Top Five Food Trends for Spring 2018

Over the past few years, the food industry has seen a huge shift in flavor and ingredient trends. Foods and textures that once consumed the nation, deep-fried foods, sugary drinks, and salty snacks, are now deemed unhealthy and thus, avoided like the plague. With plant-protein based dishes, all-natural beverages, and locally-sourced snack foods on the rise, we can see that trends have definitely shifted to align with the nation’s health food craze. Here, we have compiled a short list of five upcoming flavor and ingredient trends we are predicting to see in the spring of 2018.

1. Cold Brew Coffee & Beyond!

Most Americans, about 83%, drink coffee every day. Last year we saw everything from rainbow lattes, unicorn Frappuccino’s, and glitter in our beloved cup of Joe, to cold brew, nitrogen infused coffee, and even coffee-inspired cocktails. With spring right around the corner, it is hard to imagine what else could be in store for the coffee world. Hot cold brew is becoming more popular, popping up in corner stores and larger chains alike. “Hot” cold brew may sound like an oxymoron, but the cold brew process actually uses cold water, rather than hot, to brew the coffee, which cuts down on the acidity to provide a smoother flavor, and is easier to make in larger quantities. Cold brew is also popular with those who are health conscious. People are adding nut and seed milk to their favorite beverage, as well as superfoods like chia, turmeric, protein powder, maca, and flax seeds. By making your coffee nutrient-dense, that little pick me up can really provide you with the extra boost you need to get through the day.

 2. Soups > Juice

Juicing is way past its prime. Juice cleanses are still a very popular fab, but results from studies are showing that while yes, cleansing is good, the juice cleanses can cause an unhealthy increase in blood sugar. So while you may be losing water weight, you are putting your body at risk for other potential health issues. “Souping” is proving to be the latest and greatest trend because it’s a quick and easy way to get a multitude of vegetables and vitamins into your system. A group of researchers took the same exact foods, put one portion on a plate, and then took the other portion and blended it with a hot liquid to create a soup. Those who were given the hot soup serving reported staying fuller for longer. This is because their stomachs emptied more slowly. So put down that juice, and go grab yourself a warm, comforting cup of soup.

3. Plant Proteins

Being vegan or vegetarian has become the cultural norm, when just a decade ago, it was almost unheard of to not eat meat. The majority of society used to believe that you would not get enough protein to live off of if you stopped eating meat. We now know that is not true, and even those who are only cutting back on meat, like those who participate in Meatless Mondays, are replacing their usual fried chicken and steak dinners, by incorporating plant proteins, such as lentils, black beans, and quinoa, into their meals. Companies are now making freezer meals based on plant proteins, such as Mediterranean and Asian quinoa bowls, for those who still value having a healthy meal, but live a busy life.

4. All the Colors of the Rainbow

Instagramming pictures of your food is one trend that does not appear to be going away anytime soon. Restaurants, coffee shops, smoothie bars, and local mom and pops are all creating special concoctions sure to be a hit on The ‘Gram. Last year, we saw a 20% rise in food photographers and now, colleges and art institutes are even offering lectures and classes on how to take better pictures of your food. With social media being the way that people find hip, new places to visit, it appears as though colorful, extravagant foods will stay trending through 2018. We can’t wait to see what they think of next!

5. Air-Fried Munchies

Potato chips are a staple item found in most children’s (and even adults) lunch boxes. Instead of purchasing a big bag, full of salt and other preservatives, from the local store, people are opting to make their own potato chips at home in their air fryer. Air fryers have only been around for about eight years, yet they are gaining popularity with Gen X and Millennials alike. With the concern of one’s health at an all-time high, air fryers are the perfect tool to allow you to indulge in your fried food cravings. Air fryers use hot air to dry out the exterior of food to help attain the crunchy, fried texture of deep-fried foods, with 75% less fat! People are even air frying avocado slices, Brussel sprouts, and zucchini fries, to make healthy fried food options. We are predicting that major food chains will start selling these delicious air fried options later on this year.

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