We are well into 2018 now, with the end of January looming and the scents and sounds of spring in the air. I have been taking a look at some predicted food trends for 2018 and chosen some of my favourites.
- Plant Power! In 2017 plant based diets were hot and the trend sets to continue as consumers become more conscious of where their food comes from, the effects it has on the planet and our health. With ‘meat-free Mondays’ and millennials turning to a plant based diet in their droves, manufacturers are developing new foods to appeal to ethics and tastebuds. From fish-free tuna to new ranges of veggie burgers, our supermarket aisles are rapidly being stocked with some creative new ways to eat more plants. Of course, this is good news as research paper after research paper points to a plant based diet as being the secret to good health and longevity, with links to reduced risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease and cancers. As we seek new and interesting alternatives to meat and fish, food manufacturers will aim to sell us food that appeals to our tastebuds, often with little thought to our health. Processed food is processed food in any guise, so keep common sense at the front of your mind and look beyond the label. Is the food producer really selling you a healthy food, or is it just another processed food high in fat, sugar and salt?
- Turmeric lattes – when you pop in for your morning coffee, you might meet a new offering on your coffee menu. Turmeric has been spicing up our food and supplement scene over the last couple of years and now this amazing Asian spice is set to become mainstream. Cafes in cool cities like San Francisco and Sydney have been adding cold-pressed turmeric juice to their smoothies and hot drinks for a while now, and it seems towns and cities across the UK and Ireland are hot on their heels. ‘Golden milk’ has been accredited with some astounding health properties, hence it’s growing popularity as a functional food. Make your own with some simple store cupboard ingredients, or buy a blend like this one from your local health food store or supermarket.
- Good gut health. I think the trend for fermented and cultured foods like kefir, kimchi, kombucha, and sauerkraut is just at the tip of the iceberg, as we discover how our gut flora impacts our mental, emotional and physical well-being. With supermarkets now stocking kefir alongside yoghurt and kimchi beside baked beans, this trend is here to stay.
- Feed your brain. Eating specific foods to help maximise brain power could change the choices we make as we shop. Ingredients like catechins in green tea, MCT in coconut oil and reducing carbohydrate intake have all been associated with improved cognitive function. With Alzhemier’s being dubbed ‘type 3 diabetes’, we have a lot to learn about the impact of good nutrition on our long term mental health and cognitive function.
- Online food and recipe kits. Recipe kits like Simply Cook and Hello Fresh were big news last year and the trend is set to grow with Amazon getting in on the market in the USA and with plans to roll it over here too. Tesco have extended their ranges after a very successful trial last year, but most of these boxes are an online subscription. You simply get everything you need for your recipe delivered to your doorstep. As the ingredients have been carefully weighed out, it means there is no food waste (but neither are there any leftovers for tomorrow!). A great idea if you want to add variety to your diet, but they can work out an expensive option so not one for eating on a budget!