OMG, The Food Trends For 2019 Aren't What You Were Expecting (Hello, Kelp!)

2018 has been the year of keto, kombucha, and avocado on everything. We've seen the paleo trend come and go, and watched the rise of pickles and probiotics. There have also been subtler trends, like an attention to cost and waste, and how our food affects the planet. It is always fun to prognosticate how food trends will continue in the next year, even though with all that's available to us, the competition is fierce. The hot food trends for 2019 will be welcome and familiar at times — but wholly unexpected at other times, according to those in the industry.

Millennials are staying home to cook more than ever, and that trend is going to continue, according to The Spoon. That means services like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh are not likely to go away any time soon. In fact, many of these meal kits can now be found at the grocery store, ready to go, noted Eater. It's a trend that's pulling the restaurant industry in surprising directions; most notably, into cuisine that home cooks are unfamiliar with and would not want to make themselves. Foods like Uzbek dumplings, or Chinese Hot pot, and Georgian khachapuri will be all the rage, according to Nation's Restaurant News.

But not to worry, I'm fairly certain that mac and cheese in a blue box will be trending forever in the under 10 set.


Kelp On Everything

I spoke with several industry experts yesterday, and the one thing they all agreed upon was that kelp is going to be huge this year, as Forbes reported. Not only is it dense in nutrients and flavor, it also aligns well with millennials' concerns over the environment because it's highly sustainable and easy to incorporate, according to Well and Good.


Move Over Nut Butters, Seed Butters Are Here

Women's Health thinks that safer seed butters will continue to gain popularity in a world increasingly sensitive to nuts. Not only are fewer people allergic to these spreads, but they provide unique flavor profiles that are novel and delightful.


Oat Milk, Almond Milk, Soy Milk, ETC

Non-dairy milk just keeps getting more popular. So popular that it's predicted to become as popular as dairy milk in the near future, according to US News and World Report, and we have more options than ever. Personally, I'm a vanilla soy milk kinda lady, and not just because my beloved Costco sells it.


Fermented Foods

Another huge theme for the next year is fermented foods. Kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, and pickles will be all over menus and grocery stores, according to Forbes. Most will buy their fermented goodies, but I assure you that foods like sauerkraut and pickles are a snap to make at home and the results are better than most things in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.


Plant Protein

Plant-based diets, and subsequently plant based proteins, are here to stay; actually, they're more popular than ever. Companies like Forbes and Whole Foods are proclaiming this the movement of 2019, with plant-based burgers, snacks, and protein alternatives like jackfruit making a big splash this year.

I was a vegan for years, and 2019 is the time when I have decided to fully embrace plant proteins in favor of livestock-based foods. It is more sustainable in the long run, and extremely healthy.


Air Fryers

I am certain that air fryers are going to get bigger and bigger. This year, popular bloggers like my friend GiGi Ashworth of GiGi Eats have really embraced the trend, and they've proven to be kitchen powerhouses. Crispy food with no added fat? Yes, please. Even the New Yorker's Helen Rosner has become a reluctant fan of the fryer, writing, in a way that only a New Yorker writer could pen, "I’ve started relying on it — it heats up instantly! It does such magical things to okra! — I’m afraid that I might end up keeping it." It's akin to when you realize you've been the arbiter of good musical taste amongst your peers, and suddenly you cannot stop whistling "Thank You, Next," as you prepare your shisito peppers.


Imperfectly Perfect

A huge trend I'm seeing at the Farmer's Markets in Brooklyn and Manhattan, as well as with my own CSA and in restaurants, is the willingness to embrace ugly produce. That carrot that looks like its grown a hand. An oddly shaped tomato, or perhaps a flat-bottomed squash. It's the food equivalent of Ikea's As-Is section, and it's coming into its own thanks to movements like chef Dan Barber's WastED campaign. It's an economically and environmentally sustainable way of eating, and it's going to be huge in 2019.


CBD Infused Foods

The rise in popularity of CBD oil has turned into a bumper crop of products laced with the calming hemp-based extract. There are many more CBD foods set to hit the market in 2019, even as states like New York seek to set greater regulations upon what can and cannot be marketed and sold legally.


New IPAs And Imperial Stouts

I am a big beer fan, and some of my best friends are either brewers or the beer equivalent of sommeliers. According to those on the ground, (specifically brewers in Brooklyn, New York) there are two big trends for beer in 2019: IPAs known as milkshake IPAs, which are brewed with lactose, giving them a heady, creamy quality, and imperial stout dessert beers. Those are dense stouts with flavors of cake or coffee, sometimes even chocolate or peanut butter.


Less Sugar

Added sugar is an idea that is finally going the way of the DoDo, according to Delish. Consumers are looking for quality food that doesn't need to rely on syrups or sugar to make them more palatable. It's a healthier, more reasoned approach to foods, and it's going to be gain lots of traction in 2019.

Readers should note that the regulations and data surrounding CBD are still developing. As such, the information contained in this post should not be construed as medical or legal advice. Always consult with your doctor before trying any substance or supplement.

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