Biggest food trends of 2018: Flexitarians, cookie dough & dude food

By November 24, 2017Food trends, Snack

Whether you’re just getting on board with kombucha blends, eyeing up another slice of American-style cherry pie or dusting your coffee with turmeric, make the above your last supper then clear your plate in preparation for what’s to come in food trends.

Restaurant Hub’s founder Mark Gregory – the first New Zealand chef to be awarded the “Master of Culinary Arts” the French “Meilleur Ouvrier”- has shared his predictions for the top five food fads to be served up in 2018.

From sports bar snacks being given a Japanese infusion to raw cookie dough taking out doughnuts, he also notes a trend that you won’t want to be a part of, if you can help it.

1. Flexitarians: Look away you of the genuine food allergy affliction: the rise of the Flexitarian is upon us. Defined as an individual who decides on a whim that they will or won’t go gluten-free at dinner tonight, Gregory says Flexitarians will no doubt incite fury among restaurant staff. “These are people who change their diets because of their lifestyle … not because of allergy. Restaurants and chefs are going to hate them. “They’re the people who want to swap out ingredients and change dishes in the middle of a busy Saturday night.”

2. Dude food: From crispy teriyaki-fried chicken to miso-glazed fish bites, Gregory foresees a distinctly Japanese influence infusing popular sports bar-style snacks. “Those sports Saturday afternoons, they’re going to get a pop of flavour.”

3. Healthy snacks: You may think there are already plenty of healthy snacking options on the market, but it’s a trend that’s only going to grow in 2018.Some of Gregory’s predicted favourites include: “grain breads topped with peanut butter – full of protein – smashed banana, acacia berries ground and smothered on top”. He says the obsession is tied to the concept of self-help through diet. “People are thinking, what can I add that’s going to boost my brain power, boost my energy for sports, heal these broken bones … self-help in food and drinks is definitely coming.”

4. Plant-based proteins: As more people make an effort to reduce their meat consumption, plant-based proteins are seeing a surge in popularity. While you may turn your carnivorous nose up at the idea of eating “fake” meat, if the success of Kiwi startup Sunfed Meats is anything to go by, perhaps you should give “chicken that’s not chicken” a go. Earlier this month the Herald reported that Sunfed Meats’ chicken substitute, made from pea protein, is being sold out wherever it’s stocked.

5. Cookies: Move over doughnuts: Cookies are set to take the top spot in the sweet treats department. Gregory predicts we’ll be inundated with quirky flavour mash-ups and “raw cookie doughs are going to be appearing everywhere.”