Are you sick of unicorns bagels, or pumpkin spice…. anything? Find out what will be the new food trends to take the world by storm in 2018.

Sooner or later, trends have to change. That’s the very nature of things. However, the good ones - not the fads - cling on, year on year, or develop into something more interesting.

Whenever new trends take hold, people tend to run with them and you will see them everywhere - remember the pulled pork epidemic of 2014? Perhaps coconut milk pancakes will become the next big thing?

New Year, New Me. That’s the saying that shows up a lot at this time of year, but what about New Year, New Food? That’s how it should be. Well, that’s what 700 professional chefs think anyway.

The results of an annual survey by The National Restaurant Association on this very matter have been released. The survey was conducted with answers from 700 professional chefs who are all members of the American Culinary Federation (ACF.) The purpose was in an attempt to predict what the biggest food trends of 2018 will be.

Hudson Riehle, Senior Vice President of Research at the National Restaurant Association. Says;

“Local, vegetable-forward, and ethnic-inspired menu items will reign supreme in 2018. Guests are implementing these trends in their own lifestyles and want to see them reflected on restaurant menus. In response, chefs are creating more items in-house and turning to global flavours.”

Top 20 food trends

  • New cuts of meat (e.g. shoulder tender, oyster steak, Vegas Strip Steak, Merlot cut)
  • House-made condiments
  • Street food-inspired dishes (e.g. tempura, kabobs, dumplings, pupusas)
  • Ethnic-inspired breakfast items (e.g. chorizo scrambled eggs, coconut milk pancakes)
  • Sustainable seafood
  • Healthy kids’ meals
  • Vegetable carb substitutes (e.g. cauliflower rice, zucchini spaghetti)
  • Uncommon herbs (e.g. chervil, lovage, lemon balm, papalo)
  • Authentic ethnic cuisine
  • Ethnic spices (e.g. harissa, curry, peri peri, ras el hanout, shichimi)
  • Peruvian cuisine
  • House-made/artisan pickles
  • Heritage-breed meats
  • Thai-rolled ice cream
  • African flavours
  • Ethnic-inspired kids’ dishes (e.g. tacos, teriyaki, sushi)
  • Donuts with non-traditional filling (e.g. liqueur, Earl Grey cream)
  • Gourmet items in kids’ meals
  • Ethnic condiments (e.g. sriracha, sambal, chimichurri, gochujang, zhug)
  • Ancient grains (e.g. kamut, spelt, amaranth, lupin)

With sustainability, authenticity and healthy meals for children being highlights, surely, most of these trends can only be seen as a positive.

Chefs strive to strike the right balance between offering consumers what they want to eat now and guiding them toward new and exciting culinary frontiers,” says ACF National President, Stafford T. DeCambra. “ACF chefs dedicate countless hours to continuing education and professional development to stay at the forefront of culinary innovation, allowing them to respond to and redefine diners’ expectations in an ever-changing foodservice landscape.”

Top 10 concept trends

  • Hyper-local (e.g. restaurant gardens, onsite beer brewing, house-made items
  • Chef-driven fast casual concepts
  • Natural ingredients/clean menus
  • Food waste reduction
  • Veggie-centric/vegetable-forward cuisine (e.g. fresh produce is star of the dish)
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Locally sourced meat and seafood
  • Locally sourced produce
  • Simplicity/back to basics
  • Farm/estate-branded items

So 2017? These 10 things are no longer trendy.

  • Meals in Mason jars
  • Offal
  • Bitter melon
  • Algae
  • Spiralized vegetables
  • Pumpkin spice
  • Flavoured popcorn
  • Egg-white omelettes/sandwiches
  • Fried chickpeas
  • Black/forbidden rice.


If you liked this, read more here:

Olives at 5, sashimi at 6, steak tartar at 7, Britains youngsters become more adventurous with food

Lifestyle food for those that want to live a healthy life

“SORTEDfood has become a movement of people”: The YouTube business that’s changing an industry