2018 is ending and restaurant industries are entering the busy holiday season but it’s never too early to start planning ahead. 2018 brought all different kinds of food trends that were new and exciting. According to the NRA, some of the top food trends in 2018 were new cuts of meats, healthy kids’ menus, natural ingredients and clean menus, sustainability and locally sourced products. 2019 is shaping up to be just as adventurous and healthy in terms of food trends. The upcoming trends range from street food to vegetable proteins and everywhere in between.
- Vegetable proteins: veggies are making a comeback and becoming the star of dishes. While tofu and lentils have always been a strong contender, chefs are getting creative with vegetable proteins for healthier dishes. Chick peas, brussels sprouts, and broccoli rabe are all making their way from just the “sides” section to the “appetizer” and “mains” on menus.
- Vegan options: plant-based food has been rising in popularity in recent years. Vegan restaurants are popping up everywhere with vegan burgers, cauliflower dishes and zoodles on the menus creating fun dishes that are healthy and completely vegan. This trend is not slowing down any time soon and larger chains are starting to offer vegan options to compete. The vegan segment of the restaurant industry is a 3.1-billion-dollar segment right now making it a huge contender to keep an eye out for. Vegan cheese alone is set to be a 4-billion-dollar food by 2024. These numbers are powerful enough that many restauranteurs are taking notice and embracing vegan options on their menus to attract those dining vegan.
- Poke: Everyone loves the “create your own” from Mediterranean to Mexican dishes and poke bowls are filled with fresh, healthy ingredients and tangy, delicious sauces making the possibilities endless. Poke has come back on the scene and fast casual build-your-own poke bowl restaurants are popping up in every major city.
- Fermented foods: Kombucha hit 2018 like a storm and is not going anywhere. Craft kombucha companies are selling their products like crazy and the fermentation / gut healthy trend is here to stay for 2019.
- Craft whiskey: home brewing became a huge trend a little over a decade ago and breweries seemed to pop up everywhere. The newest trend in alcohol is craft whiskey. More whiskey cocktails will pop up on menus to highlight this alcohol that has a sophisticated nature and can be paired with a wide variety of food.
- Street food: Food trucks have hit a part of the restaurant industry that allows for inventive, delicious street food. Shows like “Parts unknown” have created a sensation and opened the door for diners to be introduced to street food across the world that would otherwise remain literally unknown. From tacos to churros, street food is sure to make a huge wave in 2019.
Americans are turning to healthier foods, more upscale options for less and are becoming adventurous eaters. 2019 is sure to be another year focused on fresh cuisine with a more sophisticated touch.