the 18 best of 2018

December 22, 2018

By: Foodlosofia


It’s that time of the year where we start gathering the bests and the worsts of 2018. In Foodlosofia we decided to gather a wide range of food and drink trends that reflected important shifts towards health, community and environment. Wondering how will this year affect the upcoming trends for 2019? Check out Foodlosofia’s 18 best of 2018.


01. Low-density snacking

After the crunchy hype of chips, cookies or crackers, we’re entering an era of soft and airy snacking, with new textures that provide the same trips to mouth with half of the calories and guiltiness.

02. Fat is back

Thanks to the rise of diets favoriting fat more than other ingredients, the food industry was encouraged to innovate, rediscover, and reevaluate the claims featured in their products, turning an enemy to a friendly choice full of energy.

03. Calm after the storm

Energy drinks, boosts, and caffeine snacks are now being replaced by relaxing and calming products that provide quiet oasis moments on the middle of the urban chaos we live on.

04. Rotten benefit

Since the 4th episode of Netflix Series Cooked, we’ve seen a fascination for rotten products. The fermentation sector is still running and growing, finding new sources, processes and applications, even Noma, known as one of the best restaurants in the world, featured an all fermented menu this year.

05. Plant-based made mainstream

The vegan trend has been on the rise since years back, but never before have consumers been able to access such a wide variety of products in such convenient ways. From endless snacks, to “seafood” product, vegan “eggs”, and inclusive restaurants featuring indulgent plant-based options, this trend is becoming less niche and breaking unimaginable barriers. 

06. Food for brain

Performance has been a valued feature for years, but this year we saw the food industry take a leap and speak about edible intelligence, targeting specific needs for our brains and its multiple functions through functional ingredients, like herbs and good fats.

07. Vice Market

This year we saw Cannabidiol take a big leap into a wide variety of products thanks to its political regularization; from sweets to beers and even TV shows that explore the sensorial attributes and opportunities of this substance in the culinary world, brands are responding to this emerging market.

08. From Gimmicky to Meaningful

One of the trends that invaded our Instagram feeds were food mashups like cronuts and manteconchas. While they may seem gimmicky and meaningless, they have gained attention from the public and given space for more meaningful creations by exploring new flavors and textures that can add value and reposition commoditized products.

09. Protein Almighty

2018 was the year of the protein boom. It stepped out of the sports scene and became a part of basically every product category out there;  from high protein ice creams, desserts, chips, to eggs-on-the-go and plant-based alternatives, it invaded the shelves and our homes, and consumers are eager to see new ways to integrate this nutrient to their diets.

10. Dehumanized Food

We are all afraid of having soul-less food prepared by robots, but apparently this is not the case of 2018 inventions. From smart fridges, kitchen robots, servers, chefs and bartenders, we can enjoy that AI is replacing a big part of human labor to give us the opportunity to explore our creativity without the pain of operational tasks.

11. South American Cuisine

Mexican, Colombian, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisines had an impact all around the world. Quinoa, avocado, purple potatoes, corn and plantain are just some of their staple ingredients that have been part of their culture for centuries, and this year, all around the world, different chefs and brands have managed to innovate and create new recipes with these ancestral goods.

12. Asian-ized

Asian culture has gained such influence in the West on many levels, and this year we saw its undeniable impact on gastronomy around the world. From “everything baos” to ramen’s boom, this culture positioned itself as a kitchen staple that adds complex flavors, explores new formats, and reevaluates commoditized ingredients.

13. Switching Roles

Paradoxically, human food is leaning towards a more sachet, dried and abstract formats, while animal food is, on the other hand, becoming extra indulgent, consistent, fresh and gourmet.

14. The fourth meal

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are not longer enough. We’re experiencing new meal moments like brunch, brinner, and linner that are getting trendier than ever, forcing restaurants and cafés to refresh and give a twist to their menus and service hours.

15. Save the bees

Food awareness movements regarding bees and sustainability have been taking action for years, but now they’ve reach a mainstream market and even celebrities and big food brands have joined the cause, the latter ones even changing the recipes of iconic food products in order to take a step forward.

16. Game-changing chef

From a passive role focused mainly on ingredients and recipes, chefs are becoming active actors on social, economic and environmental challenges. It’s not a surprise that chef, restaurateur, author, and activist José Andrés has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

17.  Health is the new indulgence

On the continuos search of holistic pleasure, we are finding products that turn calories into experiences through new sources of pleasure that do not only come from taste. Health becomes a lifestyle, a trend, an aspiration and a way of socializing.

18.  The value of immigration

Food can reveal a lot about culture, history and migration. Given the recent migration policies, we are living a strong debate among the restaurant industry, which is facing an important crisis not only because of the high number of undocumented employees, but also because of the lack of cultural flavor fusions on the local cuisines.

If you would like to continue reading more about food trends, suscribe here to receive our newsletter. We trust Christmas brings to you its traditional mix of good food and violent stomach cramps. Happy holidays and lots of food from the #foodlosofia team!


+ posts by Foodlosofia

Foodlosofia is a food design studio based in Monterrey, Mexico. We are a design center focused on the Food and Beverage Industry. Our aim is to create profitable, scalable, and sustainable business models that will help us move from commodities to experiences.

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