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2018 Food Trend Predictions

2017 saw a tectonic shift in the way consumers view vegetarian and vegan food, with restaurants and food service operators having to offer serious options to stay ahead of the game. We’ve also come to learn to appreciate more authentic Mexican cuisine such as al pastor tacos. But as 2018 approaches, what trends can we expect to appear as the year pans out?
British fondue
That’s right, this kitsch retro classic from the 70s dinner party is finding a renewed adoration and a novel British twist. Places like Camden’s The Cheese Bar and Yorkshire’s Courtyard Dairy are offering versions of fondue made with a mixture of British cheeses like Oggleshield and those that have that alpine trademark of hitting that magic balance of sweetness, savouriness and nuttiness all in one. One of the reasons this dish could be on the rise is its interactive appeal and how it follows on from sharing platters and cheeseboards.
Turmeric root
Ground turmeric is often known as poor man’s saffron, but the fresh root delivers an impactful punch of freshness and retains a whole heap of health benefits that are being touted by the growing number of juice bars and produce driven trendy brunch spots. The turmeric latte, despite its naysayers, has thrived this year and is now being spotted in antipodean style cafes. Fresh turmeric root is a versatile and powerful ingredient that food service can do well to adopt everywhere from fresh juices to Buddha bowls and fragrant rice dishes.
American style pies
Dominique Ansel is the mastermind behind that famed food mutant the cronut. The New York City bakery has since gone on to open branches in London and Los Angeles and one of his most Instagrammed items being sold in London right now are his fruit filled American pies. This genre of pudding follows on from the train of fast casual foods that we have become enamoured with such as burgers, barbecue and even tacos. Fruit pies have a role to play in many environments though and are equally at home on the menu of a mid-range restaurant, as a diner style outlet or food truck.
Rum replaces gin
Gin has been reigning supreme for a couple of years and we could very well be approaching saturation point. But all sources are pointing to rum as set to topple the clear, juniper led spirit. For the kitchen, this opens up a wider realm of flavours and a broad variety of different flavour profiles to cook and play with. Expect to see high-class rum babas using small batch spirits, and rum start to be offered as a food pairing.
Zero waste
Several newcomers have hit the market with restaurants and cafes that embrace an ethos towards reducing their impact on the environment. This comes in the form of incorporating food trim and leftovers into new ingredients like pestos and sauces, but also by implementing things like electrolysis water for washing dishes and harvesting rain water for use of flushing toilets. Expect to see big high street businesses beginning to adopt more eco-friendly business practices and starting to tackle single use plastics.
Flowers and powders
At a consumer level, edible flowers and intense playful freeze-dried powders are soon to be adopted by high street chains like Whole Foods and even Sainsbury’s. For the food service trade, this gives us an opportunity to demonstrate and inspire consumers with ideas on how they can be incorporated into cookery. A restaurant that inspires a home cook, is the sort that builds brand loyalty and stays in a customers mind; both great traits to keep repeat custom.