Off the Menu Side Dish: Food Trends for 2018

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I’m always curious about food trends, so I was intrigued by a recent announcement from the National Restaurant Association, who surveyed nearly 700 professional chefs on which food, cuisine, beverages and culinary themes will be hot trends this year.

Their response:

Top 20 Food Trends

  1. New cuts of meat
  2. House-made condiments
  3. Street food-inspired dishes
  4. Ethnic-inspired breakfast items
  5. Sustainable seafood
  6. Healthful kids’ meals
  7. Vegetable carb substitutes
  8. Uncommon herbs
  9. Authentic ethnic cuisine
  10. Ethnic spices
  11. Peruvian cuisine
  12. House-made/ artisan pickles
  13. Heritage-breed meats
  14. Thai-rolled ice cream
  15. African flavors
  16. Ethnic-inspired kids’ dishes
  17. Doughnuts with non-traditional filling
  18. Gourmet items in kids’ meals
  19. Ethnic condiments
  20. Ancient grains

Top 10 Concept Trends

  1. Hyper-local
  2. Chef-driven fast casual concepts
  3. Natural ingredients/clean menus
  4. Food waste reduction
  5. Veggie-centric/ vegetable-forward cuisine
  6. Environmental sustainability
  7. Locally sourced meat and seafood
  8. Locally sourced produce
  9. Simplicity/back to basics
  10. Farm/estate-branded items

Top Trends by Category

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES

  1. Culinary cocktails
  2. Locally produced spirits/wine/beer
  3. Craft/artisan spirits
  4. Onsite barrel-aged drinks
  5. Regional signature cocktails

CULINARY CONCEPTS

  1. Hyper-local
  2. Natural ingredients/ clean menus
  3. Veggie-centric/ vegetable-forward cuisine
  4. Environmental sustainability
  5. Locally sourced meat and seafood

BREAKFAST/ BRUNCH

  1. Ethnic-inspired breakfast items
  2. Avocado toast
  3. Traditional ethnic breakfast items
  4. Overnight oats
  5. Breakfast hash

DISHES

  1. Street food-inspired
  2. Vegetable carb substitutes
  3. House-made charcuterie
  4. Seafood charcuterie
  5. Amuse-bouche/ bite-size appetizers

GLOBAL FLAVORS

  1. Authentic ethnic cuisine
  2. Peruvian cuisine
  3. African flavors
  4. Filipino cuisine
  5. Ethnic fusion cui¬sine

RESTAURANT CONCEPTS

  1. Chef-driven fast-casual concepts
  2. Food waste reduction
  3. Meal kits
  4. Small-plate menus/ restaurant concepts
  5. Commissaries

SWEETS

  1. Thai-rolled ice cream
  2. Doughnuts with non-traditional filling
  3. Artisan/house-made ice cream
  4. Savory desserts
  5. Smoked dessert ingredients

TRENDS HEATING UP

* Doughnuts with non-traditional filling

* Ethnic-inspired kids’ dishes

* Farm/estate-branded items

* Heritage-breed meats

* Peruvian cuisine

* Thai-rolled ice cream

* Uncommon herbs

* Vegetable carb substitutes

* Veggie-centric/vegetable-forward cuisine

 

 

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