These Are The Biggest Food Trends In Canada For 2018

Cake for breakfast? More snacking? And even better veggie burgers — we say bring on the New Year!

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favourite quinoa recipes - mediterranean quinoa bowl

A quinoa grain bowl. Photo, Erik Putz.

Trends move quickly thanks to social media, and we’re eager to see how 2018 will top 2017’s outrageous treats (from unicorn frappucino to activated charcoal ice cream).  Food-centric organizations (from grocery stores like Loblaws and Whole Foods to our very own test kitchen) have gazed into their foodie crystal balls to predict what will fill our plates — and Instagram feeds — in the coming months.

Though it may be hard to pinpoint exactly what next year’s breakout trend will be, we’re really hoping it’s “wake and cake” (trust us, you will too).

Without further ado, here are the biggest food trends that will hit in 2018.

Super Lattes

In 2016, it was all about matcha lattes. In 2017’s dark climate, we saw the rise of lattes made with moody activated charcoal. But in 2018, we’ll see a shift back to colour as so-called superfood beverages start to dominate. Many are made with non-dairy nut milks and come swirled with beets, turmeric or the ingredient du jour, Blue Majik (a trademarked product made from algae).

Full Fats

Butter is no longer evil. The ingredient that makes everything taste 100 times better is finally back from the dark side along with other full-fat foods, such as yogurt. We’re already in love with ghee, or clarified butter, which is a great alternative to other cooking oils thanks to its high smoke point.

Better Fake Meat

The plant-based eating trend from this past year is only gaining momentum. Companies from food delivery service Foodora to Whole Foods suggest we’ll be getting even more (and better) faux-meat products. And if restaurants like Planta Burger, Toronto’s new Mythology Diner and Roots and Fruits in Vancouver (it serves imitation lox) are any indication, it’ll be even easier to eschew animal products come the new year. Also, watch for products with heme, an iron-containing molecule found in blood. It’s being used to make veggie burgers taste meaty — and bleed.

Root-To-Stem

The nose-to-tail philosophy revolutionized how restaurants and home cooks think about meat. Now, in order to curb food waste, many are taking the same approach to fruits and veggies. Chefs like Connie DeSousa and Joshna Maharaj say there’s lots you can do with the vegetable parts you’d normally throw out — like broccoli stalks and beet leaves. Not only is this trend good for you, it’s also good for the environment (and your wallet).

Snacks

Hershey and Campbell’s just sunk nearly $6 billion combined to buy snack companies that make crispy, crunchy products like chips and popcorn. The American snack market has grown 15 percent in the past five years, so be on the lookout for healthier snack foods made with organic ingredients and zero trans fats, as well as less sugar. If you need some local snacking inspiration, be sure to listen to the “Snack Time” episode from CBC’s The Fridge Light podcast.

Instagrammable Eats

Food doesn’t go viral by accident, at least according to a new in-depth report from Eater. Facebook says food in 2018 will continue to be photogenic, so look out for brightly coloured and beautifully plated dishes to spruce up your feed.

Better Grocery Stores

Forbes’ 2018 food trend report suggests that grocery stores will be getting a major upgrade in 2018, citing existing examples like Eataly as well as new food halls that are opening in cities across North America, including Toronto. Outside of Hogtown, Ottawa’s Farm Boy (known for its in-house line of packaged and prepared foods) is preparing to expand across the country. And Nations Fresh Foods has four locations in Southwestern Ontario, including its newly opened flagship Nations Experience in the Junction. It features groceries and cuisine from all over the world in a foodie amusement park of sorts with an extensive food court on site.

Meal Kits

It seems like there’s a new meal kit company opening all the time across Canada. Each one is a little different, but the concept is the same: they deliver pre-portioned fresh ingredients for chef-inspired meals directly to your door. All you have to do is assemble (and maybe a bit of cooking). These kits — by groups like GoodFood, Chef’s Plate and HelloFresh — serve busy families and individuals and aim to be a step up from takeout.

Lavender Ice Cream in a Waffle Cone (Taster: @torontoscoops)

A post shared by TasteToronto (@tastetoronto) on

Floral Flavours

Make like Ottolenghi and flavour your foods with flowers. Drinks and dishes made with rosewater, lavender and elder flower are set to increase in popularity next year, according to Whole Foods. You’ll be craving these pretty petals come spring.

“Wake and Cake”

With all the healthy trends coming our way, this indulgent prediction from Loblaws is one we can get behind. Apparently cake for breakfast will be big next year because if you eat it in the morning, you have all day to digest it. (We’re glad everyone’s finally caught up to our way of thinking.)

Make your own full-fat butter chai latte at home to be on trend in 2018