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What's trending on food in 2018?

Over the last few years, more and more people are becoming more health concerned and trying to find the latest food trend or eating habit that can support them with maintaining a healthy and balanced nutrition and body. On the other side, social media play a vital role in motivating some of the biggest food trends based on food presentation and appearance. Charcoal ice cream, rose and lavender lattes and poke are just some of the foods that gained a lot of attention in Instagram during 2017, because they tend to “look good” on a phone screen, with more and more chefs currently focusing on the food styling of a dish in addition to utilising good quality ingredients and innovative recipes (a trend known as Instagrammable eats).

So, which trends have slowly picked up from 2017 and are predicted to be dominating the food spectrum during 2018?

1. Veganism and plant-centric eating Moving away from classic meat-based products and reaching for more vegetarian-driven products continue to become more popular, even for people who don’t really avoid meat in their overall nutrition. It is estimated that veganism in. creased by 6% in 2017 , leading to an increased flow of new meat-free and dairy-free products and technologies in the market like:  milk and dairy alternatives (coconut milk and yogurt, almond milk, hemp milk or even quinoa milk)  meat- free products substitutes like tofu (made from soybeans), quorn (main ingredient is a mycoprotein- protein derived from fungi) or seitan (processed wheat gluten). 2. Protein packed grains and seeds 2013 was officially named as the international year of quinoa, however finding grains that are rich in protein is still classified amongst the biggest current trends. Grains like spelt, amaranth and kamut, as well as hemp, chia and flax seeds seem to gain more popularity and are expected to be used as add-ons in everyday products like oatmeal and yogurt.

3. Avocado A study conducted in dieticians in the US indicated that avocado is claimed to be at No 2 for the 2018 food trends. Most of us already include avocado in our breakfasts or salads already, but we shall expect to see the opening of restaurants focusing on classic avocado recipes including interesting twist like avocado ice cream.

4. Fermented products A significant part of scientific data is promoting the benefits of maintaining a healthy gut and the importance of including foods that contain live bacteria (previously known as probiotics) in our nutrition to achieve a good balance of our gut bacteria population (known as gut microflora). Products like greek yogurt, kefir, miso, kimchi or kombucha have been in the spotlight for the live bacteria cultures they contain and are expected to become more popular during 2018 too.

5. Stem to root and nose to tail Those two food trends focus on minimising food wastage by using every possible part of an animal (hence the nose-to-tail title) or the entire produce of the vegetable equivalent (including the stems and the leaves). As a result, new meat cut techniques are slowly being introduced, whereas new recipes are expected to gain traction. Combined with an increased awareness of recycling and an attempt to minimise food packaging is expected to reduce the food wasting dramatically in the next few years.

6. Middle Eastern spices and herbs Spices and foods found in Middle Eastern cuisines like turmeric, cardamom, za’atar, parsley and tahini are getting into the spotlight of the current scientific research, as not only they tend to flavour up a dish, but also seem to contain nutrients that can support a healthy body and wellbeing.

7. Popped or puffed snacks Moving away from the ordinary potato chips, which have been accused of carrying a great amount of unhealthy fats, convenient foods trend towards popping or puffing cereal grains (the classic popcorn evolves to popped or puffed rice, popped quinoa or sorghum, whereas the classic chips give their place to lentil or hummus chips) .

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