As the new year begins, it seems to be the right time to highlight what food and beverage trends are expected to resonate, particularly as several research firms have released predictions of what will shape the industry.
High-end mocktails, colorful foods and beverages, and food waste prevention are top trends for 2018, according to Andrew Freeman & Co. In a list compiled by in-house trendologists and 14 experts from the restaurant and hospitality industry, the company suggests that the more photo-friendly products there are, the better.
“Whether it’s Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino, edible flowers or black charcoal lemonade, color will get you noticed,” it states.
Boozeless cocktails also are set to make a splash. “Consumers are increasingly health conscious, and clean-label juices are gaining in popularity — even replacing some alcoholic choices at restaurants and bars,” Natalie Sexton, principal of the second-generation family owned Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Co., said in a statement.
Comax Flavors also notes that consumers’ attitudes toward health-and-wellness products will continue to resonate in its flavors forecast. Among the flavor trends it cites are Not Milking It, with indulgent flavors like Salted Caramel S’mores made from Cashew Milk and other plant-based dairy alternatives remaining popular. Another trend, Rest Assured, addresses the infinite search for relaxing and comforting flavors such as cherry chamomile and honey lavender to encourage sleep.
Imbibe plans to keep its clients and industry professionals up-to-date on the latest insights throughout the year with its new Food and Beverage Insights podcast. The first episode, titled Savory Beverages, launched in November 2017.
It should be interesting to see how these trends and more will resonate in 2018.