The new year has brought out the trend spotters, who are busily summing up which trendy foods and beverages await consumers in 2019.
Mushrooms are in. Seaweed is the new superfood. Carbs are back. Millennials are cooking more at home.
Mushrooms are in demand because of their meaty flavor and health properties. Expect seaweed (prized for its vitamins, minerals and antioxidants) and other ocean plants to make their way into snacks to crumble over salads or food served in bowls.
Up for a lifestyle change? Switch to a plant-based diet or opt for vegan or pegan options. Anything that promotes gut health (keeping your internal good bacteria well fed) is also gaining steam.
Out early last summer was the Better Homes & Gardens Food Factor survey of women, which found that home cooking was on the rise. The survey found that 93 percent of millennials spend four nights a week dining in. Baking at home is also becoming the thing to do.
“There are a number of generational drivers to the food trends we’ll be seeing in 2019,” says food industry adviser David Portalatin. “Boomers are aging, and millennials are building careers and forming families, altering their preferences for food and beverage as they bring their own unique perspective to traditional life stage needs.”
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Portalatin says he expects to see popularity rise for ethnic sauces and seasonings. Think harissa, the hot chili paste from North Africa); hot peppers, fermented foods, and beverages like kimchi and kombucha.
Food forecasts — from food processors, market researchers, magazines and advertising and PR firms — are everywhere right now. Of course, there’s also an onslaught of predictions from grocers like the Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. and Whole Foods Market. As you might guess, these come with plenty of products to pair with the predictions.
Here’s a sampling of other predictions for the 12 months ahead.
Whole Foods Market
- Pacific Rim flavors will pop up at more stores and restaurants. Expect more offerings of tropical fruits like guava and dragon fruit and ingredients like longganisa (a Filipino pork sausage), cuttlefish and shrimp paste.
- You’ll find shelf-stable probiotics in foods like granola, oatmeal and soups as well as in cleaning and beauty products like sunscreen.
- Phat Fats will gain steam. With the popularity of keto, paleo, grain-free and even pegan (a combo of the paleo and vegan) diets, fats are being adding creatively to convenience and snack foods. Look for more products containing MCT oil powder, coconut butter–filled chocolates and ready-to-drink vegan coffee beverages inspired by butter coffees. Anyone up for popcorn made with grass-fed ghee or chicken chips and crisped beef jerky?
- The pegan diet, a combination of paleo and vegan diets, is “taking root with people on the hunt for healthy habits,” Pinterest says. Searches for eating pegan are up 337 percent.
- You’ll see cooks wrapping everything for a dinner in foil pouch and cooking it in the oven, on the grill or over your campfire. There’s no mess, and cooking is nearly hands-free. Searches for foil-pack dinners on Pinterest are up 759 percent.
- Infusions will become good-health drinks: Adding a slice of ginger to water has digestive and anti-inflammatory benefits. Searches for ginger water are up 353 percent.
Baum + Whiteman, food and restaurant consultants
- Food from the “stans” will be popular. Places like Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan will demonstrate new ways to prepare noodles, beans and eggplant as well as combos of meat and fruit or herbs and greens tossed in a stew or used as a stuffing.
- Meat grown from animal cells will gain attention. “The idea, oversimplified, is that instead of killing an animal for a steak, you pluck a cell or two, then manipulate and breed it on an enormous scale,” says Baum + Whiteman. The consultants predict ranches and slaughterhouses could be eliminated and greenhouse gases slashed “since cows are prolific poopers.”
- Korean flavors and the rise of Filipino cooking will create a demand for sourness. The report notes “various vinegars in braised dishes, in marinades and
dipping sauce … even in their version of ceviche; vinegar-based chicken adobo (not to be confused with Mexican adobo) is a national signature. “
- “Sweetened superfoods” will become a 2019 trend. Supermarket News cites a Peruvian restaurant in Chicago that tops chocolate mousse with toasted quinoa and the Hummus & Pita Co.’s line of dessert hummus.
- Oat milk — which is dairy-free, nut-free and possibly gluten-free (depending on where the oats are processed — is drawing fans. The milk substitute is creamier than most of its counterparts. It has more protein than nut milks (but less than soy milk or cow’s milk) and more fiber than any of them. Supermarket News says PepsiCo is expected to launch an oat beverage under the Quaker brand.
image: Oat Milk Oatly
Oat Milk is a hot trend for 2019 (Photo: Oat-ly Oat Milk)
Last year’s two E. coli scares involving romaine lettuce meant consumers started looked for a new green. Supermarket News predicts they’ll be drawn to speciality grown lettuces like “celtuce,” which it calls the new kale.