Food fads come and go, but there are some trends that seem to stick around for the long haul. In this list, we’re rounded up some of the foods we’re keeping an eye on. Take a look and see how many of these foods you’ve tried, and if you think they’re keepers. My guess is that by next year, half of them will be forgotten – and the other half? They’ll be the hottest items in the culinary world.
The milk market has expanded tremendously in recent years, and shoppers are faced with a virtual milk bar. The choice used to be simple – skim, whole or 2%. Today’s consumer can choose their favorites from pea milk to milked cashews or peanuts, rice or soymilk, and many others. The plant-based milk market saw a 20% rise in 2018, and new varieties keep rolling out.
Oat milk is one of the newer milks on the shelf, and its rise to popularity may be due to the high-protein, low-fat content, as well as the lack of common allergies – soy and nuts, for starters. There are several manufactured brands, but it’s easy enough to make homemade oat milk, with online recipes for chocolate, berry, and and vanilla flavored varieties.
Vegan beef jerky
Beef jerky is a popular high-protein fast food snack for people on the go, and the vegetarian and vegan community wasn’t sitting this one out. Manufacturers like Krave, Primal, Unisoy, and Louisville offer vegan beef jerky in a range of flavors – Sweet Sriracha, Sizzlin Cajun, and Bourbon Smoked Black Pepper, to name a few.
If you’re brave enough to make your own, recipes for vegan beef jerky are typically made from tempeh or firm tofu. Other vegan jerky recipes call for eggplant, mushrooms, jackfruit, watermelon, cauliflower or pumpkin, yielding a colorful, nutritious lineup.
Water lily seed snacks
Move over, chia seed chips, this new and unique snack is growing in popularity even with its high price point. Wondering why customers are shelling out upwards of $4 for a 2-ounce bag of water lily seed snacks? In addition to being protein-packed, vegan, paleo and gluten-free, it’s touted as a snack that helps with weight loss. Which may explain the 300% increase in online consumer interest last year.
It’s in your facial wash, but do you really want to eat collagen? The answer, according to some scientists and doctors, is yes. Edible collagen is showing up in snacks, drinks and wraps, and a growing number of foods are being made with almond butter and argan oil to achieve the same results.
Foods infused with collagen can help improve elasticity and moisture and prevent wrinkles, yielding younger-looking skin. Early studies on collagen-infused foods have shown promise, and even the skeptics are hopeful that this can be a real breakthrough in skincare. Dermatologists advise going with brands that are transparent about their heavy metal content, and look for seals such as NSF or USP for quality control.
If that heading has you confused, think vegan food meets sustainable practices – and they do make good bedfellows. Companies like the Israel-based O. Vine wine water are taking a product that would normally become food waste (fruit or vegetable pulp, for example), and upcycling it to produce a high quality, low waste food. Expect to see more of this practice, with complete transparency and bragging rights from the manufacturers who jump on board.
Cannabis-infused food and beverages
CBD oil, which is now legal in all 50 states, is making appearances where you least expect it – in cooking oil, coffee, tea, chocolate, beer, pasta, fast food, and at ice cream shops. The attraction with these foods is a lessening of anxiety, pain relief, and with a certain demographic – the edge factor. Forbes questions the viability of the many startups launching products with CBD, but with interest from big players like Coca-Cola and Molson Coors, there's bound to be a solid and sustainable breakthrough in the market.
Fun and funky ice cream
BD oil is not the only strange ingredient showing up in summer’s culinary sweetheart. Ice cream shops around the world are competing for the strangest or the most gourmet ice cream they can dream up. From healthy and high-protein frozen treats, to gourmet or deep black ice cream, the sky’s the limit. Expect to see more of this trend in 2019 – and get your taste buds ready for some really cool treats.
My first glimpse of this unique flour was at the Summer Fancy Food Show in 2018, at the incredibly diverse Pereg display. The Israeli company is quite innovative with their food lineup, and now others have jumped on the bandwagon offering straight cassava flour, and products made with it. As a gluten-free source of protein and lysine, cassava is set to become a popular alternative to other grains. We’re seeing several cassava products on the market now – including chips, pasta and flatbread, and more of it may be showing up this year on fast food menus, and in traditional grocery stores.
Kombucha, kvas and kefir – sounds like the start of an old sitcom, but these three traditional drinks are part of a rising trend in gut-friendly fermented beverages. Sales of fermented beverages rose 20% last year, and the trend is expected to continue, with mushroom brews, drinking vinegar, and gut shots coming along for the ride.
Consumers are more aware than ever of the importance of gut-health for overall wellness, hence their popularity. There are nutritional – and definitely taste – differences between the various fermented drinks, and you can make your own at home with this recipe for homemade Kombucha.