Culinary Trends

Top Food & Beverage Trends Shaping Your Meals in 2018

- Sterling-Rice Group on cutting-edge culinary trends for the year ahead
Gourmet foods arranged on a wooden board - Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
Top Food & Beverage Trends Shaping Your Meals in 2018

A research leader on trends in the food industry, Sterling-Rice Group (SRG) has identified its annual top culinary trends that will stand out on menus, expand onto grocery shelves, and attract consumer interest across the U.S. in the year ahead. 

SRG's 2018 Cutting-Edge Culinary Trends were compiled by SRG's Culinary Team, led by Culinary Director Liz Moskow.  The report is the culmination of a year-long examination of the global foodscape, based on international scouting trips, in-depth primary research, and input from SRG's Culinary Council, a team of more than 175 chefs, restaurateurs, and food experts from around the world. 

"Some culinary trends may rise and fall within the same calendar year, yet many of the most relevant trends follow longer arcs, manifesting in connected, yet new, innovations along the way," says Liz Moskow, SRG Culinary Director. "This year, we wanted to highlight the 'trendjectories' taken by the trends that allow them to maintain relevance and stay front and center in the minds of consumers."

Look for these culinary trends to expand and grow next year as they move from cutting edge to mainstream:

  1. Coffee + Spice is Everything Nice: Say goodbye to café lattes and hello to the flavor and functional benefits that herbs and spices add; think chai-style coffee or coffee layered with flavors of cinnamon, orange zest and clove. 
  2. U-mami Makes Breakfast: Diners are beginning to embrace jianbing, a traditional Chinese street-food breakfast crepe brushed with umami-rich hoisin and chili sauce; layered with egg, pickled veggies, and herbs, and sometimes customized with sausage or bacon. 
  3. Moringa is the Thinga!  Consumers just can't get enough of the green, which is why we predict that moringa–a superfood derived from the dried leaves of the "tree of life"–will be the "thinga" in 2018 and beyond. With more protein, fiber, calcium and vitamins than matcha, watch for moringa to become the next matcha or golden milk. 
  4. Slow Dough: The frenzy for fermentation continues as artisan bakers and makers of pinsa-–an ancient Roman style of pizza that uses a flour blend with longer fermentation periods to make the bread easier to digest-–will spur a revolution in the way crusts are crafted. 
  5. Trendy Tea and The Chickpea: Burmese cuisine, a blend of Chinese, Laotian, Indian, and Thai flavors, has the staying power to appeal to a variety of different palates, and we predict it will be pushing front and center in 2018. 
  6. The Objectification of Food: Instagram has made food evermore about styling than substance. Next year the Culinary Institute of America will start offering classes on how to take "Insta-ready" photos of food. Full-on art installations and "foodzeums" are being created specifically to engage visually with food through the lens of a phone. Heading into 2018, we will continue to see visual food experiences created with the explicit purpose of getting the perfect photo opp.

For a complete look at cutting-edge Culinary Trends 2017, visit here.  

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