2018 Food Trend Predictions

Kale is a superfood. So is green tea. No wait, raw kale is bad for the thyroid and could cause a goitre and green tea might cause liver damage!

When it comes to nutrition, we know nothing…Jon Snow.

Yet, we’re constantly bombarded with new “superfoods” that have powers to improve our health in incredible ways. Or so they say...

My thoughts: Much about what's in vogue at any point in the food and nutrition world is less about actual science and more about successful marketing. 2017 marketing was all about all of the avocado on toast a person could eat, more fat, less sugar, and McDonald’s teaching us breakfast doesn’t end at 11 a.m. What’s 2018 going to be about?

Here are my 2018 food “science” predictions (aka food marketing pushes)

Foods to Stop Dementia:

Consider the baby boomer generation: So many of their parents are still alive, but with degenerating brains and severe memory loss. It’s taking a toll on their children, baby boomers in their 60s, who hope to God they aren’t going to have the same type of memory loss their parents are currently suffer when they’re in their 80s. I know my own mother, whose 62, is starting to develop real anxiety about turning into her mother in 20 years and would be ripe for the picking for any kind of food that would allegedly stop the dementia from happening to her. My thoughts: Look out for marketing that labels foods as good for brain health, and specifically for the memory. Baby boomers will flock!

Probiotics and Gut Health:

People love the idea of better gut health these days. For a while now, yogurt and all its supposed good bacteria, has been dominating the probiotic food game. It doesn’t matter that the CFU count in yogurt isn’t NEARLY high enough in yogurt to actually make a difference in a person’s gut health; people believe the marketing machine and have been turning to yogurt in the name of healing their gut. My prediction is this gut health, probiotic push will continue in a big way, and will extend into plan-based foods so the growing vegan population can get on board the probiotic game.

Full Coffee Meals:

We already see it happening with trends like bulletproof coffee—which has MCT oil and ghee added to it—or adding collagen to an espresso… I predict the idea of turning coffee into an entire meal replacement will continue. Coffee spiked with protein powder or matcha?

Fermented Foods Cont’d:

Kombucha is nowhere near finished, folks. It has gained a lot of steam in the last couple years. More and more kombucha brands continue to pop up in grocery stores. Fermented foods are also known to be good for gut health, so watch for things like kimchi to gain momentum. Maybe sauerkraut will even make a comeback?

Functional Fungi:

Just add a word people like, such as “functional” and people get excited. For real, functional mushrooms are a real thing. (Does that mean there are non-functional mushrooms, too?) “Functional mushrooms” are used to support wellness and are finding their way into things bottled drinks, coffees, smoothies and teas. More of this to come in 2018.

Carbonation Addicts

The world had started to judge soda drinkers the way we judge smokers. With more and more people recognizing the dangers of sugar, these former soda addicts are still going to try to find a way to get their bubbles. The trend has already started, but look out for lots of new options for flavoured, sugar-free, calorie-free sparkling waters of all sorts.

More bubbles, please!