While most of us are too busy feeling shook that the end of the year is actually approaching, others are way ahead of the curve, forecasting what will be the biggest trends for 2018. Global leaders in the health and wellness sector, Whole Foods, recently released their Food Trends for 2018, and you can pretty much guarantee whatever they’re stocking on their shelves will be hitting your Instagram feeds faster than you can say avo toast.
Here’s the forecast on what will be influencing and inspiring our shopping trollies in 2018.
1. Floral Flavors
Fancy chefs and that insta wellness guru you stalk may have been embracing the floral trend for years, but in 2018 expect posy’s-a-plenty. With rose tipped to be the favoured flora, we can expect blooming bouquets of edible flowers atop your meals and all things botanical infused when it comes to drinks.
Lavender lattes and pink hibiscus tea will challenge the beetroot latte of this year (so 2017), with elderflower infused cocktails the tipple of choice. This trend will be fully blooming with fresh aromatics and soft, sweet tastes heading your way thanks to these perfectly delicious petals.
2. Super Powders
With convenience becoming an increasingly crucial aspect of our busy daily lives, it’s no wonder that super power packed powders are here to stay. More so, we will see them increasingly incorporated into both our ready-to-go and home-made smoothies, bars, smoothies, soups and baking endeavours, moving beyond traditional body-building proteins.
There will be a greater widespread acceptance of aruvyedic spices and adaptogenic herbs, alongside an emergence Collagen peptides for its additional skin, gut and hair health benefits. From energy boosting maca, matcha and cacao, to the turmeric trend that shows no signs of slowing down, to the vibrant green powders helping you hit your required veggie fix; expect to see these super powders everywhere.
3. Functional Mushrooms
Functional mushrooms are on the rise, transcending from a whispered wellness supplement and bursting into the mainstream in 2018. The wide range of adaptogenic varieties such as reishi, chaga, cordyceps and lion’s mane are landing the starring role across food and beverage product lines as well as in the body care sector… mushroom soap anyone?!
We won’t be able to get enough of it in our coffees, smoothies and teas! Expect to see its rich flavours popping up in gut-healing broths as well as its creamy, earthy tones paired with some delicious cacao and chocolate!
4. Feast from the Middle East
The cuisine of the year? Middle Eastern. If you were a hummus and falafel fanatic, expect to become obsessed with this trend. We’re predicted to see a rise in the showcasing of flavours from Middle Eastern cultures which will feature deep traditions, regional twists and classic ingredients.
Your palette will explode with flavour thanks to the inclusion of the earthy spices of harissa, cardamom and za’atar. Be prepared for shakshuka, grilled halloumi and lamb dominating menus, plus the inclusion of fragrant ingredients like pomegranate, eggplant, parsley, mint and dried fruits finishing off the cultural feast!
5. Transparency 2.0
Product labelling is about to get a whole lot clearer with total transparency becoming an expected requirement. Stepping up from the basic minimum requirements, consumers and brands will be heralding new standards of product intel through their label specifications.
From the source to store story, Fair Trade certifications, responsible production and animal welfare standards, shoppers will be seeking out complete clarity what they’re actually giving money to . GMO transparency will be a key feature to the standards of the year and the FDA is expected to take regulatory steps for nutritional labelling across the board.
6. High-Tech Goes Plant-Forward
With the rising popularity of plant-based diets, the tech world is set to join respond, bringing their savvy science to upgrade, advance and manipulate plant-based ingredients. Consumers will be offered mind-blowing alternatives whilst bringing many more options to the table. Making plant-based living more accessible to those on the fence, these new production techniques are not just upping the game…they’re changing it, whipping up concoctions like sushi-grade “not-tuna” from tomatoes, “bleeding” vegan burgers and to die for “nice-cream”.
They’re also bringing us a plethora of new varieties of nut milks and yoghurts concocted from pili nuts, peas, bananas, macadamias and pecans. Expect an increasing focus on dairy-free indulgences suitable for vegans, that taste so delicious (looking at you, avocado ice cream) that non-vegans won’t even notice the difference!
7. Puffed & Popped Snacks
2018 will see all things puffed, popped, dried and crisped hitting your shelves thanks to new extrusion methods (fancy term for ways of processing and combining ingredients) literally expanding your crunchy snack collection. From upgrading your old-favourite bag of chips, to new variations of puffed pasta and grains, this trend will sort those snacking cravings out in no time.
8. Tacos Come Out of Their Shell
The taco trend is showing no signs of slowing down. But, the craze will be taking a turn from its casing, shedding its skin to join the ranks of bowl-based meals we saw explode in 2017 thanks to the Poke trend. The street-food star is no longer limited to its tortilla or savoury history – 2018 will bring everything taco-inspired into your life.
From naked taco bowls (that’s no tortilla, but all the fillings), to hotspot restaurants featuring taco breakfasts and desserts, to creative wrappings like seaweed or grain-free, paleo options, this will be one big fiesta to get amongst!
With rising social consciousness on food wastage, and following from the nose-to-tail butchery trend, 2018 will highlight another version: root-to-stem cooking. This method uses the entire fruit or vegetable, including the stems or leaves which are often more nutrient dense than the ‘meat’ section!
Expect to see pickled watermelon rinds, beet-green pesto or broccoli-stem slaws, with recipes utilising every inch of your produce, finding new flavours and textures from plants traditionally divided and discarded.
10. Say Cheers to the Other Bubbly
It’s not soda, nor soft-drink, and it’s definitely not champagne. 2018 will pop the top off the booming category of sparkling beverages. Far from their sugar-laden counterparts and alcoholic ancestors, there will be plant-derived flavoured sparkling waters and sparkling cold brew flowing to shake up the fizz industry, whilst mocktail options will be offering tee-total alternatives for a healthier party pop. We’ll say cheers to that!