Food Trends 2018

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Millennials are a discerning bunch, whose passion for gourmet dining is rivalled only by their greater knowledge about health or their interest in the origin of foods and how they reach our table.

Mindfulness has undoubtedly been the zeitgeist of the 21st century since its inception, affecting everything from our approach to exercise, to the type of dining experience we seek. Marisa Cutillas highlights just a few trends that will be taking over tables during the next decade.

ASMR Food Experiences

If you don’t know what ASMR is, just type in ‘woman eating pickle’ on YouTube and get ready to be blown away. Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response is an experience characterised by a tingling sensation on skin that is deeply relaxing and exciting all at once; it usually begins on the scalp and makes its way down the neck and upper spine.

ASMR videos feature people whispering (to lessen the sound of the voice and strengthen that of food) while they tap their fingers on plastic boxes containing food, crinkle paper bags containing anything from hash browns to nuggets, and chew into snacks, while we enjoy a sense of euphoria (and resist the temptation to try all those delicious goodies).

Farm to Table Cuisine
Call it slow food, zero kilometre cuisine or a penchant for local foods. It’s been around for over a decade but its importance will grow exponentially in 2018.

Mindfulness eating involves taking the time to really enjoy the ‘here and now’ of one’s dining experience. Often, this means foregoing fast food in favour of seasonal produce sourced from nearby farms or gardens.

Science is to be credited for this movement, since the two largest meta analyses on organic vs conventionally grown/raised foods has come to two important conclusions: organic produce truly does have significantly higher levels of antioxidants and organic meat up to 150 per cent more Omega-3 essential fatty acids than their conventional counterparts.

Diners who are well aware of the link between their lifestyle choices and the state of their health are queueing up for experiences that provide authentic fuel (rather than delicious but empty calories) for their body.

Vegan Cuisine
If you still haven’t seen Forks Over Knives or What the Health, you may still be happily munching on meat, but science has more than established two ‘inconvenient truths’: firstly, the meat industry is largely to blame for world poverty (because livestock takes up 30 per cent of the world’s ice-free surface and produces around 37 per cent of human-caused methane emissions). Secondly, red meat consumption is linked to an increased local risk of total, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality.

Meanwhile, vegan and raw vegan restaurants are serving some of the most delicious, texture-rich, colourfully presented foods on the gastro scene. In Marbella, Gioia restaurant is the perfect instance of how creative raw vegan cuisine has become.

The Internet of Things, Smart Refrigerators and Cupboards
We are busier than ever and most of us don’t want to spend the little free time we have in a supermarket.

Over the next decade, our very own homes will become our personal grocery store, thanks to artificial intelligence, which will automatically order any goods we have consumed.

According to Forbes, supermarkets will then go gourmet, enticing us with new and exciting foods, as well as artisan items and foods prepared with healthy, organic ingredients.

Stores will also have more space to dedicate to foods which bestow specific health benefits, including gut-healthy foods like kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha (fermented goods), yogurts with probiotics, and foods like Jerusalem artichoke or chicory root, which are excellent sources of prebiotics.

Smaller Ingredients Lists
Buyers are not only savvier about ingredients, they also want less of them. Thus, brands like Häagen-Dazs sells ice-cream products containing only five ingredients: cream, milk, sugar, egg yolk, and chocolate (or vanilla, ginger, strawberries, etc.). Other companies, like Pillsbury, have created cookie lines with the exact ingredients you would use at home.

Yes, these foods are still processed, but at least they don’t contain a long list of chemicals that can have health effects we are completely unaware of in most cases.

Cool Products from Around the World to Savour in 2018

Go Cubes Chewable Coffee: This product gives you your daily boost of java in bite form; made with real cold-brew coffee, they enhance clarity and energy without making you feel jittery.

Beyond Meat Burgers: This totally vegan burger actually ‘bleeds’ when you bite into it… it is made of a pulverised beet blend that tastes just like the real thing.

Taberu Mango Flavoured Crispy Seaweed with Rice Krispies:
Made of seaweed, rice krispies and mango, this snack is as rich in vitamins and nutrients as it is irresistible.

Sap! Maple Beverages: Maple sap holds a myriad of health benefits with naturally occurring antioxidants, vitamins, electrolytes, nutrients and minerals. Sap! makes 100% alcohol-free bubbly drinks which are a healthier alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages.

Stumptown Sparkling Cold Brews: These sparkling beverages contain various kinds of coffee. A great choice to take to barbecues or in your lunchbox when you forgot your Nespresso at home.

Words Marisa Cutillas

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