Which Food Trends Happened in 2018?

Food and flavor trend predictions for 2019 are already taking over inboxes, but Kalsec is taking a moment to reflect on trends from 2018. At the beginning of 2018 we predicted five trends that we expected to see develop throughout the year. An educated prediction has much more value when it is re-analyzed.

Here is a review of Kalsec’s top five food trend predictions from 2018:

Ethnic Evolution

2018 Food Trend Review

Consumers are going beyond the well-known ethnic staples that they have grown to know and love over the years, such as tacos, sushi, and hummus. In 2018, we saw more consumers try new cuisines and flavors from the Middle East, Africa, and specific Asian regions with a particular focus on authenticity. For example, new consumer packaged goods with a Middle Eastern flavor grew 20% over the past year with a CAGR of 15% over the past five years (Innova Market Insights).

Consumers crave authentic ethnic food – and will pay more [Food Dive]
Ethnic flavors and other trends heat up in food and beverage launches, Innova says [Food Navigator]

Plant-Based Proteins

2018 Food Trend Review

In 2018 we saw consumers becoming more adventurous with their palates, as well as more choosing a vegetarian or flexitarian lifestyle. Animal welfare and reduced environmental impact are also increasingly important to consumers as they aspire to purchase foods with clear labels. These values are influencing an increase in alternative proteins on menus and in grocery stores. Over the past three years we saw a six percent increase globally in consumer packaged goods with a vegan or vegetarian claim. We continue to see the category evolve with plant proteins beginning to better mimic meat as innovators strive to reach a broader audience.

Plant-based diets lead Asian health and wellness trends [Fi Global]
The plant-based food trend is much more than a fad [The Grocer]
Top Reasons for Plant Protein Consumption [Prepared Foods]


Bold Natural Colors

2018 Food Trend Review

Even though consumers are becoming more health-conscious, they still want their products to look good. Consumers seek to pair an eye-catching photo with a caption that shows that they care about the ingredients they put in their body. Naturally-sourced bold colors are something easily shared on social media. Particularly among Millennials and Gen Z consumers, ‘Instagrammable’ colors are a motivating factor when purchasing food.

Social media and ‘Instagrammable’ food: Millennial influencers – a virtual reality? [Food Ingredients First]
#eattherainbow [Instagram]


Food Waste

2018 Food Trend Review

As consumers aspire for more clear label attributes, the issue of food waste has come into the spotlight. Many companies and governments are taking steps to fight food waste within their own supply chains, like Kellogg’s. These steps allow consumers to contribute to causes they care about.

Corn Flake Beer is Kellogg’s Latest Plan to Fight Food Waste [Food & Wine]
From food scraps to bioplastic: UK government calls for industry co-investment [Food Navigator]
Nestle to create Institute of Packaging Sciences to tackle global waste problem [Confectionery News]


Digital Technology

2018 Food Trend Review

The influence of digital technology saw an increase in 2018 with technologies like virtual reality, smart sensors, blockchain and social media. The food industry is embracing these new forms of technology to address issues like food safety, transparency and food waste.

WhatsApp is Changing the Way India Talks About Food [The New York Times]
How digital technology can help secure the food chain [Digital Journal]
Vegg’Up app in Biocoop tie-up to help people cut meat consumption [Food Navigator]
The AI That Knows Exactly What You Want to Eat [The Atlantic]

For more global food trends visit our collection of food trend content.

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