These Are The Biggest Food Trends In Canada For 2019

Next year, it’s all about wellness… and going green.

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tahini ice cream in a waffle cup cone on a white background

Tahini ice cream. Photo, Erik Putz.

Food trends for 2019 are all about wellness and making ourselves feel better in a world that’s changing awfully fast. Of course, forecasting what we’ll be eating in the future is tricky. Last year, we were spot-on with a few predictions, especially when we said floral flavours would dominate (hello, elderflower everything thanks to Meghan and Harry’s royal wedding cake). After reading a slew of reports about what might appear on our plates next year, here are the emerging food trends for 2019.

Cannabis-infused food and beverages

Cannabis is now legal in Canada, and by October 17, 2019, it’ll likely be legal to sell edibles, too. Health Canada just released its draft regulations for these weed-infused products. Among the proposed regulations, Health Canada says these products will have to be shelf-stable (so don’t expect weed ice cream) and can’t be packaged in a way that’s appealing to kids.

Oat milk

Move over nut and soy milk! Oat milk is the alt-milk du jour. It’s easy to make at home, and it’s starting to pop up the grocery store too. Oat milk has a comforting, oatmeal-like flavour and tastes creamier than other dairy alternatives. When steamed, it’s excellent in lattes and cappuccinos.

Non-dairy ice cream

In 2018, we saw an influx of low-calorie, low-sugar ice cream products, such as Halo Top and CoolWay. And in 2019, Whole Foods thinks the frozen treats market is going to keep expanding. Look out for non-dairy ice cream made from bananas, avocado and even oat milk as we enter the new year.

Halo Top Ice Cream Canada - 12 flavours in pint-sized tubs
Photo, Halo Top.

Tahini desserts

Food editor Irene Ngo loves experimenting with tahini and often recommends using it in desserts instead of peanut butter if you’re making treats for someone with an allergy. And it looks like she’s not alone. Delish predicts 2019 will be the year of tahini-filled desserts — and yes, tahini pairs perfectly with chocolate (just like peanut butter). Try our three-ingredient tahini ice cream recipe to get ahead of the curve.

Packaging that doesn’t suck

It’s time to say good riddance to wasteful packaging. Brands are now paying more attention how their products are wrapped and are swapping out plastic in favour of more eco-conscious materials. And this trend of reducing plastic waste is moving into our homes, too. Instead of plastic, you can wrap leftovers in beeswax and choose reusable silicone bags over plastic baggies.

Grocery shopping made easy

Along with independent grocery delivery services (and soon, maybe Uber), supermarket chains are making it easier for us to shop. Most offer delivery or pick-up service and Loblaws made waves when it announced the launch of a self-scan program. Customers can scan as they shop, rendering the check-out line obsolete.

Adaptogens and functional foods

If you’ve never heard the term adaptogens, get ready to hear it more often. It refers to a slew of plants (think herbs, roots and berries) and fungi that are supposed to help your body deal with stress. They’re often sold in pill or powdered form and can be added to a whole whack of foodstuffs, including smoothies. Collagen, derived from fish and cattle, is another popular additive that’s alleged to strengthen your nails, make your hair shine and your skin glow.

Preserved fruits and vegetables in jars
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Up-cycled food

As more of us become concerned about food waste (FYI, Canadians waste a lot of food), food producers are looking for meaningful ways to make the most of what we have. Grocery stores (including Loblaws) sell ugly fruits and vegetables at a discount under the Naturally Imperfect banner and other companies are using food scraps to make entirely new items, including Second Harvest, which now brews beer made from stale sour dough bread.

No-and-low alcohol bevvies

Teetotalers have a lot more options at restaurants and bars! Many high-end establishments have sophisticated placebo cocktails (don’t call them mocktails) and there are even some non-alcoholic spirits on the market now, including the aesthetically pleasing Seedlip. Even if you do drink, low-alcohol cocktails are becoming more common, making it easy to pace yourself. Of course, many of women are also becoming more conscious about the affects of alcohol thanks to a recent warning from Canada’s chief public health officer.

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