It’s only a short-range forecast, but here’s a look at likely food trends for 2018, as compiled by the Sterling-Rice Group, a marketing-research and brand-building firm based in Boulder, Colorado.
I’m not sure what to think of all these, but flavored coffee seems likely to take off. Ditto for pizza crusts that are easier to digest – especially important for the many of us who avoid gluten, since sensitivity is something more common as we age. (Celiac sufferers would be wise to avoid even these “kinder” pizza crusts.)
- Coffee + Spice is Everything Nice: Say goodbye to café lattes and hello to the flavor and functional benefits that herbs and spices add; think chai-style coffee or coffee layered with flavors of cinnamon, orange zest and clove.
- U-mami Makes Breakfast: Diners are beginning to embrace jianbing, a traditional Chinese street-food breakfast crepe brushed with umami-rich hoisin and chili sauce; layered with egg, pickled veggies, and herbs, and sometimes customized with sausage or bacon.
- Moringa is the Thinga! Consumers just can’t get enough of the green, which is why we predict that moringa – a superfood derived from the dried leaves of the “tree of life” – will be the “thinga” in 2018 and beyond. With more protein, fiber, calcium and vitamins than matcha, watch for moringa to become the next matcha or golden milk.
- Slow Dough: The frenzy for fermentation continues as artisan bakers and makers of pinsa – an ancient Roman style of pizza that uses a flour blend with longer fermentation periods to make the bread easier to digest – will spur a revolution in the way crusts are crafted.
- Trendy Tea and The Chickpea: Burmese cuisine, a blend of Chinese, Laotian, Indian, and Thai flavors, has the staying power to appeal to a variety of different palates, and we predict it will be pushing front and center in 2018.
- The Objectification of Food: Instagram has made food evermore about styling than substance. Next year the Culinary Institute of America will start offering classes on how to take “Insta-ready” photos of food. Full-on art installations and “foodzeums” are being created specifically to engage visually with food through the lens of a phone. Heading into 2018, we will continue to see visual food experiences created with the explicit purpose of getting the perfect photo opp.