Don’t be afraid to try something new—2019 is the year to experience unique taste explosions, overturn everything you previously thought about food, and help save the planet while you’re at it.
Here are the top 10 food trends to look out for in 2019:
1. Mad for Meatless
Meatless alternatives have officially become both a tasty and environmentally-friendly option. Companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat have created meat-like burgers, empanadas, meatballs, sausages, and more—and though they’re plant-based, they actually taste like meat. So you get delicious food without any of the issues that come along with livestock consumption, like climate change, constraints on natural resources, and animal welfare.
Where can you get these plant-based burgers and meats? Grocery stores, restaurants, hotels, and universities, for starters. And while these products aren’t everywhere, we can safely bet that soon they will be. Tyson, one of the world’s largest meat producers, announced that it will start selling plant-based proteins in the summer of 2019. And there is currently a shortage of Impossible Burgers in the US because going meatless has become so popular!
2. Botanical Beverages
Innovation never ends, even with seemingly perfect products like beer and coffee. That’s why botanical-infused alcohol and caffeinated drinks are on the rise. Last year saw many craft breweries create new concoctions using various herbs, plants, and flowers, and the trend shows no sign of slowing down. This year you can expect to see more botanical beers, botanical vodka, and even some surprisingly fun non-alcoholic bars.
But alcohol isn’t the only category of beverages that’s getting revamped; botanical coffee is also growing in popularity. Last year, Starbucks introduced its Juniper Latte, which included flavors of juniper, evergreen, and citrus, and while it may not have been everyone’s cup of tea (or coffee), it showcases the growing trend of infusing hot drinks with wildly different flavors.
3. Keto is Here to Stay
The ketogenic diet was arguably the most popular diet of 2018, but despite its many restrictions, it’s not going anywhere in 2019. Its popularity stems mainly from one thing: Results. Quick results.
People who stick with keto report losing as much as a pound a day, along with experiencing various health benefits like increased energy and improved heart health. Plus, you don’t have to count calories or eat small meals in order to lose weight.
So how does it work? Unlike Atkins, the keto diet doesn’t just limit carb consumption; it limits vegetable and protein consumption as well. Which leaves you with fat, fat, and more fat. While this goes completely against the FDA’s old food pyramid, there’s science to back it up. The idea behind the keto diet is that by eating mostly fat, you push your body into a state of ketosis, which means you’re burning fat instead of carbs. The result? Unbelievably quick weight loss.
While it may sound super-restrictive to some, others love the freedom that keto affords—as long as you eat only certain foods, you can eat as much as you want, when you want. No doubt its popularity has also skyrocketed due to the many celebrities who have openly praised the diet, as well as the availability of keto meal kits to help with easy meal prep.
4. Seaweed Snacks
If you haven’t turned to seaweed, algae, salmon skin, or kelp as your go-to snack, you are so stuck in the last decade. While sea-snacks have been noticeable for the past 5 years, they are taking 2019 by storm, and for good reason: They’re healthy and tasty. Seaweed has been around for a while, but now, you’ll be able to find it in local supermarkets as opposed to specialty health stores. And if you’re not convinced, maybe the nutritional value will help—seaweed is high in fiber, packed with omega-3s, and chock-full of vitamins and minerals.
Kelp is relatively new to the (human) food scene and is being touted as a superfood; it’s vitamin-rich and boasts loads of health benefits, including cancer prevention and balancing the pH of our bodies.
5. Eating In is In This Year
More people will be eating in this year, according to the annual Baum + Whiteman food trends report. Eating out has always been expensive, but this year restaurant prices rose notably by 2.6%, while grocery and supermarket food prices rose only by .5%. And, in an increasingly financially-conscious world, the expense of eating out is less and less justified.
Forbes also notes that millennials — currently a population of 75 million in the US— are not afraid to cook. In fact, they enjoy it, and spend most weeknights cooking and dining at home.
The rise in popularity of meal kit delivery services has also played a role in this growing trend. With so many meal delivery services to choose from, some offering fully-prepared meals and others offering the exact ingredients you need—eating in has never been easier or tastier.
6. Clean Eating
It’s 2019—it’s no secret that processed foods aren’t good for us, and food companies are no longer able to conceal ingredients or fudge the ugly facts. It’s pretty easy to read a food label and tell whether it’s processed or not—can you pronounce the ingredients? If not, you’re eating something processed, which is exactly what clean eating seeks to avoid.
Clean eating is an eating habit that you adopt by being mindful of the food you’re eating. The appeal of clean eating is that it’s not a restrictive diet like keto; rather, it’s a way of living, and one that more and more people are finding palatable in 2019.
7. Fun Frozen Treats
Not all food trends require you to completely chuck everything you’ve known about eating out the window. Some are surprisingly small and sweet, such as this year’s trend of creative frozen treats made from non-traditional dessert foods like avocado, hummus, coconut water, and tahini. You can also expect to see ice cream made from plant-based proteins and artisanal cheeses, which means this is the year to get really creative, even possibly healthy, with your dessert options.
8. Eco-friendly packaging
Whereas clean eating helps our bodies stay healthy and free of unnatural chemicals, eco-friendly packaging does the same for the environment. There are many kinds of eco-friendly packaging, but this year promises to be the year that reduction of plastics takes center stage. International companies are now seeking alternatives for their bottled soft drinks, including Coca Cola, which plans to have 35 billion PlantBottle packages by the year 2020.
In addition to plastic reduction, we can expect to see more food packaging made from both recycled and recyclable materials, and at the same time, the elimination of extra bags, layering, ties, and other materials that are not actually necessary to keep food fresh.
9. Paleo is Alive and Kicking
While the paleo diet took off a few years ago, it shows no sign of disappearing in 2019. People have tired of eating junk and are looking to return to a healthier way of living—the way people lived years ago when unhealthy temptations didn’t exist.
So what did our ancestors eat many, many years ago? Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, some meat, fish, and eggs, along with healthy fats and oils. And that’s what you’re supposed to eat on the paleo diet. And of course, you shouldn’t eat the foods that our ancestors didn’t eat: Processed foods, sugar, lots of grains, even dairy products. And certainly not artificial sweeteners, vegetable oils, margarine, and transfat!
People like paleo because it seems to make a lot of sense; and like keto, it doesn’t limit the amount of food you can eat or when you can eat—it only limits what you eat. In a way, paleo is a bit harder than keto because it requires time and effort to prepare so many plant-based foods, but if it speaks to you, there are plenty of paleo meal delivery kits to help you overcome this obstacle.
10. More Pot in Your Pots
It’s not only special brownies that will make you feel good these days; now, you can turn to any number of food and drink items to get a dose of cannabidiol (CBD). But be aware—if you’re looking to get high, CBD edibles are not your best bet. That’s because CBD is non-psychoactive, which means that it won’t get you high, but it can help you feel more relaxed, sleep better, and enjoy joint pain relief.
The cannabis food trend makes sense. 2018 saw states across the board reconsider their laws about marijuana; at the same time, its health benefits are being continually recognized. To top off the trifecta, the plant-based food industry is taking off, which makes food the natural next step for cannabis and CBD.
Just how big of a trend is CBD and cannabis-infused foods? According to a National Restaurant Association survey, 3 out of 4 chefs have named CBD and cannabis-infused foods as a hot trend in 2019. However, the new food craze might encounter some legal problems as various states seek to ban CBD and cannabis-infused foods. But since this trend is so new, there’s not much regulation out there—yet. Which makes 2019 a good year to give these special edibles a whirl.
What’s On Your Plate This Year?
Have you gotten on board with the food trends of 2019, or are some of them just too weird for you? If you’re not into the latest food trends, not to worry—there will always be plenty of good, ol’ meat and potatoes to go around. However, if you feel like being adventurous and trying seaweed snacks, botanical beers, tahini ice cream, or cannabis edibles, you definitely won’t be alone.