AUSTIN, Texas - We all know that tastes change every year, but have you ever considered food to be trendy? The folks at Whole Foods certainly do, and they compile a list each year of the hottest and up-and-coming flavors, products and cuisines in the food business.
For 2018, Whole Foods says to expect the following trends to show up in a big way:
Floral flavors: You'll see everything from entire flowers to petals and infusions in your food and drinks.
Super powders: Superfoods like matcha, maca root, turmeric and cacao have found their way into coffee and smoothies in powder form.
Functional mushrooms: Reishi, chaga, cordyceps and lion's mane star mushrooms are a huge trend in 2018, and not just for food. The mushrooms are also seen in body care products like soaps and shampoos.
Middle Eastern influence: We all love hummus, pita and falafel, but Middle Eastern influence is only going to grow next year. Look out for spices like harissa, cardamom and za'atar and dishes like shakshuka, grilled halloumi and lamb.
Labeling and production chain transparency: People want to know where their food comes from and are increasingly attracted to food products that are grown and manufactured in ways that have minimal impact on the environment.
High-tech, plant-based dishes: Those who don't eat animal-based food products have more options than ever when it comes to veggie burgers, non-diary milk and other "imitation" products.
Puffed and popped snacks: Rest in peace, plain old potato chips! Popped cassava chips, puffed pasta bow ties, seaweed fava chips and puffed rice clusters are hot new snack foods.
Tacos sans shell: Remember when sandwiches and hamburgers shed their outer layers? Tacos are following suit, opting for things like seaweed wrappers and poke filling for a new twist on an old favorite.
Root-to-stem: Low-waste cooking is all the rage, and chefs are working to incorporate stems, leaves, rinds and other parts of fruits and vegetables that are not commonly eaten.
Bubbles: LaCroix has paved the way for a new generation of sparkling beverages. As consumers have become more health-conscious and moved away from soda and sweet tea, flavored sparkling waters have moved in to fill that void.
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