What are some of the trendiest foods you will try this year? As 2019 emerges, a lot of innovative products, exciting flavours and original culinary practices are arriving on the shelves of supermarkets and in our plates, at different paces.
Along with taste and quality, sustainability and respect of the environment will remain core values for consumers, impacting our food choices throughout the year. Although different experts and companies have different takes on what foods will be popular, this is something they all agree on.
In its new outlook on what will be attracting eaters’ attention and influencing new product innovation in 2019, US-based CCD Helmsman group has once again come up with the nine food trends that you should be looking for this year. “Those are the food trends that we expect to be most significant and mainstream this year,” says Kara Nielsen, trendologist and Vice President of CCD Helmsman. Mapped by maturity, these trends are expected to progress particularly in the US and in Europe.
Not a dip nor a salad sauce... Chefs and cooking enthusiasts are having fun with vegetables, moving away from the traditional way of preparing them, and creating brightly coloured and bold flavoured spreads that can easily be added to a sandwich, a salad or a food bowl.
“This trend belongs to a category we call “culinary culture”, with the primary benefit to the consumer being about flavour, excitement, respect for culinary traditions. Vegetable spreads are a cool and innovative way to use veggies. They can be mixed with chickpeas for a riff on humus, or riff on salad dressing and this is what we are seeing,” says Nielsen.
Building on the growing trend of plant-based eating and vegan diets, plant cheeses are bound to become even more popular in 2019. Made from cashew nuts, they are not here to replace the more traditional cheddar or camembert but to offer a wider range of options for those who seek to go meat and dairy free. “This is a trend that reflects food values that are concerned with the source of the ingredients, with sustainability and with having a lower environmental impact. Where the ingredients came from is the most important thing driving this trend. We are seeing continued, rapid expansion of choices in this plant cheese category,” explains Nielsen.
Always loved eggs, but always hesitated about how to cook them? This year you will see an even greater multiplication of egg-based products in shops, supermarkets and restaurants, responding to a growing consumers’ desire for highly nutritive, high-protein and low-carb foods and snacking options.“Eggs are obviously mainstream items, but we are now seeing eggs and innovative egg products being positioned to provide good quality proteins,” says Nielsen.
Coffee Cascara Brews
Coffee fruit tea, which are essentially infusions of upcycled dried coffee cherry husks, will continue to be used for innovating refreshing drinks as well as alcoholic beverages such as beers or spirits. A trend that will speak to everyone who wants to avoid waste, and wants the emphasis to be put on the sustainability of the products they consume. “A big part of the reason around using this ingredient is that it’s an upcycled, former waste product from coffee production,” says Nielsen.
This South American tuber is starting to appear everywhere. It is being used to make a range of gluten-free items, Brazilian foods and crunchy Southeast Asian chips. “Cassava roots are being used in different ways, and have been for a little while. They are still a little newer in the restaurant space, but you can find abra-cassava in a range of products such as tortillas that are grain free and more healthful, in southeast Asian chips or more “fringe” products from West Africa. In this case, it’s used as a culinary artefact, a representation of culinary culture,” Nielsen points out.
Access to nutritious and sustainable seafood will also be a major concern for consumers and will drive one of the major food trends of 2019. Many companies are innovating to create adventurous seafood snacks and new convenience meals based on sustainably fished products. “Better-for-you snacks like chips made from fish skins are emerging. We may also see more packaging innovations, like tuna being put in pouches or snack packs. There is a re-positioning of these products as very nutritious options, highlighting their high protein and low carb content as well as the benefits of omega 3 fatty acids,” Nielsen says.
2019 will also pave the way for the emergence of new trends that will slowly appear this year and will shape our food choices on the longer term. They include a growth in popularity of Australia’s relaxed culinary culture, with more “Australian options” on the table, but also fruits joining vegetables as creative meat substitutes, and eaten smoked, grilled, shredded and seasoned for snacks, sandwiches and even sushi. Mushrooms will also be used more and more as a functional medicinal boost to beverages, bars and meat blends.
Writer: Léa Surugue