It can be amazing to see how much trends drive the food industry. But it’s something you might want to think about the next time you order a pork belly taco or whip up a kale smoothie! Food trends can come about for any number of reasons. Sometimes it’s effective advertising, sometimes it’s a renewed focus on the health of a certain ingredient, and sometimes a type of food just becomes inexplicably linked to pop culture. It can feel quite random, and in some cases silly, but it’s also a lot of fun for us foodies!
These are some of the trendiest foods we’ve been noticing in 2018.
If you haven’t tried popped (or puffed) chips, frankly, you’re missing out. Said to be “never fried, never baked” but rather just “popped,” the brand that took this idea mainstream, Popchips, has become something of a tasty sensation. But it’s also led to imitations that deal with ingredients well beyond potatoes. Check out your nearest Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, for instance, and you may find some popped or puffed veggie chips (which pretty much just taste like delicious, airy Ruffles). It’s a fun snack trend that may well be here to stay!
With more and more people looking to minimize carbs in their diets, pasta is a bit of a no-no for many of us, at least on a regular basis. So, naturally, the food industry as a collective whole has begun to produce seemingly innumerable pasta alternatives. There’s gluten-free pasta, quinoa pasta, zucchini pasta, parsnip and sweet potato noodles, and the list surely goes on and on. Basically, it’s become clear that you can make noodles out of just about anything, and a lot of the options are better for a low-carb diet than good old-fashioned pasta.
Dim sum might be the most blatantly trendy item on this list. Restaurants serving these Asian small dishes are popping up seemingly all over the place, in big cities and small towns alike. A Canadian online arcade features a dim sum game among its slot machine collection. (The game simply involves different kinds of dim sum as slot reel icons.) It’s probably a matter of time before a dim sum food truck makes it big on Shark Tank, a la Cousins’ Maine Lobster. With all this said, we’re not complaining. Good dim sum is absolutely delicious, and makes for a great lighter meal.
Mushrooms are a little bit different, but deserve a mention here. One article declaring that mushrooms have emerged from underground spoke to how this trend goes well beyond dining. Mushrooms are trendy in pretty much every way imaginable. They’re being infused in food and drink more frequently, as well as being used in beauty products. For that matter, even “magic” mushrooms are being studied and used more to treat certain mental conditions!
Flavored Sparkling Water
Okay, so sparkling water isn’t food, but it can be every bit as satisfying. And suffice it to say we finally seem to have reached a point at which flavored sparkling water is starting to chip away at soda empires. Brands like La Croix and Spindrift are suddenly all over the place, offering light, healthy, and tasty alternatives to sugary sodas. Additionally, alcoholic versions of these drinks are being produced as well by other companies. “Spiked seltzer” is one of the bigger trends in beverages, and serves as a pleasant low-calorie alternative to liquor or beer.