Throughout the year, Campbell’s Chefs monitor and track food trends across the globe to compile TrendScape – a list of what and how you and your friends will be eating in the coming year. They are ranked from early-stage trends on the menu at your favorite bistro, to more mainstream trends that you’ll find in your local grocery store.
According to Campbell’s Executive Chef Maria Gamble, here are the trends you should be on the lookout for in 2019:
From mushroom-beef burger blends to functional coffee extracts to plant-based jerkies, familiar and unfamiliar varieties are popping up in unexpected places this year, inspiring a fresh culinary perspective on the humble fungi family.
There’s a new conversation around mushrooms that’s boosting their appeal. In fact, mushrooms may get the cauliflower treatment this year!
The renewed fascination can be attributed to a newfound love for supermarket veggies, and their prized place at the table in trending plant-based and flexitarian diets. Overall, our chefs are seeing a rising opportunity to celebrate mushrooms in creative ways.
Expect to see mushrooms popping up in unexpected places, in retail snacks, like chips, and novel “plant-based” snacks, like vegetarian jerky and cracklings. In restaurants, a variety of mushrooms from shitake to enoki to maitake will take center stage on the plate. Expect to see more mushroom powders too, like chaga mushroom powder, showing up at cafes and smoothie bars.
Artisan couscous and ras el hanout carrot cupcakes are just a few North African tastes gaining traction on the heels of Moroccan harissa. From its Mediterranean coast to its Middle Eastern borders, the region’s brimming with flavors that chefs are eager to explore.
We’ve been following the slow rise of North African cuisine on the TrendScape since 2015, and we’re excited to say that 2019 is a breakout year for this trend. Harissa, the fiery chili paste from Tunisia, has certainly become mainstream, but the region is deliciously diverse when it comes to food and there’s still lots to explore. In general, African ingredients have been trending upward: piri piri, berbere spice, urfa chile, teff, and a host of African “superfoods” like baobab and moringa, along with tiger nuts (a resistant starch tuber).
We anticipate more modern interpretations of North African flavors at restaurants, like cauliflower tagines, artisan couscous, spiced tomato sauces, “black” and “rose” harissa, and mint tea. We’re also expecting a revived interest in flatbreads from the region, French menus with North African influences, and a further blurring of Middle Eastern/Mediterranean/North African flavors and ingredients on US menus.
Bon Appetit magazine reports that a burgeoning category of restaurant, the all-day café, is “changing the way we eat,” mealtimes are blurring and people are wanting meals that suit any hour of day, and any level of hunger. Enter the all-day café model, which addresses the growing demand for breakfast, brunch, snack time, light dinners, takeout and delivery at any time of the day, but most of all for fluidity.
These cafes tend to offer solid wi-fi for laptop users and have a mix of counter and full-service. Their defining feature is their flexible space and menus – these are simultaneously locations for working, for a coffee break, for lunch meetings, for date night, for family meals, for a glass of wine. They truly are a go-to spot for your many dining needs.
All-day cafes are redefining the restaurant menu, encompassing the many trending dishes that once seemed category-less, such as avocado toast (the reigning champ on any all-day menu), grain bowls, savory breakfasts (like turmeric-poached eggs or kimchi grilled cheese), and sweet but substantial indulgences (like ricotta toast with jam and elevated yogurt parfaits). Menus at these restaurants offer a balance of relatively light but substantial food offerings. Expect to see “all-day menu” replace “lunch” or dinner” menu headings. Frittatas and quiches will gain more respect at restaurants, and we’ll see more comfort foods with global twists. You can practice this trend at home as well.
A more complex, layered approach to texture is underway, offering sensational new tastes that go far beyond flavor. We’re seeing unique texture combos in snacks and treats, as authentic global eats – from chewy noodles to crunchy rice– are inspiring savory texture trends too.
Consider trendy foods like chia seeds, bubble teas, seltzer water, nitrogen coffees and teas, jerky, nori strips, quinoa, spiraled veggies, riced cauliflower. What do they have in common other than intriguing ingredients and flavors? Interesting and complex textures. Texture is a significant factor when it comes to taste.
People are seeking out new, multi-dimensional taste experiences. We’re seeing consumer interest rise in foods with novel textural experiences, though they are not always described or labeled specifically as textural foods.
Expect to see interesting takes on familiar foods, like flaked chocolate (which is popular in Europe), honeycomb (caramel) candy, and ice cream novelties, like elastic Turkish ice cream and Thai rolled ice cream, as well as more plays with grains, like popped sorghum. We’ll see focus on the sounds of foods, the pop, sizzle and crunch. Novel and customized textures via 3-D printing have the potential for real innovation and creative applications in food in the future.
The plant-forward mindset continues to evolve in the hands of imaginative chefs, and it’s making an impact on the way we think about traditional side dishes, such as peas and carrots, as well as snacks, center plate and even cocktails.
Which vegetables do we have our eye on this year besides mushrooms? Beets and dark leafy greens continue showing up on menus in innovative ways, and sea veggies are making waves on the culinary scene, especially in snacks. Lesser-known greens like celtuce are getting attention too.
Expect the unexpected when it comes to this trend: carrot juice in barbecue sauce or in a mimosa, for example, we’ll see more experimentation with underutilized veggies and more veggies as the star of the plate. The latest culinary innovations include entrée alternatives like “ribs” made of fried corn on the cob (the cob is cleverly sliced lengthwise into strips that slightly curl) or fall squash that’s smoked, roasted and fried. We’re also tracking interesting takes like a baked beet root sliced tableside (at Agern, NYC) and other elevated vegetable treatments. Expect to see more plant-powered beverages, from grassy and earthy cocktails to functional drinks. We’ll see avocados (technically a fruit, though we treat it like a veggie) crossover into sweeter applications like ice cream and smoothies.
From the sudden popularity of turmeric tonic to the mainstreaming of gut-friendly kombuchas, buzz continues to build for a myriad of healthful sips packed with fruits, veggies and functional ingredients designed to deliver bold and nutritious flavor experiences.
Years ago, the idea of a “functional beverage” conjured images of body builders and protein shakes, but 2019 is all about sophisticated wellness sips going mainstream. Today’s functional beverages are redefining how convenient drinks can serve our individual needs. From fresh juices and smoothies to fermented kombucha and kefir to sippable broths and soups, the category itself is being reimagined.
If any single beverage trend rises to the top this year, it will be digestive health and gut health-focused drinks. Both prebiotics and probiotics are increasingly being added to ready-to-drink beverages.
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