2018 Trend Mega-List: Meat, Sweets, Plants and More

 In Blog, Food & Beverage Trends

The beginning of January marks a fresh start, a clean slate, and new opportunities for consumers to reveal their purchase (and dining) habits. True signs of a new year: predictions upon predictions flooding your inbox. Market research firms, restaurant professionals, food writers and other industry leaders compile lists based on qualitative and quantitative data to share with the masses. While we of course put together our own predictions, we went a step further and curated the top trends from the most popular prediction lists for 2018 to procure this mega-list. There were some repeats and at least a few outlandish ingredients, but still enough common threads to bucket these trends into a few different groups. Here’s our ultimate compilation – don’t forget to check back throughout the year and let us know if you’ve witnessed any of these trends or have incorporated them into your innovation strategy.


  1. Plant-based foods
  2. Vegetable carb substitutes
  3. Non-meat in meat formats
  4. Cauliflower
  5. Pistachios
  6. Sweet potato
  7. Olives
  8. Persimmon
  9. Functional mushroomsube
  10. Ube
  11. Algae
  12. Black garlic
  13. Seeds
  14. Figs
  15. Super powders
  16. Moringa
  17. Tart cherry
  18. Shishito peppers


  1. Slower growing animals
  2. Bespoke butchers
  3. New cuts of meat
  4. Heritage-breed meats (bred over time to develop traits that help them adapt to their environment)
  5. Meatballs


  1. Alt-sweet (sugar reduction)
  2. Greater grains/Ancient grains
  3. Self-care cuisine
  4. Puffed & popped snacks
  5. Cannabidiol
  6. Cannabis cuisine
  7. Slow dough
  8. Good gut health
  9. Mct Oil
  10. Collagen
  11. Nootropics


  1. Healthful kids’ meals
  2. Ethnic inspired kids’ dishes
  3. Gourmet items in kids’ meals


  1. Ethnic condiments
  2. Ethnic spices
  3. Ethnic inspired breakfast items
  4. Authentic ethnic cuisine
  5. Street food inspired dishes
  6. Peruvian cuisine
  7. African flavors
  8. Georgian wines
  9. Hispanic cheese
  10. Hawaiian cuisine
  11. The new Jewish deli
  12. Deep feast from the Middle East
  13. French revival
  14. Filipino Cuisine
  15. Pandan
  16. Umamigoth latte
  17. Labneh
  18. Naan
  19. Nontraditional bread


  1. Virtual restaurants
  2. Self-pay (at fast casual)
  3. Colorful foods
  4. Goth food


  1. Creative use of waste
  2. Sustainable seafood
  3. Vegan & Non-GMO
  4. Natural wine (biodynamic)
  5. Upcycled products
  6. Product labeling 2.0 (transparency 2.0)
  7. Root to stem


  1. Thai rolled ice creamthai rolled ice cream
  2. Nontraditional filled donuts
  3. Brown butter


  1. In-house distilling
  2. Royal tea
  3. Tea Time (& tea flavored items)
  4. Rose water
  5. The other bubbly
  6. Whey
  7. Kolsch
  8. Spiced coffee

Bold/Complex Flavors:

  1. Fizzy flavor (citric acid)
  2. Uncommon herbs
  3. House-made pickles
  4. House made condiments
  5. Pepper
  6. Salt curing
  7. Floral flavors
  8. Hot sh*t

Breaking the Barriers:

  1. Eggs benedict across day parts
  2. Mac & cheese outside the box
  3. Tacos all day, out of their shell