2018 Food Trends Ushering In Exciting Flavors and Concepts

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NRAHow many of you remember some of the major food trends from last year?

We couldn’t get enough of heirloom fruits and vegetables, not to mention house-made charcuterie boards and artisan cheeses. Remember the house-made sausage craze?

Oh, and let’s not forget the delicious savory desserts that forced us to intentionally save room for indulgence.

Food in 2017 made a great run, but those trends are slipping away to make room for new flavors and concepts.

From hot, new food trends like house-made condiments to exciting food concepts such as farm and estate-branded food items, 2018 is shaping up to be a great year for the culinary world, as well as foodies and even children.

The National Restaurant Association surveyed 700 American Culinary Federation chefs to get a sneak peek of what restaurants and foodservice professionals can expect this year.

There are 161 food trends that have the ability to increase your sales, in addition to creating buzz about your establishment. Out of the hundreds highlighted, here are the top 10 (Source: What’s Hot: Top 10 foods for 2018, December 2017):

  1. Ethnic spices – Curry, peri peri, ras el hanout, shichimi, and harissa are some of the tastes and flavors in demand.
  2. New cuts of meat – Chef’s will likely be using inexpensive cuts of meat that are packed with flavor and are grill-friendly. These cuts include, shoulder tender, Vegas strip and a Merlot cut.
  3. Authentic-ethnic cuisine – 2018 will bring the exploration of global cuisine and ethnic foods.
  4. House-made condiments – Consumers’ may see their food topped with condiments such as malt vinegar aioli and other inspired combinations.
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  5. Uncommon herbs – Chefs are gearing up to expose their patrons to herbs such as, lovage, lemon balm, and papalo.
  6. Street food-inspired dishes – Be on the look out for tempura, kabobs, dumplings, and pupusas.
  7. Vegetable carb substitutes – Food items like cauliflower rice and zucchini spaghetti are an example of what’s to come – low-carb vegetable substitutes for bread, rice, and pasta.
  8. Ethnic-inspired breakfast foods – Breakfast menus may be tweaked to include such ethnic offerings as, chorizo scrambled eggs and breakfast burritos.
  9. Nutritious kids’ meals – Parents can look forward to choosing more nutritious foods and dishes that are inclusive of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
  10. Sustainable seafood – This has been a growing trend over the last few years, and continues into 2018. 

For an in-depth look 2018’s food trends, concepts, and categories, click here for National Restaurant Association’s culinary forecast.

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Kiana Lewis

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