Top Food Trends of 2018

From the Blog

Top Food Trends of 2018
Blue Ridge, Culinary Trail, Shenandoah Valley

The past several years have been dominated by super foods like quinoa and chia seeds; movements such as “fat free,” “sugar free,” “low sodium”  became required stamps on packaging for consumer approval and worries over trans fats and carbs became the new standard. While we still try to keep all of these things in mind, it’s easy to forget them with each new year’s foodie trends. 2018 is shaping up to have some new trends of it’s own – read on to find out which ones you’ll be incorporating into your diet and kitchen this year!

Food Transparency

Gone are the days of eating a twinkie or bag of chips without thinking twice about it! Our parents and grandparents’ generations were happy enough to eat whatever they wanted, with little regard to how it was prepared. However, the further along we push through the years, the more concerned as a society we’re becoming about our health. Health conscientiousness is a staple for any food-lover today, but even more specifically is the importance of companies and packaging to be transparent. Be prepared to see more products marked with “GMO-free,” “responsibly grown” or “raised,” and “Fair Trade.” We now want to know more about what we’re consuming, whether for good or for worse.

online shopping food trends

Online Grocery Shopping

Some may find it ironic that as a society we’re becoming more health conscientious, but at the same time lazier. The trend for grocery shopping is that there is no trend – manually grocery shopping is becoming a thing of the past! Instead, you’ll find companies like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh that will deliver recipes and the ingredients needed to cook them right to your door. Even further, large companies like Walmart are now incorporating drive thru-esque grocery pickup options. And with Amazon’s free 2 day shipping option for prime members, buying groceries in bulk has never been so easy or convenient. Will you be skipping the methodical process of pushing a cart down the isle followed by attempting the all-in-one unload from the car that grocery shopping entails, or will you be switching to easier solutions?

pickled veggies food trendsFermented & Pickled  

The human stomach needs to be populated with good bacteria, and that means good food! Foods found in grocery stores like canned vegetables and fruits are great, but many are now arguing that they just don’t offer the same health benefits that pickling and fermenting your own food does. The grocery store prep process involves pasteurizing and essentially eliminating anything that may potentially harm you, but in the process also eliminates the good bacteria necessary for proper digestion. Culturing your own fruits and veggies with yummy spices in either a vinegar or brine base will do your body wonders. Check out this guide to pickling your own foods at home.

Heritage Meats

heritage meat trends

It’s only natural that as we become more focused on healthy options, we begin to narrow down where our meat selections are coming from. Though they can be a bit pricier, the options of grass-fed, free-range, or homebred meats are more and more frequently being sought after. The cut of the meat and the scarcity of the breed come into play, but ultimately pushing the sale is if the animal was raised organically on a farm versus industrially. Industrialization has pushed certain breeds into scarcity, making “less is more” the unofficial motto of exclusively and organically raised heritage meats today.

Ancient Grains

Lately we’ve been taught that breads and wheat-based products (basically any food that is white in color) is not good for the diet. It expands the stomach, will make you bloated, and is loaded with starch and carbs. So what’s the big push on ancient grains this year? The gluten-free and unfamiliar names of foods like amaranth and spelt have been historical staples for ages thanks to their high vitamin and protein count. Among this family of ancient grains are chia seeds, quinoa and freekeh, all popular options today thanks to the nutrient-rich benefits that they can add to our diets.

Embrace the spotlights put on these new trends! Some may be short-lived and others may be here for the long haul. We encourage you to always try new things and find what makes your stomach and mind happy.