Food brands are like sharks—if they stop moving, they stop breathing… or lose their shelf space. Change is the name of the game, and this year we’re primed to dine on a whole host of new food and beverage trends that make 2019 seem like a fascinating time to be alive.
While bad bacteria can ruin a picnic faster than you can say ‘warm deviled eggs’, good bacteria are what saves your battered digestive system from succumbing to your poor dietary decisions. Research suggests that regularly taking probiotics can help prevent and treat everything from irritable bowel syndrome to childhood eczema.
None of this is new, and probiotics are already readily available in the fridge section of your favorite grocery story, but in 2019 we’ll see the probiotics market moving from kimchi and kombucha to shelf-stable iterations like sauerkraut chips and nut butter. Now, you’ll be able to take your good bacteria on the go, which should make it easier than ever to give your belly the balance it craves.
CBD Anything. CBD Everything.
Cannabidiol is one of the main chemical components in cannabis, aka pot, aka weed, aka ganja, reefer, cheech, dope, grass, Aunt Mary, chronic…. ya dig? The thing about cannabidiol, or CBD, is that it lacks the psychoactive properties associated with pot but comes with a slew of purported health benefits.
If you’re hoping to use CBD to address issues like anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, or inflammation, you’ll be happy to know you’ll soon be able to get your fix in everything from crunchy Weetos (yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like) to sparkling water to coffee. Add to that the fact that hemp is now federally legal, and you might be chilling out in a CBD bar or taco joint before the year is out.
Go ahead, make a face. You should see the one I’m making. “Motherless meat” is a catastrophically unpleasant term for lab-grown protein, but if you can get past the marketing, you may be part of a global revolution. Food scientists hope their innovation creation will help dedicated carnivores enjoy the meals they love while also giving the environment—and some very nervous cows—a much-needed break.
If you can get past the marketing, you may be part of a global revolution.
So, how does it taste? Given that law-grown meat start with cow stem cells, you’ll likely encounter the same beefy taste you know and love.
Bread is Back
Even as keto threatens to ruin gastronomy as we know it (I’m mostly kidding…), big bad bread is gaining ground. People are getting tired of mealy coconut wraps and lettuce “buns” and just want their focaccia back already. Don’t look for a 21st-century rebirth of Wonder Bread, though; instead, we’re seeing artisanal offerings in stores and restaurants across the country, with throwback recipes, hearty heritage grains, and chewy loaves, pillowy flatbreads, and crispy crackers packed with international flavor.
All the Snacks
Maybe it’s the legalization of pot, maybe it’s the end of a way-too-long era of deprivation, maybe we’re all just busy and tired and starving. Whatever the reason, we all want snacks and food companies are eager to deliver—and they’ve been brainstorming hard.
It’s like someone let Willy Wonka loose in a mini mart, and the results are so wrong they’re right.
Coconut jerky. Crispy cinnamon sugar chickpeas. Seaweed-dusted popcorn. Watermelon seed butter. Dried mangos dusted in tajin. Kimchi tortilla chips. It’s like someone let Willy Wonka loose in a mini mart, and the results are so wrong they’re right.
Somewhere out there, a wine snob just grabbed her pearls and fainted. The industry has barely gotten over the supposedly blasphemy of screw caps and here comes wine in a can to send everybody over the edge again. Potential outrage aside, producers know cans are more portable, lighter (which means cheaper shipping), recyclable, and you don’t need a corkscrew to get down to business.
Canned wine is already a $45 million industry, and as it matures beyond novelty status and gains tractions with demographics looking for an affordable, lifestyle-friendly way to enjoy a glass of vino, we’ll see more producers coming out with their own lines of aluminum-encased juice.
Thanks to our almost universal desire to give up the outside world in favor of an 8-hour block of Netflix and chill, we’re now more likely to order in than go out to eat. For restaurants to survive, they need to provide not just incredible food but also an unforgettable experience.
For restaurants to survive, they need to provide not just incredible food but also an unforgettable experience.
Gourmet menus in movie theaters proved to be a massive hit in 2018, and this year those full-service spreads will be joined by themed pop-up restaurants, build-your-own trail mix stations, enomatic wine tasting systems, pancakes and waffles cooked tableside (a la hibachi), and so many more options your Instagram will huff and puff trying to keep up.
The desire to live longer, run faster, feel better, jump higher, and hurt less is strong, and we’re not afraid to drink kale juice and eat charcoal candies if we think it’ll help us hit our goals. Thankfully, the functional food category is diversifying and we’re gaining access to options that are far more palatable than the hold-your-nose-and-down-it herbal teas of the past.
Collagen now comes in strawberry-lemon drink powders and you can’t throw a vial of beard oil without hitting someone who stirred a tablespoon of MCT oil into their latte that morning. Probiotic chocolate very much falls into this category, as does turmeric tea, manuka honey cough drops, and maca energy bars.
Last year’s predictions included an influx of quirky condiments and nostalgic foods, and we can’t get enough of miso mustard on our grass-fed meatloaf, so we’re feeling pretty good about what’s to eat in 2019. How about you?