovations in chocolate confectionery and other food trends
Numerous health buffs are advocating the need to consume organic foods with the majority of the population following suit. For the general population, organic food is just another kind of food, which is supposedly healthy, but it is merely a different method of producing food. Historically, humans have been consuming organic food, but due to several challenges, farmers have started using various chemicals, antibiotics, food additives, and GMOs. Such chemicals and food additives have a negative impact on the human body. As a result, there’s a growing awareness for the consumption of organic food. Organic food includes any plant or animal which is grown organically, i.e., without the use of any chemicals, antibiotics, or additives. So, what are the top brands contributing to the growing trend of organic food?
Top organic food brands
Horizon Organic is an American company founded in 1991. It is the largest producer of organic milk in North America. Apart from milk, the company also sells other milk-based products such as cheese, yogurt, and butter. The brand is claimed to be organic by USDA and free of any additives. The company enjoys a monopoly in the South-eastern US milk market as it procures majority of the organic milk from over 700 farms across the US. Even their cows are fed organic food and are pasture-raised without the use of any antibiotics or growth hormones.
The origins of Riverford dates back to 1950s when the farm was taken over by the Watson family and converted into an organic farm by the mid-80s. The organic food brand has four farms across the country to distribute their products more efficiently across the nation. The company banks on its innovative organic veg boxes delivering to around 45,000 houses per week. The company also provides organic meat and fruit boxes along with wine and beer.
Amy’s Kitchen is a family-owned company that manufactures organic and non-GMO convenience and frozen foods in the US. The company has its headquarters in Petaluma, California and produces vegan foods organically. The company also has over 130 gluten-free products. Their organic food product line consists of foods like pizza snacks, carrot ginger soup, paneer tikka, vegetable soup, paella bowl, enchilada, candies, pad Thai, broccoli pot pie, and many more.
Eden Foods Inc.
Eden Foods Inc. or Eden Organic is an American organic food brand. The company is best known for its line of organic soy milk under the brand name Edensoy. Founded in 1969 as a co-op grocery store in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the company also claims to be the oldest independent organic food producer. Majority of Eden Food’s products are organic and vegan, apart from Katuso, a Japanese fish flake. In 1997, a test was conducted by the New York Times to look for traces of GMOs in 11 soy and corn-based products. The result found that only Eden’s milk tested clean.
Organic Valley is an independent cooperative of organic farmers based out of the US. It is also the nations largest farmer-owned organic cooperative besides being one of the biggest organic food brands. The company has a farmer base of more than 2000 owners across the US, Canada, Australia and the UK. The company markets its products across the US and exports it to 25 other countries. The company reported sales figure of over $1.1 billion selling products such as dairy, egg, soy, and meat. The organic food brand sells its meat products including chicken, pork, beef, and turkey under the brand name Organic Prairie.
To know more the top organic food brands, GMO-free foods, vegan products, and food and beverages market:
The ‘vicious circle’ of the latest trends are hard to understand. Yesterday’s fad might be outdated today, and what seemed to have been kicked out of the market ages ago gets embraced in the present and gets ‘back-in-trend.’ Hence, no matter which industry your expertise lies in, it is important that you keep yourselves updated with what is going on around you and more importantly cater to the whims and fancies of your customers to prevent yourselves from being as labeled obsolete in the market. The food service industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world. As far as the industry is concerned, “The best way to the customers’ heart is through their stomach,” and you get a brownie point if you can do more than just impress their taste buds. Keeping track of the latest food trends in the market gives you an opportunity to add a pinch of ‘WOW’ factor to the plate. Also, modern customers in the food service industry are always on the lookout for Instagram-worthy food items that could grab the attention of the followers and keep their mouth-watering too. Here is the list of the top food trends of 2018 that players in the in the food service industry need to incorporate into their menu cards right now:
Capturing regional taste buds
The food service industry is witnessing the growth of customers who are willing to experiment with global cuisines from around the world. In 2018, this is going to be one of the most prominent food trends. The rising interest of people to seek gourmet experiences, which speaks of a region’s heritage and highlights local produce are prompting several players in the food service industry to experiment with popular cuisines from different parts of the world. If you are looking for new additions to the items on your menu, then local cuisine from different regions is something you should consider.
Seeing a bunch of flowers is undoubtedly a treat to the eyes, but flowers on a plate just takes the game to a whole new level. Incorporating flowers in plating is one of the recent food trends that has gained immense popularity. The flowers do not particularly add any flavor to the dish, but they definitely make the dish more appealing to the eye.
Hunger for humane food experiences
The savvy diners today are abandoning gavage and marbling of livestock. They prefer to stay away from ‘cruelty on a plate.’ There is a high rate of increase in the demand for farm-raised eggs, pasture-fed meats, and supporting smaller producers who practice ethical treatment of livestock. Consumers today want to be assured that the proteins they consume have had a good life.
Adding the Midas touch – Go gold
Move over multi-colored cream cheese and rainbow bagels; it’s time to make way for all things gold and glittery. In 2018, one of the popular food trends paving the road to culinary indulgence is also about adding a touch of gold to it. Desserts boasting gold leaf inclusions, glittery condiments, and a dusting of 24-karat indulgence is definitely the way for food services clients to invoke the interests of those who like to sample the finer things in life.