Ever say, "I'm sick of food." "Nothing sounds good." "Someone needs to invent new food." Eaters everywhere rejoice! According to foodie prognosticators, there are a lot of new food trends heading our way in 2018. Most of which, I've never heard of. From pea milk to cannabis candy, I've got you covered with the hottest food crazes and craves for 2018.
Foodie Craves and Crazes for 2018
- Poke - PopQuiz Hotshot! According to GrubHub, what dish was ranked as the Most Popular Dish in 2017 with a 643% rise in popularity over the previous year? Answer: Poke. PopQuiz #2: What the hell is Poke? First of all, it's not pronounced like that thing you do to annoy your friends on Facebook, it's pronounced "POH-key" and it's usually served in a bowl. Poke means “to slice or cut” in Hawaiian and refers to chunks of raw, marinated fish — usually tuna — which is then tossed over rice and topped with vegetables and umami-packed sauces. It's been around for centuries in Hawaii. The new, immensely popular poke bowls here on the mainland incorporate ingredients like quinoa, zucchini noodles and tomatoes. They’re definitely health-oriented, but these reimagined bowls are a far cry from Hawaii’s classics, but restaurants, gas stations and supermarkets are scrambling to get in on the Poke craze even more in 2018.
- Drinking Soups - This is a new trend that's catching on fast. After all, why drink green juice when soups are tastier, heartier and more filling? They're the new hot way to get your five-to-ten servings of produce each day. I'm dubious about the 'No need to heat' instruction, but I would like the convenience of just cracking open a bottle and liquid lunch is served. More companies are entering this competitive landscape daily but right now DrinkZupa and Soupure are the two big players in the drinkable soup game.
- No Broth Ramen - Ramen without broth may sound strange to some folks, but there sure will be lots more of it in 2018. A cross between Eastern and Western cuisines, these “mixed noodles” (also known as mazemen) are gently tossed with extra flavorful sauce, mixed with pasta toppings such as bacon and eggs; ricotta, plus white beets and mustard greens; and served in a bowl.
- Teriacha Sauce - Teriacha, a hybrid of teriyaki sauce and Sriracha, is a perfect sauce for any meal, whether served at home, on the road, or at a tailgate party. With no refrigeration required, the durable, easy-to-squeeze bottle has a sweet + spicy flavor that can be taken anywhere and complements nearly any food. It comes in three flavors: Original, Southwest and Chipotle. It has no MSG and is certified gluten-free. Available for purchase online.
- Aloe Vera Yogurt - You're reading this right. Aloe meets yogurt. Apparently, this has been a big thing for over 20 years in Japan, but Morinaga has brought the gut-healthy yogurt to the United States with its Alove brand. Supposedly it's good for your skin and has all the normal health benefits of regular yogurt. Alove comes in three flavors: Original, Strawberry and Blueberry. Click here to see if it's in a store near you.
Snacks, Syringes and Goats
- Popped Sorghum - Imagine popcorn for tiny hands. Sorghum is an ancient whole grain that uses half the water of corn and is drought-resistant, making this new superfood super sustainable as well. It’s also rich in fiber and is naturally gluten-free, so it’s a great satiating snack for the 3 p.m. slump. Pop IQ Snacks offers snacks in Cheddar, Tuscany, Kettle, and Sea Salt & Pepper. Pick up a bag at specialty health food stores or on Amazon for $1.60-2.20 per pack. Nature’s Nates offers five flavors including Rosemary and Garlic, Extremely Cheezy, and Brown Butter Caramel. Pick yours up on their site for $3 per bag.
- Iberian Ham Potato Chips - Stargold’s 100 percent Spanish-made chips are probably the most addictive crunchy snack we’ve tasted in a long time. They’re savory, salty and hammy enough to intoxicate your palate into finishing an entire bag without a trace of grease. We recommend trying a handful with an ice-cold Belgian beer or crisp glass of Champagne in hand. They make a Caviar version, too. www.snackgold.com
- Inject Your Food - A knife, fork, a spoon...and a syringe? You’ve probably played around with syringes in cocktails already, but now restaurants want you to inject more flavors into food. Perhaps the idea of this is to get diners “involved,” or overload dishes with even more sauce. You’ll notice this trend on potato-cheddar balls, oysters, and frozen desserts. I blame Botox.
- Goat Milk Caramel - "If you've never had goat's mild caramel, you absolutely have to try it. It is very creamy. Silky and creamy with just the right amount of sweet. It's not overpowering like stick-in-your-teeth sugar." Fat Toad Farm is a family-run goat dairy in Brookfield, Vermont. It was started as a raise-your-own-food effort, but when the herd grew from 2 to 12 to 25 and started producing much more milk than one family could drink, Fat Toad Farm became a certified goat dairy. Flavors include: Original, Salted Bourbon, Vanilla Bean, Cinnamon, Cold Brew Coffee Caramel made with Vermont Artisan Coffee Cold Brew , Spicy Dark Chocolate Caramel made with Taza Chocolate's stone ground chocolate, Vermont Maple made with Cold Hollow pure Vermont maple syrup. and the Limited Edition Irish Whiskey Cream.
Drink These Trends All In
- Hydrogen Water - Billing itself as "ultra-pure water infused with molecular hydrogen", HTWO Brand purportedly helps boost energy, provides antioxidants, and quickly removes lactic acid. Some consumers even claim it works wonders as a hangover remedy. While the science is still out on this, more than 500 research studies confirm the health benefits of hydrogen gas and many professional athletes and Olympians are proponents of what's being called the first 'metabolic beverage'. HTWO is available at Kroger, Natural Foods and online for $2-3 per pack.
- Moringa Tea - Miracle Foods is a tea plantation out of Sri Lanka that mixes moringa with the caffeine in their organic black tea to make a high energy drink. The tagline for Moringa is "Goodbye coffee, hello moringa!". Moringa is an incredible nutrient-dense superfood. It has seven times the amount of vitamin C in oranges, four times as much calcium and double the amount of protein in milk, four times the vitamin A in carrots, and three times the potassium in bananas. Moringa tree leaves registered a higher ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) score than most antioxidant superfoods that are traditionally talked about, including Acai berries, green tea, blueberries, dark chocolate, garlic, goji berries, pomegranates and red wine. Miracle Foods Moringa is available from Amazon.
- Single Sips - The Republic of Tea hopes it may have found a whole new food niche with the healthfulness and convenience of its new 'Single Sips' products. Single Sips make it easy to enjoy the benefits of healthy, organic teas, Apple Cider Vinegar and herbs on the go. Simply add a packet to hot or cold water and stir or shake. Flavors include: Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Organic Daily Greens, Organic Turmeric and Organic Umatcha. Available for purchase now on The Republic of Tea Website.
- Increasing Wine Prices - Extreme weather in wine-producing countries including France, Spain, and Italy, along with the wildfires in California, will result in wine shortages next year, Fortune predicts.
- Upscale Non-Alcoholic Drink Options - Diners may wish to avoid the skyrocketing price of wine by selecting from an ever-growing selection of high-end non-alcoholic beverages. Restaurants are realizing many diners do not want want a soda or an alcoholic drink, but do prefer something more exciting than iced tea, coffee or water. Therefore, an increasing number of restaurants are tasking their bar staff with creating beverages that are just as creative and tasty as cocktails, minus the booze. What have they come up with? Options with names like a Strawberry Lemon Spritzer, Sparkling Pineapple Green Tea and a Blueberry Pomegranate Chiller.
- Pea Milk - Pea milk is the latest dairy alternative on shelves and is a great nut-free option for our lactose-intolerant friends or those with a nut allergy. Ripple Foods Pea Milk has an impressive 8 grams of protein yet has half the sugar of traditional dairy. Pick it up at Whole Foods and Target for about $4.99 for 48 ounces. Bolthouse Pea Milk also has no preservatives or artificial flavors with 90 calories per cup and 10 grams of protein. It also offers 20 percent of your vitamin D, 25 percent of your calcium, and 110 percent of your vitamin B12 needs! Get it at Ralphs or Walmart for $4.99 per bottle.
- ChocAmo Cookie Cups - Chocolate + Amor = Cookie Cups. ChocAmo’s Cookie Cups are made from scratch inPhiladelphia. The cups are tasty as-is, and come in flavors like Chocolate Chipster, a marble cookie with sea salt and a layer of dark chocolate, and Glitz and Glam, a sugar cookie with Madagascar vanilla cream cheese frosting rimmed with silver sprinkles. Why is my mouth watering?
- Runamok Maple Syrups - Maple syrup has expanded beyond a pancake topping with infusions like makrut-lime that elevate everything from pork chops to cocktails. Runamok infused syrups were one of Oprah's favorite things in 2016. With flavors to make Mrs. Butterworth blush, Runamok is not your mother's maple syrup. Just add "Infused Maple Syrup" to the end of all these scrumptious flavors: Rye Whiskey, Cinnamon-Vanilla, Cardamom, Elderberry, Merquen, Ginger Root, Hibiscus Flower, Barrel-Aged, Pecan Wood and Makrut-Lime-Leaf. Shop Runamok here.
- Food As Medicine - Expect to see more restaurants working alongside nutritionists in designing menus that match the health centric demands of consumers. We also expect to see more and more medical professionals focusing on food as an actual medicine, doctors prescribing specific diets of foods and recipes that help heal, increase immunity or tackle specific issues with patients. There will also be a continued demand for foods that are healthy, especially those ingredients that have a positive impact on gut health: Kombucho, Miso, Kimchi and Yogurts.
- Tahini - Peanut butter's Middle Eastern brother, tahini, should become a household name in the coming year. Tahini is packed with monounsaturated fats, along with cholesterol-lowering phytosterols that help promote a healthy heart. This year, expect tahini to make its way into popular snacks, desserts, and breakfasts on grocery store shelves. Absolutely TahiniBAR is naturally gluten-free with 100 satisfying calories, available on Amazon and some Kosher independent stores in cocoa nibs, pistachio, and vanilla for around $3 for seven bars. Leave it to Trader Joe's to keep the kale trend alive with these addictive, gluten-free crispy snacks: Trader Joe’s Cashew Butter and Tahini Kale Chips. Available at all locations in the chip aisle for $3.99 per bag.
- Cannabis Infused Foods - Eight states (plus Washington, D.C.) have already legalized marijuana and the polls say the majority of Americans support legal marijuana, so it's not really all that surprising that cannabis infused foods would become a new subcategory of superfoods. And no, Funyuns don't count. Here are a few tasty snacks to help you get through the grind...nice and easy: Sweet Janes Milk Chocolate Covered Oreos, Leafly Cherry Almond Tart (It's like an adult Pop-Tart) and Yoni (Reeeallly) Relax Tea.
MORE FOODIE TALK...SORT OF:
- Freeze Thaw Awakening - Japanese farmers created a new kind of banana with an edible peel.
- $160K On Average - That's the average salary of an In-N-Out Burger manager.
- Grandma's Marijuana Gummies - Look at the bright side: it's not a sugar high.
- Tim Horton's Non-Menu Item - A reason to live in one simple gesture.
- Hungry For More Food Trends? - Eater lists "Literally Every Single Food Trend Predicted to Take Over 2018".
- Orange Juiced - Police in Seville, Spain, came across a bizarre scene when they pulled over two cars after a short chase.