Food Trends 2018

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w w w. s y s c o.c om dec. 5, 2017 the national restaurant association’s annual what’s hot culinary forecast predicts food and menu trends for the coming year. we surveyed 700 professional chefs – members of the american culinary federation – to identify the hottest menu trends for 2018. according to the survey, menu trends that will be heating up in 2018 include doughnuts with non-traditional fillings, ethnic-inspired kids’ dishes, farm/estate-branded items, and heritage-breed meats. trends that are cooling down include artisan cheeses, heirloom fruits and vegetables, and house-made charcuterie.


TOp 10 concept trends

1 new cuts of meat (e.g. shoulder tender, oyster steak, vegas strip steak, merlot cut)

1 hyper-local (e.g. restaurant gardens, on-site beer brewing, house-made items

2 house-made condiments

2 chef-driven fast casual concepts

3 street food-inspired dishes (e.g. tempura, kabobs, dumplings, pupusas)

3  natural ingredients/clean menus

4 ethnic-inspired breakfast items (e.g. chorizo scrambled eggs, coconut milk pancakes) 5  sustainable seafood 6  healthful kids' meals 7  vegetable carb substitutes (e.g. cauliflower rice, zucchini spaghetti) 8 uncommon herbs (e.g. chervil, lovage, lemon balm, papalo) 9  authentic ethnic cuisine

4  food waste reduction 5  veggie-centric/vegetable-forward cuisine (e.g. fresh produce is star of the dish) 6  environmental sustainability 7  locally sourced meat and seafood 8  locally sourced produce 9  simplicity/back to basics 10  farm/estate-branded items

10  ethnic spices (e.g. harissa, curry, peri peri, ras el hanout, shichimi) 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 (e.g. tacos, teriyaki, sushi) 17 donuts with non-traditional fillings (e.g. liqueur, earl grey cream) 18 gourmet items in kids' meals 19 ethnic condiments (e.g. sriracha, sambal, chimichurri, gochujang, zhug) 20 ancient grains (e.g. kamut, spelt, amaranth, lupin)

“local, vegetable-forward, and ethnic-inspired items will reign supreme on menus in the upcoming year. guests are implementing these trends in their own lifestyles and want to see them reflected in the food they eat at restaurants. in response, chefs are creating more items in-house and turning to global flavors to infuse their menus.” - hudson riehle, senior vice president of research download the full survey results at

Firmenich Names Fig the 2018 ‘Flavor of the Year’ dec. 7, 2017 “a true feel-good flavor, fig is becoming increasingly popular with consumers, with fig flavored products growing by more than 80% between 2012 and 2016,” said chris millington, president of firmenich, flavors. “with its numerous health benefits and sweet and satisfying flavor profile, fig offers endless opportunities to inspire our customers and delight their consumers across a wide range of food categories.” long touted for its culinary uses as well as its numerous health benefits – including its high fiber content and a variety of essential minerals such as magnesium, manganese, calcium and potassium – fig has surged in popularity in recent years. firmenich’s trend insights show that fig resonates with consumers who perceive it to represent health and authenticity, two trends that topped euromonitor’s outlook for 2017, and we believe these trends will continue into 2018. in addition, as consumers look to replace processed sugar with alternative sweeteners, fig has become a common go-to substitute. already used in jams and cereal, fig has increasingly been making its way into other categories including yogurt, tea, energy drinks, and even chewing gum. in savory dishes, fig provides a robust sweetness that pairs wonderfully with the salt-forward flavor of cured meats – and menu items such as bacon wrapped-figs, and prosciutto and fig pizza have become ubiquitous.

the fig is a study in contradictions. it is naturally sweet, yet extremely complex. it is meaty and gritty, but can also melt in your mouth. “figs are lusciously sugary with a texture that combines the chewiness of their flesh, the smoothness of their skin, and the crunchiness of their seeds,” said matthew walter, head of culinary at firmenich. “raw figs are tart but make a tasty addition to spicy curries. one of my favorite dishes is anjeer murg (chicken and figs),” he added. Beyond Greek Yogurt firmenich became interested in fig during the greek yogurt boom, which began in 2010. at the time, flavors connected to the beneficial properties of the mediterranean diet had started to grow in popularity. fig stood out among them for its singular qualities. “pomegranate, olive, dates, and fig were all on the rise and have continued to gain traction in recent years, but there is something about fig that we feel is special to this moment in time,” said mikel cirkus, director of strategic foresight at firmenich. “often associated with the universality of true understanding and knowledge, there’s a mystical quality of the fig that people are responding to in a world full of uncertainty,” he continued. from 2012 to 2016, the growth of fig flavored products (globally) increased by an astounding +84.3%. Firmenich is the world’s largest privately-owned company in the fragrance and flavor business. Founded in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1895, it has created many of the world’s best-known perfumes and flavors that billions of consumers enjoy each day.


NPD Group’s Restaurant Trend Predictions for 2018 article by fern glazer dec. 18, 2017

1. Convenience Above All

2. The Comforts of Home

consumers, who will be more pressed for time than ever, will make convenience their top priority. “technology was supposed to make our lives easier. it’s just made things faster,” said npd analyst bonnie riggs. “convenience and price will trump all.”

whether women or men, the spot where consumers will eat dinner most this year won’t actually be at a restaurant.

among those who will be even more strapped for time — and in need of convenient meals — are working women, whose growth rate in the workforce is rising faster than that of men. next year, women are projected to increase their share of the workforce to 46.9 percent, from 46.5 percent a decade ago, according to the bureau of labor statistics. by 2024, that percentage is expected to increase to 47.2 percent, or 77.2 million women in the workforce. while more women working won’t totally turn around the industry, riggs expects the trend to have a positive impact. “it’s going to drive traffic for certain venues, meeting this convenience need, especially at dinnertime,” she said.


“the most popular place to eat out this year will be our home,” riggs said. according to npd, 50 percent of dinners purchased from restaurants are consumed at home, and riggs expects that to grow in 2018. while operators may be concerned that meal delivery kits will fulfill consumer needs to eat more meals at home — effectively cutting restaurants out of the picture — riggs dismissed that idea. meal kits, while conveniently packaged and delivered right to the doorstep, still have be cooked, which makes them too time consuming, she said, adding, “the market for meal kits is too small from a price standpoint.”

3. Delivery Goes Even More Digital delivery will continue to be a must-have, but what will be different in 2018 is the growth in digital ordering. digital ordering has posted rapid growth in the last five years, and the most recent data reveal it represents 53 percent of all delivery orders, up from 33 percent in 2013. “delivery needs will be a catalyst for growth, along with other means, to get a convenient meal,” riggs said. historically the bailiwick of pizza and asian concepts, more restaurants in more categories have been adding delivery and digital ordering. mcdonald’s added mobile ordering and delivery via ubereats in 2017, and denny’s began offering takeout and delivery via a new mobile and online ordering system launched last may. “this is not for everybody; it's a must-have for most,” riggs said. “for some smaller chains, it’s just not doable. they’ll have to find other means to be competitive in the digital arena.”

4. Get Ready to Eat the only growth in the industry next year will be from quick-service restaurants, not full-service operators, npd forecasted. but operators can still take action. “full-service operators can drive their business forward any way they can get food and beverage into the home,” riggs said. a growing number of operators have already begun facilitating these “blended meals” at home. in the year ending february 2017, 18 percent of in-home meals included at least one ready-to-eat item from foodservice, an increase from 15.5 percent in 2015, according to npd data. among those offering such items is chicken salad chick, a 79-unit full-service concept, which offers a quick chick section located at the front of each restaurant with to-go containers of 12 flavors of chicken salad, as well as gourmet sides such as grape salad, pasta salad, broccoli salad and fresh fruit. “not everybody has time to sit down and eat. we want to make it easy to go, take it back to the office or home or to an event,” scott deviney, chicken salad chick ceo, told nation’s restaurant news earlier this year.

5. Value Battle price will remain another top concern in 2018, which means consumers will be looking for more value at restaurants. “look for another round of value wars,” riggs said. “it’s going to be a big value year.” one way that is likely to manifest is the continued use of limited-time offers, which riggs said we’ll see even more of in 2018, and new loyalty programs. in october, red lobster joined the ranks of major chains with an app-based loyalty program, my red lobster rewards. members can earn points for spending that can be redeemed for various offers on a future restaurant visit, as well as put their name on a waiting list at a restaurant. eventually, they’ll be able to use the app to place a to-go order. "we want our loyal guests to know how much we appreciate them, so we designed a program that rewards them for their love of seafood,” salli setta, president of red lobster, said in a press release. “guests can earn points simply by dining with us, and the my red lobster rewards app makes it easy to accumulate, track and redeem points right from their mobile phone." restaurants will use loyalty programs to build frequency, riggs said. “You’ll see a lot more operators offering loyalty programs just to stay competitive,” she said.


8 Trend Predictions for 2018 nov. 29, 2017 by bret thorn every year, nrn senior food editor bret thorn shares his food and beverage predictions for the coming 12 months. find out what to expect on restaurant menus in 2018.


1. Slower-Growing Animals

2. “Trash Fish” at Chains

slower-growing chicken is becoming standard at many colleges and universities, whose foodservice providers have committed to buying chickens that live longer lives; are allowed to exhibit natural behaviors (dust bathing, pecking, running around); and, they hope, exhibit fewer symptoms of woody breast, green muscle disease and other ailments that can affect meat quality.

as concern rises for the health of our oceans and the life within it, a growing number of independent operators are introducing their customers to lesser known fish, such as porgy and lionfish, as more sustainable options to widely consumed items such as tuna and shrimp. traditionally discarded in favor of more marketable species, these types of seafood are sometimes marketed as “trash fish.”

perdue, the fourth-largest chicken producer in the u.s., has committed to slower-growing birds. and other independent operators are exploring ways to make steaks from old dairy cows and beef cows used for breeding that are past their prime. new, gamier steak options result in a better return for cattle farmers and a compelling story for operators to tell customers.

but sea to table, which connects restaurants with sustainable fisheries, saw fit to rent a booth at mufso this year, nrn’s conference that caters to restaurant chains. word on the floor was that at least one pretty large chain was exploring the possibility of featuring an underutilized species on the menu. if successful, that would open the floodgates for other restaurants to offer lesser known and more sustainable seafood.

3. Naan

4. Georgian Wines

this fluffy indian flatbread, traditionally baked in a tandoor, is the fastest-growing bread on menus, according to datassential. and it’s rising beyond indian restaurants: tgi fridays serves a mediterranean shrimp naan sandwich of grilled shrimp with cucumber yogurt sauce, romaine, kale, garlic, basil and tomatoes on naan. the fact that chains are using naan instead of pita, which would have likely been their choice just a few years ago, indicates that naan might be one of the foods that moves indian cuisine further into the mainstream.

wine drinkers are looking for something new, natural and with a compelling story, and the former soviet republic of georgia delivers all three. with a wine-making tradition going back thousands of years, georgia is exporting wines that are inexpensive, kind of funky and, in many cases, all-natural. sommeliers are starting to rave about them, and major cookbooks and wine books about georgia were published in 2017. possibly thanks to a push from the country’s agriculture ministry, sales of georgian wines in the u.s. are projected to rise by 50 percent or more this year, according to a publicist for georgian wine.

5. In-House Distilling

6. Creative Use of Waste

regulations regarding distilleries are evolving as state and local authorities seek to accommodate the growing interest in locally made spirits. in october, the cavalier hotel in virginia beach, va., said it would become the first hotel in the country to integrate a distillery on its property with the opening of tarnished truth. where one in-house distillery opens, more are likely to follow.

af & co.’s annual trendspotting report predicted that the focus on reducing food waste will result in creative and marketable menu items. in san francisco, gourmet ice cream specialist salt & straw used leftover popcorn from the roxie theater to make a popcorn-spiked flavor. kitchen trimmings are also showing up at the bar to make juice mixers or infuse flavor.

7. Cannabidiol

8. The New Jewish Deli

there’s been a lot of talk of marijuana being added to food in the growing number of states where pot is legal not just for medical use, but for recreational use as well.

delicatessens serving corned beef, pastrami and smoked fish are opening all over the country, both in fast-casual and full-service formats. among them are wexler’s deli in los angeles, harry & ida’s luncheonette in new York city, mamaleh’s in cambridge, mass., and steingold’s in chicago.

in general, marijuana and products infused with it can only be sold by licensed dispensaries, meaning restaurants and bars can’t use it as an ingredient in goods sold or given away. it’s unclear whether hemp products would fall under different regulations. but restrictions will likely relax. denver residents have already voted in favor of allowing restaurants to be licensed to allow customers to use pot on-premise, subject to local community approval and other restrictions — although they still can’t sell it, and smoking indoors remains illegal. i suspect that early uses of marijuana in restaurant food and drink will not be with the euphoria-inducing and brain-clouding chemical tetrahydrocannabinol, or thc, but with cannabidiol, or cbd. while it doesn’t produce a high, studies have indicated that cbd can reduce anxiety and paranoia; boost energy; and relieve pain, inflammation, insomnia and other ailments, including epilepsy. on a federal level, cbd, like all marijuana derivatives, is a schedule 1 drug — like heroin — but its non-narcotic effects may pave the way for a faster track to further deregulation.


top 10 food trends december 30, 2017 the food channel announces its picks for the top 10 food trends of 2018. based on research and collaboration between the food channel, culturewaves and the international food futurists®, the list identifies some of the most significant shifts in behavior we’re seeing around food. this is the 30th year in which the food channel has predicted top trends that are destined to change the ways we think about and consume food.

1. FOOD TOURISM as consumer focus shifts from simply “going out to eat” to creating an entire dining experience, more attention has been given to the origins of popular flavors and the cultures that surround them. consumers want the back story as they more fully appreciate individual regions and specific cultures that influence the foods they eat. this experiential eating has created a tourism industry based on exploring the cultural and historical influences on foods. this is changing the way hotels and the travel industry develop food offerings, as they begin promoting local flavors and chefs, rather than adhering to a corporate menu. it has also focused some of them on becoming destinations in, and of, themselves, working with local farmers and hosting events to build a total food experience.

2. SCREEN TO TABLE with food fully ingrained in pop culture, and with more content than consumers can possibly watch, food has become a way to help people engage with a brand, across all screens (tv, ipad, mobile phone, movie theater, etc.). in response, brands are extending themselves by using food in promotions, even if they aren’t a food brand. for example, hallmark recently introduced ebooks that are companions to its movies, with each book containing a recipe referenced in the movie. netflix and video game companies like blizzard are offering extra food content inspired by their most popular titles. world of warcraft launched an official cookbook based on food that is in the game. netflix has a cooking show based on stranger things. alamo drafthouse does specialty menus that pair with the theme of the movie being shown. these brands have learned that food can be a tie that binds.


3. INNOVATION IN BEVERAGE beverages have seen a lot of change. for one, they’ve found a solid position as a healthy, portable meal replacement. they have all the buzz words: probiotic, plant-based, and healthy infusions of natural supplements. beverages are not only healthier these days, but they have a lot of interesting things going on, such as cold-press/brew, and a new focus on non-alcoholic beverages and mocktails. don’t even get us going on coffee, which has gone from high quality, specialty ingredients to cold-brew process and infusions in the future. bulletproof coffee has been leveraging this for years by dropping fatty yak butter into coffee for health benefits. as we see greater ethnic and cultural food influences embraced in the u.s., it’s only natural that fusion comes next. we’re seeing eggs and cream being swirled into coffee in a traditional vietnamese style; coffee as a base for floats with ice cream; retail brands such as eight o’clock coffee infusing its product with things like turmeric, chamomile or guarana—following in the footsteps of specialty teas. these examples emphasize how beverages offer process and flavor stories. it’s also a generational story, as beverage companies look beyond soda for generation z appeal. beverages are more experienced-based than ever, and flavor is crucial to the mix. 4. SIMPLE FOODIES food for “foodies” has gotten complicated, and we’re seeing a move back to quality, simple food that is both fresher/healthier and more polished/elegant. simple food has long had a health halo due to its limited number of ingredients translating to clean labels in the minds of consumers. simple foods are even showing up on traditional menus, giving consumers a better chance to focus on the flavors and the essence of the dishes. we’re seeing major chains cut back on their core menus and simplify dishes and ingredients. as they look to simplify, chances are new flavors and ingredients will be used to keep things interesting.

5. GENERATIONAL INFLUENCERS ON FOOD restaurant groups and owners know that it’s not one-size-fits-all. all generations want something beyond senior menus and kids’ plates. millennials and gen z bear close watching as they each influence food in different ways, with unique eating patterns— and we may see marketers catch on to that. gen z is considered one of the most ethnically diverse generations to grow up in the u.s. this means we should expect interest in ethnic flavors to increase. this generation’s familiarity and skill with technology have reinforced their demand for transparency and brevity— opting for clean menus and mobile-first service whenever possible. gen z is the group to watch. david portalatin, vice president and industry advisor food sector at the npd group, inc., says, “the more i study trends in retailing, foodservice and eating patterns, the more i become convinced that the macro themes emerging in consumption behavior are generationally driven. generation z is emerging as an influential force behind trends such as digital ordering, authenticity of food, the redefinition of meal composition, and experiential consumerism.” of course, millennials’ impact on the food industry cannot be overstated, and Juliana goodwin, a food writer who served on our panel, told us, “millennials are remolding the food industry. the group’s impact has been tremendous in food manufacturing, farming, alcohol, dining options, and its footprint is on many of the these ten trends.” the millennial generation’s demand for responsible, clean food has reshaped the processes by which food is packaged, resulting in frozen being considered the new fresh. the popularity and refinement of plant-based foods are due in part to millennials as well, originating from their desire for clean, less confusing foods and a fear of contamination, along with escalating prices for traditional proteins. demand for memorable experiences has caused them to embrace wine—a more sippable, social drink—or shun alcohol altogether in favor of mocktails that won’t dilute an experience. millennials have made snacking a daypart, and more. is it time to explore those habits in our trends analysis?

6. DO RESTAURANTS HAVE A LIFESPAN? we’ve been thinking about this in the context of why casual dining is suffering, but it came together when we read this quote in the new York times from bobby flay, who is closing bar americain: “like broadway shows, restaurants have their runs,” flay said. “we’ve had a good run. but there’s no secret that it’s exorbitant to build and run a restaurant today.” demand for unique culinary experiences has led operators and chefs to rethink the lifespan of restaurants, with the new opinion being that it’s ok for restaurants to have an expiration date—and it’s necessary for chefs to continue to grow and explore new foods if they want to be successful. in the context of the casual dining segment, it may be the genre can no longer compete either as a unique experience or with interesting menu options. legacy casual dining is being left behind by brands that can better adapt to the shifting spectrum of consumer needs for more interesting and culturally relevant menu options, as well as cleaner menus. the casual dining segment is beginning to shift its business model to slimmed-down menus, and a focus on doing fewer things and doing them well, in order to distinguish themselves from the pack. it’s no longer about adding more to appear relevant. for example, chili’s recently cut 40 percent of its menu in order to focus on what it considers flagship menu items—burgers, fajitas and ribs. food channel contributing chef beth wray told us, “there is an endless supply of resources – from recipe websites, to how-to and cooking-technique videos on Youtube, to inspiring short-form video clips featuring hands and ingredients only. all these things inspire food lovers to not just partake in good food, but to learn how to make it themselves. this means more people are eating at home, and inviting friends to join them. with any craze also comes an explosion of businesses and people trying to make something out of it—and in this case, that means more restaurants opened by people who love food and feel they have a specific specialty of food to offer (cupcake shops, coffee trailers, pizza joints); but, as basic economics teaches us, when your supply is greater than your demand, suppliers lose.“

The Casual Dining segment is shifting its business model to slimmed-down menus, and a focus on doing fewer things and doing them well. It’s no longer about adding more to appear relevant. 9

7. UNDERGROUND DINING we first called this out as “clandestine dining” in our 2009 food trends, but it’s worth a fresh look because of the ways in which social media has changed the game. where once underground dining was independent supper clubs and hidden experiences, it has become social media-enabled and more recognized. the l.a. underground dining scene is powered by instagram, giving backyard chefs a platform for engagement and promotion. trudy’s underground bbq, run out of a backyard by real estate agent burt backman, sells texas-style bbq in nondescript take-out containers. fans direct message him on instagram to place orders and set up pick-up times. social media has become the gateway for underground dining, even to the point of allowing people to set up unlicensed pop-ups. 8. SAVORY RULES surprise! Your christmas cookie has cheese in it. sweet has been supplanted by savory, and it could be the souring of the american tongue that is to blame. can we say it’s due to millennials who have existed on a diet of sour gummy worms? maybe not, but we are more inclined toward tastes of vinegar, sour, and fermented, especially when it comes with a health benefit. sour flavors have been making their way into the mainstream as cultural flavors, preparation and ingredients are embraced. not to mention the health halo of fermented foods. sour beers have been popular enough to elicit their own events and festivals. stone brewing in california, one of the largest craft brewers in the country, recently revealed it’s releasing a sour beer (its first) brewed with apricots. gochujang has long been anticipated to be the usurper to sriracha’s throne—the korean hot sauce uses fermented soybean powder to give it unique flavor. even hard cider is getting into the act: catawba brewing co. and bold rock hard cider released riverkeeper apple sour ale just last summer. 9. UNDERSERVED FOOD REGIONS BECOMING  NEW REGIONAL FLAVORS consumers’ demand for unique cuisines has driven them to turn their attention to regional specialties and better defined regional cuisine. instead of simply “southern” flavors, now we have nashville hot or carolina sweet. instead of “northeastern,” we have appalachian. this is not just limited to menus, but also to what people are planting and growing—raising regional crops in order to explore heritage and heirloom flavors and ingredients. we’re seeing food stories develop as regional stories, with heirloom recipes, new flavors, and new food experiences—and appealing to generations that may have never been exposed to them before. it’s a shift away from national grocery availability into limited and regional availability, and this is a trend to watch.


10. BUY OR BE BOUGHT we aren’t afraid to say it: e-commerce is changing the shape of food retail. we heard the collective gasp when amazon bought whole foods, apparently just in time to set the agenda around how brick and mortar can play nicely with e-commerce. that’s last year’s story. we believe 2018 is about the integration and expect some major changes in how we buy our food. e-commerce has already reshaped every aspect of dining, from changing consumer expectations for delivery times to creating employee-less concepts that invite consumers to pay through their phone. this has led to the creation of concepts like david chang’s new ando restaurant, which is app-order and delivery only, partnering with uber eats for delivery. e-commerce has also had leveled the playing field for meal solutions, leading to the development of “grocerants” and the designation of the grocery store as more of a food service hub in the minds of consumers. keep in mind this isn’t about technology innovation, although the evidence speaks to that. the real trend is in the idea of how two worlds collide and what the consumer will get in the mashup. BONUS: THE NEW NAPA we can’t leave these trends without at least mentioning what’s happening in the world of food due to environmental conditions. the wine industry is reeling from the devastation of natural disasters and wildfires. this is raising the awareness of and interest in wineries from non-traditional regions. we’re seeing midwest wines get some attention around its ozarks wine trail, for example. this pivot point could mean napa is no longer seen as the only true wine destination, as consumers adapt to new wine tastes and expectations.


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Download the 21-page Datassential Trend Report for 2018 at


grubhub trends december 6, 2017 grubhub, the nation's leading online and mobile food-ordering company, recently announced the results of its second annual 'Year in delivery' trends analysis. the data identifies the trendiest delivery dishes of 2017, as well as the foods expected to rise in popularity in 2018. a few key takeaways from the report include: • poke was trendier than ever for delivery in 2017 and is forecasted to stay popular in 2018. • san francisco preferred buttermilk fried chicken, whereas new York loved to eat Japanese cuisine, ordering more spicy miso ramen than the rest of the country in 2017. • vegetable entrees, such as jackfruit and cauliflower steaks, are on the rise for delivery in 2018, reinforcing national culinary forecasts. "we're always looking for ways to connect our diners to a wide variety of cuisines from our 75,000 restaurants nationwide," said barbara martin coppola, chief marketing officer at grubhub. "we were delighted to dig into our data and identify food trends, which this year reflect the wide-ranging tastes of our diners — from poke bowls to steak, and avocado toast to burritos."

The Most Popular Dishes of 2017

The Dishes Forecasted for Popularity in 2018

Poke — 643% rise in popularity Soft pretzels — 221% rise in popularity Avocado toast — 212% rise in popularity Chips and queso — 163% rise in popularity Acai bowl — 138% rise in popularity Chicken fried steak — 130% rise in popularity Bean and cheese burrito — 127% rise in popularity Italian sandwich — 125% rise in popularity Chicken dum biryani — 123% rise in popularity Mini corn dogs — 109% rise in popularity California Cobb salad — 108% rise in popularity Snow crab legs — 106% rise in popularity Country fried steak — 104% rise in popularity Sirloin steak — 94% rise in popularity Lasagna bolognese — 89% rise in popularity

Lettuce chicken wraps — 184% rise in average monthly popularity Poke — 91% rise in average monthly popularity Bulgogi bibimbap — 89% rise in average monthly popularity Roasted cauliflower — 88% rise in average monthly popularity Spicy tonkotsu ramen — 76% rise in average monthly popularity Kimchi fries — 75% rise in average monthly popularity Cinnamon buns — 74% rise in average monthly popularity Pumpkin soup — 64% rise in average monthly popularity Brisket sandwich — 54% rise in average monthly popularity Yellowtail belly — 54% rise in average monthly popularity Mini corn dogs — 53% rise in average monthly popularity Pork belly — 53% rise in average monthly popularity Brick pressed chicken — 48% rise in average monthly popularity Shio ramen — 47% rise in average monthly popularity Korean fried chicken wings — 45% rise in avg. monthly popularity

The Most Popular Dishes by City in 2017

The Trendiest Dishes for Delivery

Atlanta: Buttermilk pancakes — 234% rise in popularity Austin, Texas: Chicken fajitas — 416% rise in popularity Boston: Butter naan — 362% rise in popularity Chicago: Chicken taquitos — 373% rise in popularity Cleveland: Loaded fries — 350% rise in popularity Dallas: Beef burger — 325% more popularly ordered this year Denver: Tonkotsu ramen — 152% rise in popularity Detroit: Lettuce chicken wraps — 340% rise in popularity Houston: Beef fajitas — 289% rise in popularity Kansas City, Mo.: Mac and cheese — 447% rise in popularity Las Vegas: Tuna sandwich — 203% rise in popularity Los Angeles: Poke — 260% rise in popularity Miami: Sweet plantains — 418% rise in popularity New York: Spicy miso ramen — 331% rise in popularity Philadelphia: Sweet potato tots — 308% rise in popularity Phoenix: Philadelphia roll — 403% rise in popularity Portland, Ore.: Grilled steak burrito — 397% rise in popularity St. Louis: Steak tacos — 316% rise in popularity San Diego: Shrimp taco — 218% rise in popularity San Francisco: Buttermilk fried chicken — 136% rise in popularity Seattle: Bacon cheeseburgers — 344% rise in popularity Washington: Pho — 143% rise in popularity

Spaghetti squash — 351% rise in average monthly popularity Mezcal — 234% rise in average monthly popularity Zucchini noodles — 230% rise in average monthly popularity Jackfruit — 123% rise in average monthly popularity Crudites — 27% rise in average monthly popularity Deviled eggs — 26% rise in average monthly popularity Rotisserie chicken — 26% rise in average monthly popularity Cauliflower steaks — 21% rise in average monthly popularity Tater tots — 13% rise in average monthly popularity Roasted vegetables — 10% rise in average monthly popularity methodologies: grubhub's data analysts looked at dishes that climbed in popularity this year, using three different methodologies for the analysis: top foods of 2017 (national): order data was compared from 2017 to order data from 2015 and 2016 collectively. the listed statistic is the percentage growth in 2017 in comparison to previous years. top foods of 2017 (local): order data was compared from 2017 to order data from 2015 and 2016 collectively — in comparison to the rest of the country. the listed statistic is the percentage growth in 2017 in comparison to previous years. forecasted foods for 2018: order volume was analyzed for dishes that rose in popularity each month in 2017, and the monthly cumulative percentage change is the listed statistic.



Hot Food Trends for 2018



Tastes Like Chicken — give ‘em the bird! chicken is back and is growing in popularity. rotisserie chicken, fried chicken, chicken sandwiches... high-end chefs are embracing chicken and elevating its status. it’s cheap, delicious, and couldn’t be more comforting (hey, we’ll take all the comfort we can get in these crazy times!) stay on the lookout for more chefs introducing the versatile rotisserie chicken – easy on operations and the wallet, and perfect for delivery and takeout. don’t chicken out, it’s time to embrace the original white meat.

Washington, D.C. — there’s more than steak with ketchup! with an explosion in fine-dining restaurants that don’t fit the mold, and fast-casual restaurants that push boundaries, the nation’s capital is arguably the most exciting place to eat in, well, the nation. chefs are flocking to d.c. to open their latest outposts (hey there, chefs edward lee & argiro barbarigou), adding fresh flair to the formerly stodgy dining scene. this isn’t the d.c. you thought you knew.

pictured: rt rotisserie (sf) casual spin-off to sister restaurant rich table, the counter-service restaurant offers rotisserie chicken for takeout or delivery only. other examples: mcfly’s all-natural at the electric owl (la), city rotisserie (portland), mf chicken (sf), buffalo theory (sf)



Israeli — what is israeli cuisine? well, with a country that’s hardly 70 years old, it’s complicated -- and extremely diverse. and almost impossible to resist. for starters, prepare yourself to see more israeli inspired ingredients including sumac, za’atar, tahini, halva, halloumi, harissa, and chermoula popping up on restaurant menus.

You’re so Fine (and Casual) — “fine-casual” dining is hitting the scene! thank you, danny meyer, for coining the term.

from shakshuka at brunch to sumac-spiced donuts for dessert, israeli flavors are deep and vibrant, lending themselves well to both savory and sweet applications. pictured: zahav (pa) shakshuka is among the contemporary israeli dishes from michael solomonov, 2017 James beard winner for outstanding chef. examples: tel (la) - coming soon, nur (nYc), kismet (la)


pictured: chiko (dc) peel & eat shrimp with garlic Xo sauce and chili lime at this fast-casual restaurant featuring chinese & korean flavors, and a reservation-only kitchen counter with a $50 tasting menu. examples: himitsu, pineapple and pearls, timber pizza co.

what is it? think upscale counter-service – and even table service – with curated ingredients and unexpected touches like a wine bar and optional tasting menu. expect to see a rise in the number of restaurants popping up under this concept. we are entering the age of limited menus, where quality, speed, and customization is more important than quantity. pictured: martina (nYc) danny meyer’s pizza-focused restaurant coined the term “fine-casual.” examples: tocaya organica (ca), souvla (sf), duna (sf)




1  Color My World — lights, camera, action! everything is rainbow, thanks to instagram. the more photo-friendly your food, the better. in 2018, keep an eye out for over-the-top ice cream desserts, edible flowers everywhere, millennial pink chocolate (that is naturally pink!) and other unexpected colors showing up in food, such as jet-black charcoal lemonade. as long as it’s worth a photo, it’s worth the calories. even vegetables are getting in on the trend, with purple carrots, potatoes, asparagus and cauliflower capitalizing on the instagrammable fun. 2  Let’s Talk Trash — reducing restaurant waste is not optional. creative ways to combat and utilize trash are reflected in the kitchen and elsewhere. the ice cream shop salt & straw (ca & or) is using “wasted” ingredients in their popular flavors while also engaging in partnerships with organizations including food runners, a bay area nonprofit working to deliver surplus food directly to people in need. with celebs like anthony bourdain digging into the issue in his documentary ‘wasted! the story of food waste,’ everyone is talking trash these days. 3  Like a Vegan — vegetables have gone mainstream! long gone are the days of offering one vegetarian entree (we’re looking at you, pasta primavera). tastes have changed and even the happiest of carnivores enjoys a vegetarian dish. vegetables will be all up in your grill in 2018 (literally, sometimes), as entrées like rotisserie cauliflower, jackfruit tacos, and hominy ceviche are becoming standard – even expected – in restaurants across the country. we will gladly be eating our veggies. 4  ¡Viva México! — regional mexican cuisine has incredible variety. which is ideal, since you’ll be tempted to eat your way through mexico once you get a taste. mexico has 31 states, their subregions (oaxaca alone has eight), and the capital. need a place to start? get familiar with mexico city, where the infusion of traditional family recipes and ingredients with contemporary twists create dishes with both a story and a soul.


6  Forever Young — it’s the peter pan effect! millennials are growing up and are bringing their childhood food preferences with them! (errr... maybe they’re not growing up?) with nostalgic cuisine hitting the scene, items including chicken nuggets, tater tots, scoops of (safely) edible cookie dough, pop rocks, carvel ice cream cake and cheetos are showing up in unexpectedly refined places. soft-serve ice cream sprinkled with fruity pebbles, anyone? 7  Classic Redux — as consumers long for the comfort of nostalgic food of the past, expect to see items like meatloaf, wedge salads, deviled eggs, seafood towers, and crudité popping up on menus. classical entertaining with a twist is on the rise. You’ll see bite-sized beef wellington at catered parties, and classic vegetable crudité paired with a not-so-classic dip – like the ‘iced vegetables with sunflower seed hummus and hemp oil’ at acacia house in napa. 8  Contemporary Takes on Chinese Cuisine — the diverse regional cuisines and flavors of china are finally getting the attention they deserve, thanks to the rise in authentic regional cuisine. we’re seeing outposts that are coming directly from china, including Yang's braised chicken rice (la), serving up the shandong cuisine staple, huang meng braised chicken, and dadong (coming soon to nYc), a popular roast duck chain based out of beijing. this is a new kind of sichuan food, reflecting innovative food trends that are currently happening in china. 9  Let’s Keep This Kosher — Jewish delis are popping up across the country, introducing more people to the beauty of smoked fish, corned beef, pastrami, bagels, latkes, pickled herring, chopped liver, brisket, and matzo ball soup, just to name a few. with fast-casual (and fine-casual!) service and a whole host of build-your-own options, it’s no surprise that Jewish delis are gaining traction. it’s time to get your nosh on! we’ll l’chayim to that.

5  Take Another Pizza My Heart — it’s never been easier to make dough! from flash-baked to st. louis-style, fast-casual to fine-casual, pizza is making an appearance everywhere. in addition to the classic slice, stay on the lookout for more local and regional specialties, and global-inspired pizzas with influences from korea, Japan, and beyond. with all the change happening around us, a comforting slice of pizza is just the thing you need.




visit to download andrew freeman’s full 2018 trend report, ‘change is the new black.’


9 15

Restaurant Trends for 2018

nov. 30, 2017

2017 has been a challenging year, with hurricanes, floods and fires; the uncertainties of washington politics; and the amazon-ization of food. for restaurants, it was a year of grappling with rising labor costs, adjusting to diners who prefer to eat restaurant meals at home, and lots of vegetables. now we look forward to what’s ahead. here are rh editors’ predictions for trends that will shape the restaurant industry in 2018.

1. Bespoke Butchers the idea of a bespoke butcher shop, featuring chef-created charcuterie and condiments, has legs. the meat shop, a european-style butcher shop and eatery, opened in dallas earlier this year, featuring cowboy-to-consumer smoked and cured meats, cheeses, charcuterie boards and brisket, as well as foods to go and wine and beer service. overseen by executive chef James pettus, whose background includes country clubs, the cheesecake factory and independent restaurants, the shop offers indoor seating, plus picnic tables and a covered porch where customers can consume their purchases from the deli-like counter. the meat shop is also the sole retail outlet for nearby rosewood ranches’ certified all-natural, hormone-free and antibiotic-free wagyu beef.

2. Self-Pay at Fast Casual Restaurants self-pay is convenient for customers and cuts labor costs, said Jake freed, co-owner of fast-casual shiba ramen in emeryville, calif. at his emeryville public market unit, about 15 percent of customers use self-pay, “and that will increase over time as people get more comfortable with ramen. but if you’re selling more familiar products like burritos or sandwiches, it’s an even lower barrier to get customers to use a self-pay terminal.”

3. Self Care Cuisine the concept of self-care has been emerging as a guiding principal in consumers choosing food that nourishes and pampers body and soul. “as more consumers find modern life to be hectic and stressful, flexible and balanced diets will become integral elements of self-care routines,” according to mintel’s global food & drink trends 2018 report.

4. Hispanic Cheese hispanic-style cheese on the menu has been growing in the last four years. since 2013, cotija — firm, crumbly and salty — has increased in retail volume sales by 6.4 percent, according to iri. queso quesadilla, as its name implies, is the melty cheese that can make quesadillas extra craveable. it has increased in sales by 11.8 percent since 2013, according to iri. and other hispanic-style cheeses such as queso blanco and queso fresco are also getting more popular. about a third of these cheeses are produced in wisconsin, where cheesemakers are taking their own slice of this new opportunity.

and the trend is getting very personal. moon cycle bakery is a baked goods delivery service that “aims to help women redefine their ‘time of the month,’” and, as the tagline says, “encourage women to celebrate the magic that lives within their menstrual cycle and nourish their bodies while still feeling satisfied.” subscribers — or “moon mamas” — input their likes, dislikes, food allergies and the timing of their monthly cycle to receive the treats when they’re in peak pms/craving mode. within the attractively packaged box are three carefully wrapped baked goods that contain ingredients purported to balance hormones, like flax seeds, ginger, primrose, black beans and chia seeds.


5. Algae at a future of food panel by les dames d’escoffier new York, susan ungaro, president of the James beard foundation, remarked that “food is fuel; food is medicine; food is community and food is happiness.” this statement introduced the theme of untapped culinary resources found in the ocean, with the possibility of introducing new and sustainable, super-healthful species to consumers, such as algae. it’s easy to grow and already being used by several cutting-edge manufacturers in milk, vegan eggs, ice cream, salad dressing, baking mixes and cookies.

6. Natural Wine biodynamic grape growing has been going on for years in europe and california, but the rise of natural wines and the greater interest in agricultural practices and beyond-organic ingredients will spur a broader understanding of biodynamic agriculture as well as an appreciation for the different taste experiences natural wines offer, according to kara nielsen, vice president of trends and marketing for emeryville, calif.-based consulting firm ccd innovation inc. natural wines are on the menu at four horseman in brooklyn, n.Y., bar crenn in san francisco and night + market in los angeles.

7. The Rise of the Virtual Restaurant it should be no shock to anyone that delivery will continue to be a cataclysmic trend across the restaurant industry next year. expect more operators to experiment with delivery-only and takeout-driven models. these may be either entirely new concepts or offshoots of established brands. while some early innovators, like david chang’s maple, closed their doors this year, there’s no sign that others will stop trying.

8. Royal Tea the flavor of earl grey tea is taking the nation by storm, according to a datassential report. operators looking for unique flavors are turning to the bold, floral flavor of earl grey in ice cream at molly moon’s in seattle; cocktails, in the earl grey old fashioned at kona grill in scottsdale, ariz.; and in a raspberry cake at café life bake shop in philadelphia.

9. Greater Grains whole, local and old world grains continue to inspire chefs and foodservice operators to leverage their nutrition and heritage stories in new ways. artisan bakeries like baker's field flour & bread in minneapolis and hewn hand forged artisan bread in evanston, ill., are exploring house-milled products. perennial in san francisco is bringing once-lost wheat varieties like kernza back to life. grains are finding new life in other formats. some coffeehouses are turning to oat milk as an alternative to dairy or nut milks, and kvass, a fermented beverage made with rye bread, is showing up in brooklyn cocktail bars and in a russian-inspired salad dressing at duna in san francisco.


sterling-rice group’s culinary trends 2018 report is the culmination of our year-long examination of the global foodscape, based on international scouting trips, in-depth primary research, and input from our culinary council, a team of more than 175 chefs, restauranteurs, and food experts from around the world. while some culinary trends may rise and fall within the same calendar year, many of the most relevant trends follow longer arcs, manifesting in connected, yet new, innovations along the way.







is everything nice

makes breakfast

is the thinga!

IN 2015...

IN 2012...

IN 2014...

IN 2

SRG PREDICTED THAT consumers were ready to say goodbye to café lattes and hello to “hotter” coffee libations. Since then, we’ve seen nitro and cold brew increase in popularity, as well as experimentation with coffee blending, brewing, and steeping techniques.

SRG PREDICTED THAT the fresh, spice-forward flavors of Thailand, Vietnam, and Korea would work their way into American comfort classics.

CONSUMERS’ QUEST FOR VITALITY led SRG to predict the popularity of Japanese matcha, a powerhouse green tea known for its antioxidant power and functional benefits.


IN 2018... HOT AND COLD COFFEE beverages are prime targets for the type of flavor and functional benefits that herbs and spices can add; think chai-style coffee. Café de Olla, a Mexican favorite that layers flavors of cinnamon, orange zest, and sometimes clove is poised to rise and shine in popularity along with other spice-and-herb-infused blends. CAFÉ DE OLLA LAYERS FLAVORS OF HERBS, SPICES, AND EVEN FRUIT ALONG WITH CARAMELIZED NOTES OF PANELA (UNREFINED MEXICAN SUGAR) ONTO RICH COFFEE FLAVORS AS IT STEEPS INSIDE AN EARTHENWARE CLAY VESSEL.

IN 2018... YOU WILL SEE U.S. CONSUMERS beginning to embrace (with both hands) 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. While Americans aren’t quite ready for a traditional fish-based Japanese breakfast, Asian umami flavors have begun to take centerstage on morning menus. Jianbing easily fits into existing consumer preferences for egg-based portable breakfast options and provides that perfect umami pow. • THE FLYING PIG (New York, NY): Classic Jianbing or Specialty Hong Shao Rou with Pork Belly • MR. BING (New York, NY): Various jianbing options • JIANBING COMPANY (Brooklyn, NY): Create-Your-Own Jianbing

IN 2018... 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. Compared to matcha, moringa has far more protein, fiber, calcium, and vitamins, and a new study from UC Davis’s Dr. Carrie Waterman shows early promise that moringa may be more bioavailable and effective than the anti-inflammation panacea; turmeric. Watch for moringa to become the next matcha latte or golden milk latte. “ WHAT IS SO COMPELLING ABOUT MORINGA IS ITS HIGH CONCENTRATION OF POWERFUL PHYTONUTRIENTS AND COMPOUNDS THAT MAY HELP PREVENT MANY DISEASES SUCH AS DIABETES, CANCER, HYPERLIPIDEMIA, AND INFLAMMATION.” — CONSTANCE ROARK, MBA, MS, RDN, FOOD AND NUTRITION CONSULTANT






this year, we wanted to highlight the “trendjectories” taken by trends that allow them to maintain relevance and stay front and center in the minds of consumers. while foodie fads come and go, culinary themes with staying power follow unique paths—here are some of our favorites this year, presented within the context of their predecessors. we hope to whet your appetite as we share thoughts on what may “pop on plates” in 2018!



— liz moskow, culinary director sterling rice group




SLOW Dough



& the Chickpea

of food


IN 2015...


IN 2015...

SRG’S CULINARY TRENDS REPORT predicted a growing consumer interest in fermented, probiotic-rich foods in categories other than yogurt and kombucha. Since then, probiotics have earned “mega-trend” status, a topic we explored in detail in our 2017 Natural Nine.

THE HOT ASIAN CUISINE FOR 2018 lived at the confluence of SRG’s buzziest food “trendjectories” today! Our previous report highlighted trends including “Tea Leaves the Cup,” “Advanced Asian,” and “The Secret Side of Chickpeas.”

SRG PREDICTED THAT avocado would take over in new and inventive ways. Avocado #toasttuesday has become not only a popular way to showcase the versatility of the verdant fruit, but also a gateway to exploring the visual appeal of food.

IN 2018... RISING INTERNATIONAL INTEREST in gut health, combined with a continued increase in consumer gluten sensitivities, is leading more people to seek out less-processed, easier-todigest foods. In 2018, we predict more frenzy for fermentation 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. • CAMILLO (Brooklyn, NY): Various pinsa options • PINSA LAB (Brooklyn, NY): Various pinsa options • GRAND CENTRAL BAKERY (Seattle, WA): Ferments loaves for at least 12 hours


IN 2018... NOT ONLY DOES BURMESE FOOD take tea leaves outside the cup, but also ferments them and puts them centerplate in a delicious fermented tea leaf salad. Additionally, shan tofu, a meat substitute made from chickpea flour and turmeric is a mainstay hailing from the northeast of Myanmar. 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. FERMENTED TEA LEAVES, OR LAPHET, ARE CENTER-OF-THE-PLATE IN THIS BURMESE TEA LEAF SALAD. MYANMAR IS ONE OF THE FEW COUNTRIES WHERE DINERS CONSUME WHOLE TEA LEAVES AS PART OF A MEAL.



IN 2018... THE RISE OF INSTAGRAM MAKES food even more about styling. From unicorn lattes to edible diamond-studded sundaes, food is becoming a medium for visual expression. Starting next year the Culinary Institute of America will offer classes on taking food photos. Art installations and “foodzeums” are tailoring food for visual consumption for the camera lens rather than the palate. We will continue to see visual food experiences created for the explicit purpose of providing a perfect photo opp. • BLACK STAR PASTRY (Australia): Glonut or “Glow-in-the-Dark Donuts” • MUSEUM OF ICE CREAM (U.S.): Designs environments that bring people together and provokes imagination. • COLOR FACTORY (San Francisco, CA): A visual experience designed for people to interact with Instagram



2018 Flavor Trends nov. 28, 2017

today’s consumers have a diverse variety of lifestyles. health and wellness continues to be an underlying and important aspect of consumers’ behavior and attitudes towards food and beverages. Younger shoppers continue to drive experimentation and innovation with new dimensional flavor combinations and textures. in response to the ever-changing demographics and the evolution of health and wellness, comax flavors introduces its 2018 flavor trends, which are divided into four unique flavor collections. each comax flavor collection is comprised of a variety of food and beverage applications including non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, dairy and ice cream, candy, baked goods, and nutrition and performance products.

Not Milking It

Rest Assured

according to innova market insights, the global market for dairy alternative drinks is expected to reach us $16.3 billion in 2018, up dramatically from us $7.4 billion in 2010. in addition, product launches worldwide featuring plant-based claims rose 63% between 2011 and 2015.

as part of the general health and wellness trend, the lack of sleep or poor sleep is becoming a focus. in response to consumers’ desire for better sleep, there are a variety of consumer products and services designed to help induce or enhance sleep, ranging from pillows and beds to nap centers and sleep-inducing spa treatments as well as alarm clocks and a few beverages.

there has been a shift in consumers’ attitudes and behavior with vegetarianism, veganism, rawism and flexitarianism on the rise. we see a growing interest in plant-based products, particularly in non-dairy beverages. to address consumers’ demand for these dairy alternatives, comax created the not milking it line of indulgent flavors for a variety of nut milks. this delicious flavor range can be used in a variety of nut milk-based applications including beverages, frozen desserts and yogurts. flavors in this group include: • salted caramel s’mores made for cashew milk • sweet potato maple cinnamon made for almond milk • turmeric golden milk made for coconut milk

this soothing multipurpose flavor collection can be used in several applications such as rtd coffee, tea, juice, still and sparkling beverages as well as hot beverages, alcohol, ice cream, candy, baked goods and nutrition bars. flavors in this group include: • cherry chamomile • honey lavendar • warm milk

Think Pink

The Familiar with the Not So Familiar

“millennial pink” can be seen in lifestyle products such as fashion, accessories, and art and design. in beauty, “millennial pink” was named the 2017 most popular lipstick color in the world.

mash-ups or hybrid foods and beverages are not new but thanks to the cronut (croissant-doughnut) and ramen burger, 2013 was the year that mash-ups were added to consumers’ vernacular.

driven by this trend, rosé and rosé-based cocktails took off and now pink has become so popular it’s appearing in unexpected foods. for example, del monte fresh and dole created a pink pineapple while barry callebaut unveiled a ruby chocolate and the great british cheese company crafted a pink wensleydale cheese with raspberry & prosecco.

“the younger consumers’ desire for entertainment and experiences continues to drive innovation, which can be seen across markets and applications. to meet the growing demand for newness, comax created the familiar with the not so familiar flavor collection. this fun and playful flavor collection taps into consumers’ craving for dimensional flavors that add an element of surprise,” says armstrong.

driven by the younger generation, pink foods are flavorful, colorful and instagrammable. our versatile think pink collection can be used in multiple applications such as a range of beverages including sparkling drinks, juice, and tea, beverage syrup, nutrition and performance products, candy, and sorbet. flavors in this group include: • pineapple watermelon • pink & white cookie • rosé black cherry lemonade


in today’s fast-paced culture we are reachable 24x7 and consumers are feeling sleep-deprived and looking for ways to relax. to address consumers’ desire for comforting flavors, we developed the rest assured collection.

depending on the flavor, this eclectic assortment can be used in numerous applications such as dairy and ice cream, dressing, preserves, alcohol, coffee, beverage syrup, chocolate, and nutrition bars and snacks. flavors in this group include: • deep fried cookie dough • raspberry chipotle • whiskey pickle

McCormick’s Flavors of 2018 for 128 years, mccormick & company has been guided by a passion for flavor. this passion drives our constant pursuit of what’s next. since 2000, our flavor forecast has identified top trends and ingredients to discover the tastes of tomorrow. our global team of experts, including chefs, trend trackers and food technologists, is the force behind our successful predictions. these ingredients and recipes inspire home cooks and professional chefs around the world to experience and share the joy of flavor. Handheld Flavor Fusion take to the streets for the latest fusing of global cuisines. carts, trucks and food halls are merging high-flavor fillings with unique crepes, buns and breads for loaded street fare to eat with your hands. • Arepas: the taco-sandwich hybrid you have to try. fill these crispy corn cakes with sliced meat, veggies and spicy tzatziki sauce— it’s a blissful union of the best tastes and textures south america and greece have to offer. • Dessert Bao Buns: in china, these soft, steamed buns are typically served up savory. but, with a simple dough and classic pie fillings, you can create the ultimate handheld dessert—like a british banoffee pie bao with bananas, cream, cinnamon and toffee. • Sizzling Egg Crepes: egg crepes are just that—egg and crepe batter cooked together, then filled and rolled up like a burrito. stuff these asian wraps with regional american tastes like smoky pork, crisp slaw and tangy sauce for a southern kick. Globetrot with Hot Pot throw an asian hot pot party and leave the cooking to your guests. gather friends around a steamy pot of deeply flavored broth. offer meat, seafood and veggies for dunking, then finish with various toppings for a new diY meal. this east asian favorite can be easily changed up to go mexican, caribbean and more. • Puebla Hot Pot: steeping ancho chile, smoked paprika and spices in chicken stock gives this central mexican-inspired hot pot a smoky, savory taste. serve it with chicken or pork, corn, avocado crema and fresh garnishes for a festive feast. • West Indies Hot Pot: this hot pot features an amazing spiced coconut milk broth. bay leaves, thyme, turmeric and allspice add intense flavor to the broth, which quickly cooks the seafood. top it off with a chile papaya pica sauce and plantain chips for a caribbean vacation right in your kitchen.

Drink to Your Wellness wellness never tasted so good. breakfast boosts, snacking soups and end-of-day sips feature robust flavors and uplifting ingredients like cucumber, dandelion greens, ginger, turmeric and cayenne pepper. awaken, stay energized, rebalance and above all, enjoy. • The Morning Jumpstart: wake up with tart green apples, refreshing cucumbers, tangy-sweet clementines and a bold kick of cayenne. • The Afternoon Soup: power through your day with a drinkable soup. oyster mushrooms, avocado, thyme and sage provide satisfying flavor for the perfect pick-me-up. • The Evening Elixir: rebalance after a busy day. for the ultimate replenishing mocktail, muddle fresh pineapple with ginger, turmeric and dandelion greens, then top with a splash of sparkling water. Japanese Izakaya Eats sushi isn’t the only bite-sized food Japan has to offer. izakayas—Japanese gastropubs—serve up casual tasting plates, similar to spanish tapas. featuring bold glazes, tangy sauces and seaweed seasonings, these dishes are an explosion of flavor. • Onigiri: rice balls filled with flavorful goodness—are served in almost every izakaya in Japan. stuff them with ginger & plum vinegar-infused chicken for a sweet and zesty snack. • Furikake: in Japan, furikake is sprinkled on everything from rice and noodles to veggies and seafood. this coarse mixture of seaweed, sesame, dried seafood, sugar and salt offers umami deliciousness and a subtle, sweet flavor. A Bite of East Africa enter the new sweet heat. with an up-front bite and lingering sensation, peppercorns are finally capturing the spotlight. their cedar and citrus notes pair perfectly with up-and-coming naturally sweet ingredients like dates and dragon fruit. • Ethiopian Berbere Spice Blend: berbere is ethiopia’s most popular seasoning. the blend contains an array of spices like paprika, allspice, coriander, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and red pepper. its hot, sweet and citrusy flavor is perfect for chicken stew and meats, as well as lentils and veggies. • Tanzanian BBQ: these meat skewers, called mishkaki, are similar to shish kebabs. the traditional tanzanian marinade includes a blend of lemon, tomatoes and green papaya to help tenderize the meat. curry, garlic, red pepper and ginger are added for a bold flavor.

(l-r) fusion bao buns, puebla hot pot, spiced cucumber and apple morning Jumpstart drink, onigiri (stuffed rice balls), berbere spice blend to view and explore the full flavor forecast report, visit


Hottest Food & Beverage Trends nov. 2017 for the complete baum + whiteman’s hottest trends report, with more photos and colorful commentary, please visit

Plant-Based Foods Go Mainstream

Three Next-Wave Cuisines

demand for plant-based foods is expected to grow 10% annually for the foreseeable future. millennials and gen X and zers are embracing "plant-based" food while still young – and probably sticking with it. so we're looking at a food industry divide, where plant-based products capture increasing shelf space in supermarkets but (so far) little space on restaurant menus. look for more restaurants to offer vegan cheese on burgers and pizza, more plant-based meat entrees (following in the steps of beyond meat and the impossible burger,) and more vegan frozen desserts.

1. philippine cuisine. dishes like lumpia, sisig, longganisa, and kare-kare aren't yet on the tips of our tongues... but they're getting there; google searches for filipino food doubled since 2012. we're also inundated with ube, the purple yam that's been coloring our food lately. 2. indian fast-casual street food. moving beyond curry, startups are "fusionating" – tandoori chicken poutine or spicy lamb burritos or chicken masala pizza – making it less intimidating for americans. most are small businesses questing to become "the chipotle of indian cuisine" featuring build-your-own bowls, wraps and salads. 3. upscale korean. we're gobbling up big flavors based on fermented food, lots of umami and relentless spicing. upscale korean restaurants are escaping america's rowdy koreatowns with their beer-stoked karaoke bars and smoky cook-it-yourself grills.

The Technocrats are Taking Over by the end of 2018, lots of delivery services either will be gobbled up by big gorillas like uber and google and amazon, or they'll have collapsed under competitive pressure. look at what's happened in the last few months as the big social media titans expand their services and transform how we'll be interfacing with restaurants. we'll have to quit thinking about food and home and food away from home because the categories now have too much overlap.

Avocado isn’t Toast Yet... avocado has gone baroque! hoping to escape triteness, restaurants are going artsy with the avocado dishes – even losing the toast.


when you look at names like amazon, google, airbnb and opentable, you know there'll be a huge competitive shakeout and lots of mergers ahead. in the long run, we'll have less consumer choice, in the way that you have little choice in internet service providers.

Going Cashless a smattering of restaurants have stopped accepting cash without much hullaballoo. now sweetgreen and shake shack are taking the plunge, so scrapping old "cash registers" has become a big social issue because it accentuates the spread between "haves" and "have-nots." the "haves" have bank cards and mobile wallets; the "have-nots" generally are poor and unbanked. so this could be more controversial than non-tipping restaurants.

Getting Sloshed on a Slushie

Flavor Injectors

restaurants will be boozing up their desserts and ice creams. so you might be carded at disney springs' amorette's patisserie where they're serving red wine slushies flavored with strawberries. aldi in britain sells gin-and-tonic popsicles containing about 11% booze, and more gin-infused products are coming. haagen-dazs recently launched boozed-up ice cream pints: vodka-keylime, and whisky-chocolate truffle... but only in canada.

as if we're not already bombarded with hopped-up flavors, now restaurants are having us inject additional sweet and savory flavors into food. it's a method of getting us" involved" with what we're eating – or perhaps customization has gone a step too far. it affirms that americans are a bunch of flavor junkies.

What’s Next for Fast Casual (Besides Booze?)

Feeding and Paying with Your Face

new fast-casual concepts keep swarming into a field that's already saturated– indian, korean, doner kebabs, sushi, multi-ethnic burritos, chinese wraps, grilled cheese. meanwhile, earlier arrivals are making radical changes, widening their niches and putting competitive distance between themselves and the newcomers. they're becoming more like fast food and at the same time becoming more like restaurants, hoping to poach customers from both ends of the price spectrum.

here's a technology that you'll consider either creepy or convenient: facial recognition is edging into restaurants. a kfc unit in china has a camera-embedded ordering kiosk that almost instantly recognizes your face, who you are, what you ordered last time and any other transactions you made at the shop. if you opt to repeat your last order, you then swipe your card... and in four seconds you're done. will consumers sacrifice privacy for speed? we'll bet they will.

they are stealing pages from fast food playbooks: a) adding order-and-pay kiosks to speed service, like mcdonald's has. b) adding drive-thru facilities (what happens to drive-thru windows when we have driverless cars, do you suppose?)

Dry-ish Ramen

emulating casual dining restaurants, they are: c) upgrading lighting, decor, and interior design and enhancing creature comforts to appear more like restaurants so they are more suitable for nighttime dining. d) promoting urban delivery and – even more important – customer pickup. they've uprooted the first 20 feet of their stores, adding shelves for pre-ordered bagged lunches, giving new meaning to "grab-and-go."

they're taking the soup out of trendy ramen, creating an even trendier version that's less likely to dribble into your lap. it's called mazemen or "mixed noodles." You still get a bowl, but it contains a modest amount of strongly flavored sauce (instead of broth) with lots of traditional and wacko toppings. You toss these as you would italian pasta. what goes atop these noodles? bacon and eggs; ricotta, white beets and mustard greens; cured salmon and camembert; cream cheese, parmesan and minced smoked pork; chili oil and tahini... plus all manner of traditional Japanese toppings, which probably is the best way to go. the dish should have a real kick to it, and it is about the noodles rather than the broth.

e) building second cook-lines just for to-go and catering orders. f) having "waiters" bring food to your table after you've paid at a kiosk or at the counter. note: these are not tipped employees so customers don't see increased checks and operators avoid costly accounting complexities that come with tipped personnel. g) putting in-store dining on real plates. h) offering beer, wine and even cocktails.


6 Foodservice Trends to Watch

1. Asian Island Cuisine

2. Data Everywhere

the next progression of food trends coming from the far east is asian island fare. as momentum builds around filipino foods, expect culinary influences from indonesia, malaysia and singapore to crop up. the sour, bitter and aromatic flavor profiles from these island nations take influence from mainland asian and europe, making them both familiar and exotic.

technology is allowing restaurants to move beyond simple customization into an even more detailed level of service: personalization. data will drive virtually every aspect of restaurant operations, from personalized marketing appeals to hypercustomized menu suggestions. look for consumers to become increasingly comfortable sharing personal data— especially as they discover it leads to personalized service.

food forecasts: look for sambal, kaffir lime, filipino adobo and southeast asian street foods to gain more favor.

3. Delivering a Gut Check

4. Boomers are Back

now that allergen-free foods are mainstream, restaurants are exploring the next health frontier: lower-intensity, gut-friendly menu items. there will be more incorporation of probiotic, prebiotic and anti-inflammatory ingredients into foods, such as tumeric, aloe and flaxseed. plus, consumers can expect to see more hot and spicy flavors paired with tangy, fruity or sweet accents to lower the intensity of these flavors and bring out more balance and complexity to the taste buds.

after years of focusing heavily on millennials, restaurants are entering into a renewed love affair with baby boomers. the industry will see more restaurants—especially casual-dining players that essentially grew up with boomers—to specifically court this population and its high disposable income, as chili's and applebee's recently have.

5.Targeting Off-Premise

6. Workforce Development Gets Highly Tailored

expect to see a growing number of concepts redesigning to accommodate delivery and takeout, from second makelines to revamped order pickup areas, and separate drive-thrus for third-party and in-house delivery drivers. growing grab-and-go competition from retailers will spur restaurant innovation around travel-friendly options and more heat-and-eat meals.

to attract new demographics in a historically tight labor market, operators are developing personalized career ladders to help nontraditional restaurant workers find opportunities for advancement—even outside the restaurant's operations. more tools will be developed to help employers and employees set mutually beneficial goals and think beyond the next paycheck.


Four Key Foodservice Trends for 2018

dec. 6, 2017

mintel predicts that 2018 will see the blurring of retail, foodservice, and social media, as well as health and indulgence. food incubators will foster creativity, with shared kitchens and small spaces giving chefs the ability to let their creativity flourish. automated order and delivery processes will meet the need for convenience as consumers become more comfortable with and reliant on restaurant technology. as americans prioritize self-care, food and drink offerings that are both functional and flavorful will rise to the top. finally, the routine use of social media will impact the creation of next-level menus and food presentation. • Co-op Cuisine. the high cost of entry for new restaurants will drive chefs to concept test in shared spaces. opening a brand new restaurant is no easy feat; a great deal of capital is needed, menu development can take months, and once everything is up and running, the concept may still fall flat with consumers. these costs and risks are causing more chefs to utilize food incubators before opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant. incubators such as r. house in baltimore allow chefs to test and refine concepts at a fraction of the price of opening a restaurant. consumers will increasingly demand the food hall concept in their local areas, fueling the opportunity for chefs at every level to let their creativity flourish. • The Need for Speed. time-strapped diners value convenience and affordability more than ever, and operators will respond by leveraging technology advances, all in the name of food—fast. at the same time that americans are becoming more time-strapped, they’re also leading more flexible lives, impacting the types of foodservice concepts required to meet their needs. traditional office environments are being traded in for remote work environments as consumers swap their cubicle for a coffee shop couch. according to the us department of labor bureau of labor statistics, in 2016, more than one in five employed americans did some or all of their work at home; this represents a 3% increase since 2003. furthermore, nearly one in 10 consumers report dining out to work remotely. as a result, many operators are recognizing the value in offering all-day dining and delivery to meet diners’ various needs. while the quick-service restaurant segment is known for offering a quick and affordable meal—appealing to the 25% of americans who dine out because they don’t have time to prepare meals at home—other foodservice operators recognize consumers’ desire for fast and frugal eats, creating cross-segment competition. convenience store foodservice is ramping up with customizable frozen yogurt bars and cold brew coffee, while virtual restaurants and vending machines are proving you don’t need bricks and mortar to stay on trend.

• Foodceuticals. the intersection of food and function will become more apparent as menu items focus on consumers’ well-being from the inside out. self-care is becoming increasingly important, especially for the youngest generations who are making an effort to embrace their sense of self. as more americans view the food they eat as a reflection of who they are, consumers are becoming more mindful of their food and beverage choices. however, eating well doesn’t have to mean eating dull. consumers are looking for items that pack a punch of health and flavor and mintel research shows that 83% of diners agree healthy food can taste delicious. menu items are sprinkling in functional ingredients, such as collagen and activated charcoal. but functional ingredients aren’t limited to use in healthy offerings; an activated charcoal ice cream cone can be found alongside a collagen smoothie. a focus on functionality is also happening in the retail space with rising consumer interest in clean label and functional claims on everything from cookies to kombucha. whatever the format, foods and beverages are making it easier for americans to incorporate healthy habits into their lifestyles. two in five diners try to eat healthy but find it too difficult when dining out, and a third say nutrition concerns prevent them from dining out more often, promoting tangible health benefits of specific ingredients can aid diners in making healthier choices. • Feed the feed. the blurred line between social media aspiration and reality is challenging foodservice operators to create a menu that can live up to both expectations. if food is ordered but it isn’t posted on instagram, did it really get eaten? food trends like avocado toast, starbucks’ unicorn frappuccino, and over-the-top milkshakes represent different levels of indulgence, but they also set the standard for a lifestyle defined by social media guiding the ordering process. in fact, more operators are adding branded elements to food and beverages with the knowledge that the item will likely be photographed. this trend is largely being driven by igeneration (aged 11-23 in 2018) and millennial (aged 2441 in 2018) consumers, the generations most engaged on social media; however, with traditional media publications often reporting on viral social media trends, the brand awareness can reach consumers that go beyond typical social media users. the impact can also result in consumers paying higher margins for a dish simply because of its social media halo.

Download the complete Mintel Foodservice  Trends report at

Feeding the (News)Feed mintel research reveals 93% of americans are social media users. even when this vast majority are not directly engaging on social media, they’re still scrolling through different networks and taking note of new restaurants, pictures of food, and noteworthy food trends. this is especially the case among younger generations with 63% of millennials agreeing they enjoy taking pictures of their food. at left, the instagram-friendly unicorn frappuccino® blended beverage from starbucks was available across the us, canada, and mexico for a limited time in april 2017, generating likes, shares and social media buzz.


Culinary & Cocktail Trend Forecast

dec. 5, 2017

chifa and nordic-influenced cuisine, nut-based spreads, visual filters, sour beers and upcycling of ingredients are among the top dining trends of the new year according to kimpton hotels & restaurants’ fourth annual culinary & cocktails trend forecast. please visit to view the entire kimpton hotels 2018 trend forecast.

TOP CULINARY TRENDS Meat Alternatives Going Mainstream a majority of kimpton chefs said plant-based proteins such as tempeh or beet burgers will disrupt menus and win the hearts of vegetarians and omnivores alike. thirty-one percent of chefs think vegan and nut- or seed-based spreads like sunflower butter and cashew cream cheese will give avocado toast (the reigning darling of healthy brunches) a run for its money. Regional Influences expect to see more Nordic food influences, featuring fresh and colorful ingredients like carrots, cabbage and beets, and the embrace of alternative berries including juniper and lingonberries. from beet-cured salmon with dill cream cheese, cucumber, shaved fennel and pickled mustard seeds to pan-seared arctic char, nordic flavors and techniques will be in full swing in 2018. experience it at outlier – seattle and copper grouse – manchester a rise in Chifa cuisine, the fusion of cantonese and peruvian food, provides more evidence of south america’s growing influence on the global culinary scene. experience it at boleo – chicago reimagined Mexican cuisine and creative twists on classic mexican dishes will find their way onto menus in 2018. try the trend with chorizo-stuffed dates or octopus tacos. experience it at pacific hideaway – huntington beach and curadero – san diego

LEADING COCKTAIL TRENDS Variations on a Classic ninety-one percent of kimpton bartenders say they plan to use vegetables in a cocktail in 2018 – and we’re not just talking garnishes. bartenders are embracing nontraditional vegetables like beets, carrots, green beans, butternut squash, corn and radishes. experience it at Jane q – los angeles nine out of ten kimpton bartenders say they’ll go beyond traditional irish coffee to create coffee cocktails with a twist, from a turkish espresso with aged rum and agave infused with cacao nibs to a surprisingly sophisticated cardamom-coffee vermouth manhattan. experience it at double take – los angeles, coccoloba – grand cayman, and stratus lounge – philadelphia Regional Influences nordic influences will find their way onto drink menus by way of scandinavian ingredients like bramble shrub, dill, rhubarb and aquavit. for a classic sour with scandinavian and traditional fall flavors, try the aurora kiruna, featuring brennivin cask aged aquavit, absolut elyx, spiced cranberry syrup and lemon, topped with candied rosemary. experience it at boleo – chicago a growing interest in Japanese whisky, popular with whisky drinkers looking for a lighter, cleaner, floral alternative to american whisky. there are cocktails inspired by Japanese highballs with influences of soft fruit and spice all the way up to herbaceous and smokey. experience it at zentan – washington, dc and boleo – chicago

Emerging Spices spices like za’atar, a traditional middle eastern blend of familiar and obscure flavors from sumac to thyme, and vadouvan, the french interpretation of indian curry and kampot pepper – an elusive spice found only in the kampot province of cambodia. experience it at bambara – cambridge and outlier – seattle

Visual Elements eighty percent of kimpton bartenders said they would create a cocktail in part for their visual appeal on social media with vibrant colors, unique vessels and inventive garnishes ranging from elegant (a flowering herb bouquet) to eclectic (a miniature rubber ducky). experience it at highball lounge – boston, ma

Dessert Flavors thirty-eight percent of chefs agreed that sweet dessert flavors such as meyer lemon, strawberry, blueberry and blood orange will infiltrate savory courses to create dishes like crispy artichokes and dungeness crab with ember-blistered lemon curd or an avocado parfait with yogurt and cucumber. experience it at citizen rail – denver and Jane q – los angeles

Responsible Practices health conscious consumers will increase demand for cocktails with healthy add-ins like turmeric or ginger that provide alternatives to sugary drinks and minimize the extra liquid calories.

Throwback to Classic Dishes think french onion soup, bone-in steak, tartare and pork chops. these dishes bring nostalgic food memories to the table but with a fresh perspective. experience it at the katharine – winston salem and 4 saints – palm springs Visual Elements instagram culture is here to stay. a majority of kimpton chefs said their 2018 menu planning will include consideration of full sensory dishes that treat diners to socially shareable moments, incorporating imaginative and artful visual elements.


an emphasis on sustainability has led to the creative upcycling of ingredients and reduced waste, with 71 percent of our bartenders noting sustainability as a key consideration for cocktail design in 2018. examples include making citrus stock from used citrus peels, using compostable straws, and using whole fruits and vegetables in cocktails – from the juice to the pulp to the skin. New Wine, Beer and Coffee Trends: new ways with rosé -- rosé will continue its rise with increased interest in dry rosé, sparkling rosé and the emergence of new single-vineyard unique rose varietals. “the art of the blend” -- taking the art of mixology to the world of wine by creating new exciting flavor combinations as well as personalized blends for every palate. alternative wine packaging for small batch and unique varietals – we’ll see interesting ways to enjoy these special wine experiences through the exploration of nontraditional vessels such as edible glassware and repurposed household items like teapots, mini flower pots and vases. an upswing in german-style gose beers, or other sour beers, which offer adventurous beer drinkers a crisp beer with a touch of tartness and herbal sub-tones (typically from the coriander added to most gose beers).












































Chefs and bartenders from Kimpton’s 80+ restaurants and bars weigh in on top food and beverage trends to watch in 2018


Full Service Restaurant Trends article by amanda baltazar dec. 11, 2017

Regional Beverages


moonshine, tennessee whiskey, new York rye, cachaça from brazil, south american cocktails like the michelada, and whiskey from asia will all take off in 2018, says suzy badaracco, president of culinary tides, portland, ore.

the new year’s ice will be infused, branded—with a bar’s initials, for example—and smoked. even starbucks is testing frozen coffee as ice cubes.

Plant Water

International Comfort Desserts

plant waters will become the rock stars of the beverage world in 2018, forecasts badaracco. these include waters made from aloe, cactus, coconut, and maple. they can be drunk alone or used in cocktails, she says. “they can act as the leading lady or the best friend in 2018. “once they’ve become known for drinks, she expects to see these being added to baked goods and used with meats— as marinades, sauces, and brines.

the hot desserts next year will be comfort desserts from abroad, badaracco believes. these will include dishes like halo-halo, a shaved ice dish from the philippines; mochi from Japan (a rice cake); and tarts—france’s version of the american pie. for american desserts, they have to be regional, she says, such as key lime pie or chess pie from the south.

Apples and Pears


these two tree fruits are going to replace pumpkin as the fall produce of choice, predicts badaracco. the interest will lie in heirloom or hybrid varietals and they’ll be put in everything from snacks to beverages, she says. “think varietal hard ciders. these fruits are way more adaptable than pumpkin could ever be. pumpkin is now having to form alliances—with ginger, or citrus for example—to keep its head above water.”

restaurant guests are going to be sharing more food, says daniel boutarel, managing associate with new england consulting group. barcelona wine bar, a full-service chain with locations from connecticut to tennessee is a rapidly growing chain that he expects to increase in popularity. “sharing is a lot more profitable for a restaurant; instead of four meals on a table you might see six or eight,” he says.


Off-Premise Explosion

More Casualties for Casual Dining

we’ll see more drive-through, curbside pickup, delivery and catering from full-service restaurants as we move into 2018, says boutarel. “plus, we’ll see more units being production focused rather than sit-down—or they’ll have very limited seating.” ihop and applebee’s have both announced many restaurant closures this year in order to focus more on off-premise “and we’ll also see retrofitting to offer this,” says boutarel. “a lot of concepts need to think about this if less than 50 percent of their business is dine in. and this is happening at all levels of restaurants, except maybe fine dining.” this is all based on convenience, boutarel adds, and he expects to see fewer outlets from chains, so they can focus more on convenience.

we’ll see many store closures within the casual dining segment in 2018, forecasts carla norfleet taylor, senior director with fitch ratings, a credit rating agency in new York city. casual dining has been losing market share for about a decade and its sales are flat, whereas the overall restaurant industry has been growing at a rate of about 5 percent cagr, norfleet says. “so we’re thinking those share losses are going to continue.” casual dining will need to get into more off-premise food, of which olive garden is a great example, “since it’s won share in a declining category,” norfleet says. “that brand has been generating positive same-store sales for the past two years now and is attributing that to the to-go options.”

The Internet of Things

Delivery Tied in with Technology

in 2018, sensors are going to come to the fore, says Jarrod dellachiesa, technology and operations consultant with synergy restaurant consultants in newport beach, california, and founder of dellachiesa hospitality. these will include sensors that monitor refrigerator doors being closed and sensors to monitor patterns showing which areas of the restaurant are used more frequently. “it’s about using sensors to get more data on the restaurant,” he says. this will be used everywhere but will have a particular impact on chains, which can track information and ensure everything is compliant.

it won’t be long before restaurants’ full-scale delivery systems, along with any partners, such as ubereats, will all be integrated through one pos system. “customers want to take care of their whole transaction on their phone,” says della chiesa, and they want to know how long their wait is going to be. “restaurants will be able to literally update the guest every step of the way so people can know when their food is leaving; when it is pulling up at their door. if you do this smartly, you eliminate calls to the restaurant, you eliminate guest anxiety so they’re more likely to call you again and it saves money, resources and labor.”

Smarter Tech

EMV Payments

technology’s going to infiltrate full-service restaurants even more, according to gary stibel, necg’s founder and ceo. “there are patrons who want to order a drink or pay without waiting for the server. it will be gradual, because technology on the table will offend some, but those who don’t have it could lose a patron.” also, adds boutarel, restaurants will need to focus on having loyalty programs that really generate loyalty and aren’t just promotional. “restaurants will know more about their patrons through technology and need to use that,” says stibel. “they’ll know that someone likes table seven and they like a certain server.” and, adds boutarel, restaurants should start using technology more to get in touch with customers—just offering friendly reminders via email or text, such as: we saw you ordered a shrimp burrito from us last week; would you like that again?

we’re soon going to see restaurants taking credit card payments at the table, using emv (europay, mastercard and visa) devices, as it’s done in much of europe. “as data system hacks become more prevalent, people are more leery about letting their card out of their sight and restaurants are the only place you have to do that,” della chiesa explains.


Beverage Trends for 2018


Don’t Mock Me! — the mocktail is here to stay... just don’t call it that! we’re talking house-made tonics, elixirs, house sodas, shrubs, tinctures, and fresh-pressed fruit and vegetable juices. restaurants and bars are raising the bar with their non-alcoholic beverage options, often with a healthy spin. think tonics that boast a purpose (health, energy), and add-on options like chia seeds (for vitality!) that are driving up check averages.

Farm to Shaker — get ready for cocktails that are inspired by mother nature – and a desire (need!) to reduce waste. using byproduct from the kitchen for cocktail programs, and seasonally inspired ingredients, bar programs are showing their dedication to sustainability. the trend goes beyond the glass, with an increased interest in reclaimed materials used in bar design and more attention to detail, including dishwasher water usage rates.

Nice Package! — the world of wine packaging is changing fast! from cans, to boxes, tetra paks, wine kegs (disposable wine kegs!) and more, inventive wine packaging is leading to flexibility and higher profits. millennials don’t care about what package their wine comes in, they just want it to be pretty -- and they even feel better about buying wine in alternative packaging! cardboard boxes are more environmentally friendly than heavy glass, and it’s helpful for producers too, greatly reducing shipping costs with the lighter loads.

Raising the Bar — high-end restaurants are opening adjacent wine bars, offering smaller food menus, affordable pricing, and a casual way to access their brand. guests want customization, but they don’t need massive menus. they crave quality experiences they can make their own. enter the wine bar, where quality is high, and the menus are small. there’s nothing to w(h)ine about here! multiple concepts within the same space minimize risk for operators by driving traffic and optimizing efficiencies.

Just (Cold) Brew It! — cold brewed iced coffee is here to stay, but expect to see more fun flavors and artisan preparations popping up at your neighborhood coffee shop. coffee roasters are moving past the traditional cold brew and are experimenting with flavors ranging from the expected (hazelnut, vanilla bean, nutella) to the unexpected (horchata, lavender honey, cardamom rose). this is a caffeinated trend we can get behind. ice, ice baby!

Mezcal Madness — mezcal is showing up on cocktail menus across the country, but this 500 year old spirit is hardly new. made from the agave plant native to mexico, mezcal traditionally has a smoky flavor, distinguishing it from its cousin, tequila. bartenders are thinking outside the box, playing with classic cocktails to create drinks including mezcal negronis and mezcal mules.

IFT Predicts 2018 Trends dec. 27, 2017

editors at food technology magazine announce their food trend predictions for 2018.

Emphasis on Texture ingredient innovations in starches, gums, emulsifiers, and others will bring enhancements and new dimensions to the textures of foods and beverages. the texture of products will continue to be one of the selling points many manufacturers call out on packaging and product descriptions. —karen nachay, senior associate editor

Dispelling Distrust manufacturing processes considered more natural and less harmful to the environment, such as fermentation and water extraction, will grow in acceptance and demand. ultimately, building trust among consumers will continue to be a driving force in the health and wellness market. —linda milo ohr, contributing editor, nutraceuticals

Personalized Culinary GPS

At-Home Food Production heightened consumer interest in where their food comes from and how it’s made is helping spur more meals cooked and eaten at home. multicooker sales grew nearly 80% in 2017, and expect to see sales of vacuum sealing and water bath machines for sous vide cooking rise in 2018. indoor grow kits for herbs, mushrooms, and veggies are gaining in popularity, and hydroponics and aquaponics will find more niches in the kitchen. to meet consumer demand in the 1980s, builders made fireplaces standard in homes. in the next decade, the desire for fresh food may lead to builders offering mini greenhouses or garden window boxes for in-home food gardens. —bob swientek, editor-in-chief

A Retail Scramble faced with all kinds of new competitive threats—everything from amazon’s acquisition of whole foods to aldi’s $3.4-billion investment in its u.s. stores—mainstream grocery retailers will struggle to differentiate themselves with new merchandising strategies, expanded prepared foods offerings, and an array of new home delivery/in-store pickup options. the biggest beneficiary? consumers, who will reap the benefits of better bargains and more choices. —mary ellen kuhn, executive editor

Animal Welfare Versus Price the stigma of conventionally produced animal products will decrease as consumers realize that they cannot absorb higher costs associated with “humanely raised” beef, poultry, and pork. —toni tarver, senior writer/editor

with the rising popularity of meal kits and consumers’ desire to know how their food is made, many people are deciding to forgo restaurants and cook at home. now, companies like innit are making it easier to do that. innit has released an app that integrates all four phases of the eating ritual—planning, shopping, preparing, and cooking—and assists home cooks with each phase through a seamless system. the app automatically connects to any smart appliances to send cooking instructions specifically tailored to the food and the appliance. next year, consumers can expect to see more tools like this one make their debut to help consumers with each step in the meal-making process. perhaps it will even encourage more consumers to buy those “smart” appliances. —kelly hensel, senior digital editor

Outsourcing In-Home Meals u.s. consumers will continue to outsource food preparation. nearly one-third of all evening meals are now completely prepared outside of the home. supermarket prepared foods are the fastest-growing foodservice sector. more restaurants meals are eaten off premise than on premise as drive-through and home delivery of fast foods continue to grow. —a. elizabeth sloan, contributing editor, consumer trends

More Cachet for Recycled Packaging  recycled packaging will have high value as the economic and social power of a sustainable circular economy will exceed that which advocates the continual use of new natural resources. in addition, active packaging science will decrease microbial loads and minimize processing associated with fresh produce and meat through the controlled release of refined compounds. intelligent packaging will enable personalization of mass produced and distributed goods. —claire koelsch sand, contributing editor, packaging

A Flavor Explosion with ethnic foods becoming increasingly accessible and mainstream, consumers are developing an appetite for new and exciting tastes. look for traditional hispanic and asian seasonings and spices such as jalapeño, poblano, and ginger, to be joined by more exotic ingredients and flavors, including dragon fruit, ghost pepper, harissa, and bitter orange. on the lighter side, 2018 will see tropical fruit and flower flavors on the rise, with essences of lavender, lychee, hibiscus, jackfruit, and rosehip infused in flavored waters, teas, cocktails, desserts, ice cream, and candy. —margaret malochleb, associate editor

A Real Presence for Virtual Reality in Food Processing imagine touring your new food processing facility before it is built, performing training on the use of processing equipment without having to halt production, or seeing inside your production machinery while it is operating. virtual reality offers this potential and more. as prices continue to drop on electronics needed to support vr systems, it is anticipated that this exciting technology will find greater usage in food processing. —tara mchugh, contributing editor, processing


Food and Drink Insight for 2018 download the 200-page, photo-illustrated report at

‘Food Tech’ silicon valley is not only reimagining food, but finally making its high-tech spin on nutrition accessible. food startup soylent, a powdered drink with enough nutrition to replace staple meals, started selling in 7-eleven stores in summer 2017. and silicon valley-based impossible burger, a plant-based burger that “bleeds” and tastes, smells and looks like ground beef is making it onto more menus across the united states. in July 2016, restaurateur david chang introduced impossible burger to his new York restaurant momofuku nishi.

‘Farming 2.0’ vertical farms, a popular experiment in urban agriculture, may finally be poised for a mainstream breakthrough. grocery stores are also beginning to experiment with pick-your-own herbs and vegetables grown in indoor store gardens.

Why it’s interesting: silicon valley food startups are finally being taken seriously, which could lead them to reshape the wider food and drink market.

new Jersey-based aerofarms, the largest indoor vertical farm, recently began selling its greens in local grocery stores at $3.99 per bunch. the company can produce 130 times as much as a traditional farm per acre, using advanced technology.


albert heijn, the largest supermarket chain in the netherlands, similarly launched a “help-yourself herb garden” in one of its shops, where customers can pick fresh plants. (see photo above) even target in the united states is piloting vertical gardens in its stores.

vegan food is crossing into the mainstream like never before, popping up on the menus of popular restaurants and even fastfood chains. as consumers begin to realize the effects of meat on their health, as well its carbon and water footprints, they are adapting their diets and seeking plant-based alternatives.

Why it’s interesting: the rise in urban farming illustrates that the demand for fresh produce shows no signs of lagging. the global population is expected to balloon to over 9.5 billion by 2050, according to the united nations, and eco-conscious consumers are eager to reduce their footprints—without sacrificing their health.

major restaurants and food chains are catching on. pizza hut is trialing vegan cheese in five of its branches, and mcdonald’s has launched its first mcvegan burger, featuring a soy-based patty.

‘New Basics’ organic, natural, and sustainable attributes are increasingly becoming an entry-level expectation for consumers, rather than a luxury—and retailers are competing to offer these at knockdown prices. nearly half (49%) of us millennials say they now expect all products to be gmo free, while 43% expect organic, 53% natural, 64% sustainable and 56% recyclable, according to a survey conducted by sonartm, J. walter thompson’s proprietary market research tool. disruptive companies such as brandless are already disrupting the grocery space with certified organic, vegan and non-gmo products at $3 each. cvs is also expanding its mix of private label goods to include probiotic trail mix, manuka honey adhesive pads, and sweet sriracha-roasted chickpeas— offering “premium, innovative products without the premium prices,” says cia tucci, vice president of store brands. Why it’s interesting: when it comes to food, drink and personal care, consumers are prioritizing items that are natural. as values such as organic and non-gmo become the new normal rather than premium, how can brands differentiate themselves?


“the burger is only the beginning,” said patrick brown, founder of impossible foods, which makes the impossible burger, in a press statement. “with its introduction at momofuku nishi, we have begun the movement to build a new kind of global food system, one that creates new markets for farmers, supports a more resilient food supply, and offers consumers new choices for the meat and dairy products they know and love.”

in new York, tyme is reinventing fast food with its deliverable, on-the-go vegan dishes. all the meals come in reusable jars and are available online for $10. interestingly, the product isn’t being marketed as vegan. it aims to target all foodies with its flavors and healthy ingredients. beyond sushi, also based in new York, proudly wears the vegan label and is pioneering the plant-based movement in Japanese cuisine. Why it’s interesting: vegan food is becoming standard, as consumers in urban areas expect a vegan option on the menu. in many cases vegan food is no longer being marketed as vegan; it’s targeting all health-conscious and eco-friendly consumers.

‘Mood Food’ as consumers begin to appreciate the effect of diet on mood, food and drink brands are catching up and updating their products and services to look beyond physical fuel. scientific research supports the notion that food and mental wellbeing are linked. a 2017 study published in the bmc medicine online journal found that an anti-inflammatory, mediterraneanstyle diet high in vegetables, fish, olive oil and nuts reduced symptoms of depression in 32% of its sample. Why it’s interesting: consumers are starting to appreciate the impact that food can have on their mood and mental health. they will increasingly expect brands to deliver products that don’t just taste good, but deliver a feel-good factor too.

‘Trendy Teetotalism’ today’s wellness-focused consumers are turning their backs on alcohol, but still looking for a premium non-alcoholic experience. but what does a wellness bar look like? in June 2017, detox drink company dirty lemon opened a non-alcoholic pop-up bar in new York’s trendy nolita neighborhood. the space, themed to look like a vintage drugstore, sold $10 variations on dirty lemon’s wellness elixirs, which contain health-friendly ingredients such as collagen and activated charcoal. the brand worked with local mixologists to develop an experience that felt more “nightlife” than “wellness”—without losing any of its health benefits. “we’re trying to recreate what people have come to expect with a craft cocktail bar,” ceo zak normandin said. Why it’s interesting: the global alcohol market saw a sluggish 2016, including the first decline in consumption in the united states since 2011, according to figures from the international wine and spirits record. by comparison, the global non-alcoholic beverage market is projected to reach $1.6 trillion by 2025, up from just over $967 billion in 2016, according to a 2017 report from grand view research. in the future, look for more elevated experiences geared specifically towards non-alcoholic drinkers.

2. foodie theme parks: food festivals are becoming more popular and specialized than ever before, and brands are taking them to the next level. at the end of 2017, italian market eataly opened fico eataly world, a 20-acre park and culinary hub in bologna, italy, featuring four acres of farms showcasing local crops, classroom and event spaces, and a 200-room hotel. the world’s largest “agri-food park” delivers a unique experience tailored to today’s obsessive culinary consumers. 3. cannabis fine dining: cannabis-laced food and drinks are moving far beyond “pot brownies.” creative chefs are staging high-end dining experiences with the plant, paving new territory for culinary innovation. in colorado, where recreational cannabis is legal, the mason Jar event group hosts stylish farm-to-table dinners complete with cocktail and cannabis pairings; spring 2016’s event featured top chef winner hosea rosenberg. chef chris sayegh serves multi-course, cannabis-infused dinners for $200-$500 per ticket under the name the herbal chef. as legalization expands, look for cannabis to emerge as the key to a new, elevated dining experience. Why it’s interesting: consumers en masse today consider themselves foodies. food and drink are now being seen through the lens of experience culture, as a shared cultural experience and an intellectual pursuit all in one—or, failing that, another neat thing to share on instagram.

‘AI Food’

‘Three Hot Ingredients’

artificial intelligence (ai) points to a future of effortless transparency when it comes to the food on our plate.

another year, another spate of “it” ingredients in the constantly evolving world of food trends. what’s next?

nick hynes has developed a website called pic2recipe that uses ai to recognize meals and predict their recipes. in the future, the website could also provide nutritional advice by identifying the dish’s ingredients. “it could allow people to analyze their meals and determine their nutritional value, or even to manipulate an existing recipe to be healthier or to conform to certain dietary restrictions,” hynes tells wired.

1. Pandan: if nigella lawson anoints pandan the “next big thing,” it must be so. “i think it’s going to be the new matcha,” says lawson of the sweet, pungent east asian leaf. in its native southeast asia, it is famed for its unusual aroma, which is compared to nuts and popcorn. in the cocktail bars of new York and paris, it’s increasingly becoming a hot ingredient for libations. nico de soto at mace, mabel and sherry butt all feature pandan concoctions on their menu. watch this space.

pinterest similarly announced a dish recognition feature in may 2017 to improve the user experience for foodies. users can take photos of food and find relevant recipes related to the shot they’ve captured. the feature has been called “shazam for food” and uses machine learning in a similar way to pic2recipe. Why it’s interesting: in a connected world obsessed with food photography, image recognition may well be the easiest route to calorie counting. ai will become commonplace in the food and drink industry, enabling consumers to simply point their phones and discover all the facts about their food.

‘Three Experiential Dining Trends’ food and drink experiences are becoming a key source of entertainment for consumers, and are being viewed as a cultural experience as much as a form of socializing. 1. extreme immersion: themed dining is crossing over into immersive entertainment, for multisensory results that push the limits of both sectors. at vespertine restaurant in los angeles, chef Jordan kahn offers a $250 tasting menu combined with an immersive theatrical experience. the avant-garde menu is served in a futuristic glass-and-steel building and the dining experience is accompanied by ambient electronic music. the menu bucks all the current local and organic trends in food design for a conceptual, space-age experience that aims to be intellectual as well as culinary.

2. Purple sweet potato: “with their bright violet color and dense nutritional profile, you're going to want to grab a bag of purple sweet potatoes asap,” declares shape magazine. the ingredient, already big in asia, is making its way stateside. food bloggers are flocking to café bora in los angeles, the seoul café’s first us outpost, where purple sweet potatoes are the main ingredient in some highly instagrammable desserts. the best-known is bingsoo, made with shaved ice and sweet toppings. in the same camp, ube, the purple yam popular in filipino desserts, is rapidly making its way to the united states. in new York’s lower east side, ice cream store soft swerve has started serving ube-colored desserts. oddfellows, also in new York, has collaborated with mission chinese food on an ube ice cream sandwich. 3. Sherry: following craft ales and gins, sherry is the latest beverage to experience the artisan treatment. british wine merchant majestic wine reports a 46% overall growth in sherry sales since august 2016, with premium varieties showing growth of 71%. sherry is starting to feature on cocktail menus in london, los angeles and new York. “sherry and vermouth are shedding their stale stigmas and starring in fall cocktails,” declares the washington post’s food and drink columnist m. carrie allan. sager + wilde, a restaurant in east london, offers ice cream infused with pedro Ximenez sherry, while the hoppers bar in st christopher’s place, london, serves a signature cocktail made with amontillado sherry. Why it’s interesting: food trends are evolving faster than ever, propelled by a constant desire for newness, novelty and visually striking attributes for instagram. consumers are also becoming more adventurous, as food culture becomes a primary lifestyle focus and weekend recreation.


9 Fast Food Trends for 2018 december 2017 quick-service operators can expect an even more cut-throat market— if such a thing even seems possible—in 2018, as restaurant experts predict tougher competition for the value-minded consumer. but that's not all restaurateurs will have to worry about this year: diners will increasingly want big, bold flavors. they'll demand healthy ingredients, healthy-ish indulgences and drinks and dishes that look interesting enough to generate likes and comments on social media.

Mind the Pennies.  expect the value war to ramp up in 2018. in an era of low unemployment, many restaurateurs miss the fact that "a good percentage of our population is employed, but they're not making a lot of money," says gary stibel, founder and ceo of the new england consulting group. with widespread wage stagnation, restaurants must compete heavily on value for a wide swath of the population, stibel says. and that task is complicated by price deflation in the grocery space. "the families that are struggling are buying it and buying it for less than they could a year ago," he says of groceries. "it's not just competition with each other; it's competition for packaged food."

It’s all about the Show.  still, other portions of the consumer market will open their wallets to dine out—but they're demanding more and more of that experience. stibel expects restaurants to infuse their service with even more technology, both in ordering and for pure entertainment. and he expects more "theater," in the store. by that, he means everything from open-kitchen concepts that allow diners to see their food being prepared to ipads at the table so the kiddos to can play games. "it's going to be more of a social experience," he says. "because otherwise, people won't get up, get in their car and drive to a restaurant.”

Think healthy. Kind of. the tug-of-war between demand for healthy, wholesome foods and tasty, indulgent ones isn't going anywhere. Yet, stibel sees a new frontrunner in that fight among quick-service and fast-casual restaurants. he says people "talk thin and eat fat." thus, he thinks indulgent options will win over the day. "but the smart money will have healthy and sometimes local ingredients in that 1,000-calorie entrée," he says. "and that gives permission to indulge. we want to go out and stuff ourselves with great food, but we don't want to feel guilty about it."

Beverages go Bright and Bold. exotic flavors are all the rage in the beverage category, says natalie sexton, marketing director of natalie's orchid island Juice company, which sells its fresh and frozen juices in 34 states and 42 countries. sure, there's still plenty of demand for staples like orange juice. "but consumers are wanting diversity," she says. "obviously, the more exotic the better." expect beverages like charcoal lemonade, turmeric carrot juice and blood orange-based drinks to gain ground. citrus, ginger and cayenne—all associated with cleansing—continue to soar, sexton says, as well as matcha, the finely ground powder made of green tea leaves. "it was kind of coming around this past year," she says, "and we think it's going to be even more so in 2018."

Black is the new Rainbow. black foods will be to 2018 what rainbows and unicorns—think starbucks' faddy unicorn frappuccino—were in 2017. denise purcell, head of content for the specialty food association, expects foods made with activated charcoal to be all the rage in 2018, both for their striking appearances and charcoal's reported association with cleansing and healthy digestion. "i think it's a response to the rainbow, going in the opposite direction," she says. "but what's interesting is the role social media plays in some of these food trends."


Activated Charcoal Lemonade taps into the demand for healthier foods, the trend toward bolder beverages and the popularity of black-colored food items. This triple threat, and similarly bold foods, are ready to dominate menus and social media in the coming year.

Instagram or bust. speaking of social media, purcell points out that the importance of food aesthetics will continue to grow in 2018. after all, platforms like instagram and snapchat helped grow the popularity of ingredients like beets, turmeric and matcha in 2017, she says, because "they make for pretty photos." consumers' desire to constantly document dining out will continue to reshape how restaurants design dishes and beverages, but that doesn't mean restaurateurs can sacrifice taste. "i think taste always matters," she says, "and is always the deciding factor of whether something is really going to take off."

What’s old is new again. Jewish deli items are enjoying a surprising resurgence, says will eudy, corporate executive chef at mcalister's deli. diners across the country are discovering or rediscovering items like latkes, blintzes, smoked meats and cured meats. "Just because some of these flavors are 100 years old doesn't mean people have seen them," he says. "a lot of people have never been to a Jewish deli." to that end, the rueben and the new Yorker—a pastrami and corned beef sandwich—are gaining popularity at mcalister's. and the atlanta-based chain will test a new pastrami melt in 2018.

Contrasting flavors are in. americans increasingly want spicy foods, eudy says. but most are looking for more than just heat: "it's about heat and flavor," he says. diners in 2018 will increasingly look for dishes that pair spicy flavors with sweet, savory or tangy tastes. to respond to that demand, mcalister's will roll out a Jalapeno turkey crunch sandwich and a verde chicken sandwich, both made on a spicy jalapeno roll. the turkey sandwich balances rich mayonnaise and avocado, while the tomatillo salsa on the chicken shares the stage with garlic and cilantro. "were looking at a dose of heat," eudy says, "but not so much heat that you can't eat the whole thing and walk away wanting more."

The need for speed. diners are busier than ever. and that means speed and convenience will still reign supreme in 2018, says amanda topper, associate director of foodservice research at mintel. expect restaurants to continue leveraging technology to better serve customers. in addition to convenient dining options, consumers will increasingly care about innovative meals that are nutritious, tasty and photogenic. "in the year ahead, expect to see operators across segments shift to meet diners' various needs as speed, innovation, and category competition become more pressing in 2018 than ever before," topper says.

What’s in Store for 2018 nov. 7, 2017

• Brilliant Colors

• Fungi Everywhere.

recall the fashions of the 1980’s. then look at the bright colors in the tomato salad at Xochi in houston, pot stickers at mister Jiu’s in san francisco, and the burrata, peach, arugula, and prosciutto salad at gjelina’s in venice, california.

find it brined, pickled, made into pâté, made into tea, smoked, braised whole, seared, grilled, and charred. while low in protein, fungi (or heterotrophs, its preferred identity) is high in umami, helping you not to miss the meat you don’t see on this trends list.

fuchsia, chartreuse, and turquoise are also being spotted in drinks with the re-emergence of the tiki bar, like false idol in san diego, pacific seas in los angeles, mother of pearl in new York city, and even adrift in denver. (we’re all about the hawaiian beverage and food trend if you haven’t already noticed.)

• Wines Stripped Bare Naked

• Soft Serve Goes Upscale look close and you will find soft serve ice cream in some upscale flavors around the country, especially in the midwest where this trend got its start thanks to spots like Young Joni in minneapolis and culvers, the wisconsin-based chain that has had a strong following for its frozen custards for a while now. here are some of the unique, upscale soft serve flavors we’re digging now: – olive oil and sea salt – rocky road (have you ever seen it soft serve before?) – burnt marshmallows – mulled cherries and almonds – milk and honey

• Pizza AGAIN! new and old styles of pizza as a food trend were gaining steam in 2017 (as we predicted last year with the resurgence of khachapuri, a georgian – country formerly part of the ussr – dish). we loved seeing it on the menu at compass rose bar & kitchen in washington d.c. keep it coming. another on-trend style of pizza has to be detroit-style pizza. detroit pizza has thick crust in a square shape. the style is starting to emigrate to other areas of the country. in denver, you can find it at blue pan pizza, and in new York city (where you must have a certain amount of bravery to introduce new styles of pizza), you can find it at emmy squared. there’s also clam pizza and breakfast pizza. served separately.

• Nostalgic Food this goes beyond retro comfort. take the meals of yesteryear, romanticize the ingredients, and make them more delicious than the original. we are seeing nostalgic food on menus ranging from prime rib to fried bologna sandwiches.

we can thank the millennial mindset for this beverage trend. these days, many wines are coaxed into the bottle with no added yeast, no manipulation, and no chemicals. some may consider these wines adventurous and unique, and others may consider them just plain awful. the latter likely prefer the flavors produced by wine makers who have guided, maybe even manipulated, wines over the last couple of centuries.

• Cure What Ails You gut health, immunity, cholesterol, inflammation, asthma, acne, depression, constipation, and fatigue can all be remedied through food. this is not a new concept. hindu culture has relied on ayurvedic medicine, the practice of extending your life through diet, herbs, and yogic breathing, for thousands of years. however, more and more chefs are focusing on overall well-being through the foods they create in the restaurant. for example, squirrel in london now employs an on-site nutritionist (and also has a treehouse)! then, of course, there are also nutritionists employed at health food stores and even mainstream grocers. last, we are no stranger to cookbooks with a medicinal angle, but there are several out now we recommend, like the medicinal chef by dale pinnock.

• 15 Flours and 12 Sweeteners Later there are almost as many flours and sweeteners as there are grains. will it ever stop? the 2018 flour and sweetener movement is anything but white— take the chickpea flour socca pancake at sqirl in los angeles or the cassava flour crepe from carthay circle in disneyland. for sweeteners, we’re seeing the rise of rapadura sugar, coconut sugar, and brown rice syrup.

• The New Salad the “new veg” has been argued to be celery or maybe radicchio, but we think the “new veg” will be more of a mélange, as in the “new salad.” here’s how it works: pick a grain, pick a green, char a veggie in coals like eggplant, beets, or butternut squash, add a seed, add a dressing (something unique like a kaffir feta ranch or fermented kombucha vinaigrette), and voila! it’s so good you won’t even miss the kale that is thankfully not on this trends list.

Goodnight, Oats Do a search on Instagram for #overnightoats and you’ll find more than 446,000 posts – proof that this food trend has staying power.  It’s a Pinterest dream. Delicious, too, especially when you add any variety of mix-ins and/or toppings like peanut butter, banana, chia seeds, chocolate, blueberries, walnuts, coconut, and the list goes on.


Pinterest Food & Drink Trends article by hannah loewentheil december 12, 2017 pinterest is always ahead of the curve in identifying the cool, new crazes around what we're eating and drinking. so we've been eagerly awaiting their annual list of the top 100 trends to try in 2018. 1. You'll make fried food using an air fryer. instead of deep-frying things in vegetable or canola oil, air fryers use hot air to produce anything from french fries to chicken wings with a perfectly crisp, "fried" outer layer.



2. You’ll opt for souping instead of juicing. healthy pureed soups that are packed with vitamins and nutrients are a delicious swap for juices. 3. Your morning coffee routine will include superfoods. turns out, superfoods like chia and flax seeds aren't just for your morning smoothie. You can add protein-packed, nutrient-dense foods like protein powder, turmeric, and maca to your daily joe. 4. Your pantry will get a kick from North African spices. revamp your spice rack: north african flavors like cumin, coriander, and cardamom can easily take everyday dishes to the next level.


5. Plant proteins will take the place of meat proteins  in everyday cooking. even if you're cutting back on meat, you can still work plenty of protein into your diet. look to plant-based proteins like seitan, lentils, black beans, and quinoa. 6. Classic potato chips and snacks are getting a healthy makeover. instead of reaching for a bag of greasy potato chips, try a better-for-you snack food like crispy snap peas, brussels sprout chips, or salt and vinegar–roasted edamame.




7. Korean condiments will replace the sriracha and ketchup  in your fridge. this year, condiments like dijon mustard, hot sauce, and ketchup are being replaced by korean sauces like gochujang (red chili paste), ganjang (soy sauce), and korean barbecue sauce. 8. You'll become familiar with ghee, a lactose-free butter substitute. Just because you're sensitive to lactose doesn't mean you can't enjoy the delicious taste of butter. ghee, a clarified butter, is a lactose-free alternative to butter that will give your food that same rich and nutty flavor. use it to make anything from seafood and mashed potatoes to creamy rice and cookies.


9. Vegan desserts will be all the rage. You can still indulge in dessert if you're avoiding dairy. vegan desserts are popping up everywhere, featuring coconut oil in lieu of butter, cashew milk instead of cream, and flax seeds in place of eggs. 10. Mocktails will be the new cocktails. it's never been easier to avoid alcohol thanks to a surge of artisanal and creative nonalcoholic concoctions. from mock sangria and mojitos to moscow mules and spritzers, the options are endless.


visit to view the entire pinterest 100 list.