The New Buzz Words Trending in The Food Industry
As the first quarter winds down let’s take a look at the dining trends for this year. According to Baum + Whiteman, 2018 was to bring us a rise in technology, ethnic cuisines going mainstream, and new buzzwords.
One of those buzzwords they talk about is “plant-based” foods being embraced by millennials, Gen X and Zers. These groups of young adults are all about the healthy eating. An indication of the significance of this new trend is the 90% increase in “vegan” searches on google. Even large corporations like Hilton Hotels, Google and Panera Bread are joining in the effort to provide healthier options for their employees.
Have you heard about “clean meat”? Well, this is another one of those buzzwords that will definitely be around for a while as evident by what Cargill is doing in their processing plant. The company is now focusing their efforts on creating chicken, duck and meatballs from animal cells. This idea of making meat more acceptable is to offer additional options to healthy eating. Although some predict this new alternative meat make take a few years to be the acceptable norm, we will see if these “clean meat” options ever make it to the grocery stores or restaurants.
Speaking of restaurants, it will be interesting to see if they take this new approach in offering what can only be considered processed foods instead of concentrating on fresh fruits, vegetables and grains to entice the vegetarian and vegan palates.
There are three ethnic cuisines that are going mainstream. One of these is the Philippine cuisine which is largely concentrated on providing highly acidic, spicy and fragrant dishes. Emerging in areas such as Los Angeles, New York and Florida we are seeing more of these vinegar and citrus induced dishes. Although many are not familiar with dishes like lumpia many do know ube, the purple yam that's been coloring our food lately. Check out New York’s Ugly Kitchen and you will find lumpia, sisig, and longganisa on the menu.
Another popular cuisine is Indian fast and casual street food. They want to be the next big thing in Indian cuisine by focusing their efforts in brining diners the ability to build their own salads, bowls or wraps. Such dishes as spicy lamb burritos and various infusion options of hummus are the latest trend to be added to the list of fish, lamb, and paneer. You can see these options at Little Curry Shop where they combine true southern style ingredients and throw in a little spice to add a kick to their dishes.
Finally, the third cuisine going mainstream is the Korean cuisine. The terms you hear in this type of cuisine are now becoming more popular to the average consumer as the government has made an effort to educate the consumer in terms of Kimchi and bibimbap. New York City’s Jungsik is the first Korean restaurant in the United States to win two Michelin stars. From sardine toasts with horseradish and edamame to more infused options of pork belly tortilla flambé with wasabi creme fraiche, we are in for a new wave of options for us foodies who enjoy trying out new cuisines.
With all of these predicted trends for 2018, we cannot forget one of the most interesting ones yet. The increase in technology to help us interact with restaurants is becoming very popular. Gone will be the days you order directly from the restaurant’s website. The trend now is using Ubereats, google and even Amazon to order your dinner. We see a push in using Alexa, home or even Siri to voice your order for delivery. Another interesting shift is the well known TripAdvisor. They are no longer just a site for review as they have paired up with Grubhub to offer meal delivery services.
All in all one of the most intriguing concepts I found in the trending report on restaurants was the idea of going cashless. It states restaurants are moving in the direction of accepting only credit cards. Even though this will raise the restaurant’s credit card expenses they see this as aanother way of alleviating stress by reducing the need to visit their bank for change. The Chinese have already incorporated this as their medium of operation. Even airlines such as American Airlines only allows you to purchase items onboard their flights with a credit card, no longer accepting cash.
Regardless on what the future brings, it will be fun to see what changes are coming in the food industry.