Food Trends We’re Expecting in 2018

Words: Jess Spiro

Now that January is nearly over (gasp!),  food trends in 2018 are starting to take shape. Last year we saw pink everywhere, as well as a foray into the cuisines of South-East Asian countries like Sri Lanka, along with the rise of veganism and ethical eating. What does 2018 hold in store? These are just a few of the things that have popped up as possible trends.

Food Trends in 2018

Booze-Free Drinks

Food trends in 2018

Last year, we saw the rise of mindful, healthful eating. Goodbye diets and restrictive eating, hello to nourishing, whole foods. In 2018, people are expanding on this by limiting their alcohol intake, too. Modern restaurants and even bars are cottoning on to this concept by including cool booze-free drinks on their menus. And it’s not just virgin cocktails, we’re talking about here. Expect to house-made cordials, shrubs and even alcohol-free spirits like Seedlip popping up.


Food trends in 2018

Foraging was an undeniable buzzword last year, and the trend is not going anywhere. As a possible run-off from that, botanicals are a serious food trend in 2018. As more niche and unusual plants make their way onto our plates, we’re going to see botanicals move from our gin and into our food.

Healing Tonics

Food trends in 2018

2017 introduced us to the concept of health drinks like turmeric lattes and moon milks, and while these powerhouse drinks are certainly not going anywhere, they’ve paved the way for other healthy drinks to take centre stage. Tonics and tinctures are nothing new, but in 2018 you’ll be seeing a lot more of them. Feeling bloated from a holiday spent gorging yourself? There’s a fennel, ginger and mint tonic for that. Need something to boost your immunity? Lemon juice-based tinctures are going to be your best friend.


Food trends in 2018

Keeping on with the foraging and botanical thread, it is no surprise that mushrooms are also tipped as another trend for 2018. The medicinal properties of mushrooms are where the intrigue for the year really lies but we can’t help being excited by the idea of more mushrooms on our menus too. We have an abundance of incredible mushrooms available to us, with expert people like Justin Williams, aka Justin the Wild, finding incredible shrooms in and around Cape Town that end up on our plates at some of the city’s top restaurants. Look out for mushroom beer, mushroom coffee and more coming your way.

Natural Wine

Food trends in 2018

‘Minimal intervention’ is a term we’re all au fait with thanks to trendsetters like Publik’s David Cope, but in 2018 the concept of natural wine is going to be bigger than ever. What defines a natural wine? Essentially any wine made from organic ingredients or by following biodynamic practices. If you are drinking this year, put down the sulphite- and preservative-ridden wines in place of something a little fresher.

Plant-Based Diets

Food trends in 2018

2017 was the year of the sustainable eater, and more than ever, people were asking where their food was coming from and what the actual cost of eating it was. This year, in place of eating ethically-sourced meat, the trend is likely to be that people will be giving it up entirely. Vegan foods have come along way, so you can be sure that you won’t be forced to eat sad kale salads for the rest of your life. For some inspiration check out these easy vegan recipes. If you’re considering a more mindful plant-based diet, see this list of vegan substitutes that you can start introducing into your diet.

Purple Foods

Food trends in 2018

Pantone’s colour of the year for 2018 is Ultra Violet, so expect to see lots of it in your food. Purple foods like blueberries, red cabbage and aubergine are packed with loads of antioxidants, so aside from being trendy, they’re good for you too. Ube, a purple yam, is also increasingly popular, so keep an eye out for this experimental ingredient this year.

Sustainability, Traceability and Ethical Eating

Farm To Table Cooking

This is certainly not a new trend for 2018 but is definitely an ongoing theme that is going to continue to grow throughout the year and beyond. More and more consumers want to know where their food is coming from, how it was produced and exactly what’s in it. With the continual rise of food allergies and the demand of a growing global population, it is more important than ever to question everything you are consuming, as well as your personal impact on the environment. We hope this changes from a ‘trend’ to a permanent way of life as it really is the only way forward.


Food trends in 2018

Gin will continue its reign, of that there is no doubt, but this year we’re guessing local distilleries will begin to experiment with whiskeys and bourbon-style spirits. As whiskeys need to age, however, you might not be able to taste them for a while. Moonshines will probably also feature more than ever, too.

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