Trends for 2018: Big Beverages and Flavorful Foods

Trends for 2018: Big Beverages and Flavorful Foods

Trends for 2018: Big Beverages and Flavorful Foods
What will 2018 hold for the foodservice industry? More industry consolidation, smaller kitchens, diversification, menu downsizing, the marriage of people and technology, labor shortage or things not even on the radar as we begin the new year.

2018 Top 5 Food Trends

Technomic, Inc., National Restaurant Association, and many others are looking at what will be on menus in 2018. Here are our predictions for the top 5 food and beverage trends of 2018.  


  1. Ethnic influence – Everyone is predicting an even bigger global influence to show up on menus in 2018. From spices to entrees, African to Asian Island, if it has an ethnic influence it will prove to be a big player in 2018.
  2. Healthy evolution – Ancient grains, probiotics, stress reducing or any other health claims will increase on menus as consumers to evolve in their definition of healthy.Paragraph_Image1a.jpg
  3. Condiments – House made, ethnically driven, unique flavors are big ideas in dipping, topping, and enhancing in 2018. Consumers love condiments as they can try something new without a full entrée commitment.
  4. Catering to kids – Kid’s palates are driving family meal time decisions. Gone are the days of burgers, chicken nuggets and fries, today’s kids have more sophisticated preferences and help make dinner time choices. This means operators will be updating their kids’ menus in 2018 to ensure they remain part of the consideration set.
  5. Plentiful proteins – Small farm, locally produced, heritage breed is just a few of the terms consumers will be looking for when choosing their protein. These seemingly small descriptors can mean increased profits for operators as consumers are willing to pay more for artisan proteins.

2018 Top 5 Beverage Trends 

  1. Cold Brew – The hottest coffee is now cold. Whether it’s iced, cold brewed, or nitrogen infused consumers are looking for new ways to get their caffeine fix. Look for new flavor profiles to take the cold coffee craze by storm.
  2. Artisan Soda – Carbonated soft drinks have been in the news for their sugar content, additives, high fructose corn syrup and overall contribution to many health issues. In turn, consumers are now looking to more natural options to fulfill their fizzy desires. Handmade soda options with fresh ingredients and natural sugar substitutions will continue to be a big draw for consumers and offer new profit centers for operators.
  3. Local Libations – Cocktails are still surging in popularity and consumers are seeking out locally produced spirits to give their indulgence a little taste of home.
  4. Mocktails – There’s a time and place for a cocktail, but when it’s not that time, mocktails deliver the flavor todays taste buds are demanding. Made with fresh ingredients and full-flavored consumers love these non-alcoholic options.
  5. Spice it up – It’s not just of your Sunday Bloody Mary anymore. Adding spice like jalapeno or habanero peppers to main stream beverages is getting the nod from mixologist and beverage experts to deliver a new kick to some old favorites.

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