Let's all say a collective Thank u, next! to 2018 and all the tired food trends we're ushering out come December 31. Goodbye forever, unicorn foods. So long for eternity, unrealistic smoothie bowls. Meat-flavored chips, we'll see you when we see you. The new year is upon us and so are 19 new culinary crazes that we're, well, SO FREAKIN' EXCITED ABOUT. We even wrote that in all caps to prove it. Get to know them now-so you can be the first to 'gram them in 2019.
Tahini Desserts Are The New Peanut Butter Desserts
The initial tahini wave happened a few years ago, when shoppers realized the ground sesame seed spread could do more than just give flavor to hummus. But expect those uses to go beyond savory foods next year. Soom Foods, one popular jarred brand, is starting to see its tahini-both the classic and chocolate-flavored-used in restaurant desserts across the country, like in ice cream bars at Honey Road in Burlington, VT, or in a milkshake at Jaffa in Los Angeles, or in banana muffins at Abandoned Luncheonette in Morrestown, NJ. Consider adding tahini to any dessert for which you might've used peanut butter-like these creamy snowballs.
BUY NOW Soom Foods Organic Tahini, $13 for 16 oz. jar; amazon.com
Fast Food Will Show Up At Your Doorstep
Because the drive-thru is so last-century, brands are looking for new ways to get you their food-without you stepping foot in the store. Just recently, Starbucks just started testing delivery through Uber Eats, while Yum! Brands (the parent company of KFC and Taco Bell) announced a partnership with GrubHub. There's no word yet on when delivery will start, but we're willing to hedge a bet that testing at the very least will begin in 2019. If you're feeling antsy, there's one chain that's already begun its nationwide efforts: Chick-fil-A.
CBD Is Here To Make Everything Better
Let's get one thing straight: Cannabidiol-or CBD, as the cool kids call it-will not get you high, though it is derived from either marijuana or hemp plants. Rather, people take it to calm their nerves and anxiety, reduce insomnia, and alleviate pain related to inflammation. The stuff has gained momentum this year, but it'll be mainstream by next. That means new CBD products in every shape and form will join the ranks of the many that already exist: CBD-spiked sparkling water from Recess, gummies from Sunday Scaries, and Sträva Craft Coffee.
BUY NOW Sunday Scaries CBD Gummy Bears, $39; fosundayscaries.com
Milkshake IPAs Are Bringing All The Boys (And Girls) To The Yard
We'll start with what Milkshake IPAs aren't, and that's some adult-friendly spin on a root beer float. Ready for what they are? Milkshake IPAs are India Pale Ales brewed with lactose, to give the drink a fuller body. The traction they've gained as of late is so new, the Beer Judge Certification Program hasn't even formally recognized the category yet. Beer meccas like Asheville, NC, and cities in Colorado are at the forefront of experimenting.
Veganism Isn't The Butt Of The Joke Anymore
It used to be that veganism conjured an image of Birkenstock-wearing, hand-holding hippies with better-than-thou attitudes. Not anymore. Shunning animal products and by-products is more mainstream than ever, as all-vegan restaurant chains like ByChloe make the food accessible. In 2018, we saw even saw White Castle add a plant-based Impossible Foods slider to its menu, and the Beyond Burger joined TGI Fridays menus nationwide. Join the revolution now.
Cabbage Turns Over A New Leaf
Remember when cauliflower was an all-but-forgotten vegetable-and now it's the superstar of the produce aisle? The same thing's about to happen to cabbage. Healthy eaters are hungry for starch or meat swaps, and we're experimenting on their behalf: cabbage leaf enchiladas, cabbage chips, cabbage lasagna. And this grassroots cabbage takeover that's starting at home is only spreading-to restaurant menus, to grocery store aisles, everywhere. Cabbage crust pizza anyone?
Hue Knew: Orange Wine Is A Thing
You can't use orange wine as a category the way you can red wine or white wine. Orange wines are white wines that are made like red wines-a type of "skin-contact" wine, where the juice is fermented with the grape skins. (So, no-no actual oranges are harmed in the making of orange wine.) And we'll contest, while the wine itself is nothing new-it dates back centuries-drinkers are just now discovering a palate for the stuff. How do we know? Well, even Aldi just jumped on the bandwagon.
Celebrities Are Investing In Your Dinner Plans
Few east coasters knew what True Food Kitchen was until Oprah made a "significant equity investment" in the group, with promises that it'd soon expand to the other side of the country. And Blaze Pizza is what it is in good part because of LeBron James' name on the investors list. Instead of creating their own restaurants, celebrities are backing chains they love-and you're going to love them, too.
You Can Sip Your Way To Sleep
Blue light, stress, temperature-apparently they're all ruining your chances of a good night's sleep. That's why brands are inventing potions and brews that'll put you to right to bed (at least, they promise to). "Sleepytime" continues to be a burgeoning tea category. Teami and Tea Heads Co. both have the key ingredients you'll see grow in popularity: valerian, lemon peel, chamomile. Other tinctures-both bottle and homemade are on the rise, too: Som Sleep, a melatonin-spiked "sleep drink" that's popped up on Hilary Duff's and Jenna Dewan's Instagrams, and moon milk, a DIY herb and spice warm milk mixture.
BUY NOW Som Sleep, $10 for 4-pack; amazon.com
Breakfast Is The Most Important (And Healthy) Meal Of The Day
Food companies are finally delivery goods to help you make the first meal of the day count. People are ranking the importance of healthy breakfast foods above ones that are cheap or indulgent, DSM Food Specialties found, but that's not limiting brands from filling all those buckets. Birch Benders continues to grow its line of almond flour-based Paleo pancake and waffle mixes, even launching frozen waffles in 2018. Wild Friends recently introduced high-protein, low-sugar oats and nut butter to-go cups. Expect to see more household name brands do the same-like Kellogg's, which added probiotics to its cereal.
BUY NOW Wild Friends Nut Butter Oats, $2; amazon.com
Added Sugar = Public Enemy Number 1
The FDA is giving big-name manufacturers until 2020 to change the way they address sugar on food labels, but a marked switch is already under way. It used to be that all sugar was bad-even the naturally occurring stuff in fruit and vegetables. Now, companies must single out how much sugar has actually been added to their goods. And that differentiation is causing brands to change their tune altogether. Nestle is aiming to decrease added sugar in its products, as are PepsiCo and General Mills. That bodes well for all the health nuts who'll be starting their no added sugar detoxes come January 1.
Mezcal Is Smoking Out Other Boozes
According to Mordor Intelligence, the global mezcal market is expected to grow 14.2% between 2018 to 2023. What started as a boutique booze industry, if you will-small or overseas brands pushing their way into U.S. stores-is now a space that household spirits names are playing in. Stoli (yes, the Vodka group) introduced its own Se Busca Mezcal this year, and other big names acquired smaller existing alcohols: Bacardi purchased stake in Ilegal Mezcal, and Diageo bought Pierde Almas. That doesn't mean all the tiny mezcalerias that have popped up across the country will disappear, just that you'll see the booze displayed more prominently in liquor shops, too.
Za'atar Will Spice Up Your Life
Za'atar is a popular Middle Eastern spice mix consisting of oregano, thyme, sumac, ground sesame seeds, and salt-and you're going to see a lot more of it on menus at restaurants across the country. Beyond that, retailers are making room for the stuff on their shelves: There's Zesty Z, a spread that can be drizzled on top of grain bowls or used on baked chicken. Harvest Stone's new Sprouted Hummus Crackers offer a "taste of za'atar." And Sur la Table sells a special Marrakesh Za'atar Seasoning Mix.
BUY NOW Zesty Z Spicy Mediterranean Za'atar Seasoning and Spread, $10; amazon.com
Snacktime Will Experience A Sea Change
Surely you've had roasted seaweed, but have you ever heard of salmon skins? How about kelp jerky? Or puffed water lily seeds? There's a rapidly growing market for these from-the-water snacks, Whole Foods notes. The impetus: They're healthier substitutes for popular snacks-meat-heavy or carbo-loaded ones-that already exist.
Ugly Produce Faces A Pretty Reality
That reality: People are finally accepting misshapen, bruised, and just down-right ugly foods as totally edible. Start-ups that send boxes of said fruit and vegetables to your home, including Imperfect Produce (which just expanded to the East Coast) and Hungry Harvest have been around for a little while, and new ones like Philadelphia-based Misfits Market continue to crop up. Even Kroger announced it'd be launching Pickuliar Picks in 2019, a program that will encourage customers to buy produce that is nutritious and tastes fine, but is physically flawed in some way.
Vegetables Are Taking Center Stage
For, well, ever, veggies have been relegated to side dishes-but not anymore. You don't have to be strictly vegetarian to partake, either. The veggie-centric recipes we've created are showstoppers even carnivores can enjoy. You could whole roast an entire head of cauliflower or cabbage (reminder: cabbage is so hot right now), or put a modern twist on classic spaghetti squash. Who knows, the mushroom steaks of your mother's heyday could even come rearing their heads again next year!
We're Glassing Over Plastic
Remember the great plastic straw debacle of 2018? It's not going to end when the calendar year changes. Disney is expected to ditch single-use plastic straws in 2019, followed by Starbucks, Aramark, and McDonald's in the years following. But straws are just the start of it. Packaging is going the way of BYO-as in, salad bars won't roll their eyes when you load up a glass bowl you brought from home. You'll see more eco-friendly wrappers and boxes next year, too.
Got Oat Milk?
Want to hear something crazy? Non-dairy milk sales in the U.S. have grown 61 percent since 2012. As you can imagine, that surge means you can find a lot more than just nut milks at the supermarket. Oat milk is the latest craze, and Swedish company Oatly is credited with introducing the stuff to America. It's gaining traction in independent coffee shops, and traditionally nut-focused brands offer their own versions, too-like Elmhurst and Pacific. It's not the healthiest dairy alternative, what with its high carb and low protein count, but it's not dying out any time soon.
BUY NOW Oatly Oat Drink, $8; amazon.com
Fat Is Phat
Blame it on the keto craze, where you can eat avocado, olive oil, and nuts with abandon. Alright, not abandon, but you get the point. Healthy fats-like the ones above and also foods including salmon and eggs-aren't something to fear anymore. When eaten in moderation, they're actually rather good for you. So fill up! Everybody's doing it.
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