Looking back, 2018 was a bit of a mixed bag when it came to food trends.
With everything from goth food, to fried chicken, to imitation meat making its mark, we’ve seen a lot of culinary trends spike over the past 365 days.
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Instagram-friendly dishes continued to reign supreme (shocker) with restaurants and foodies all finding new weird ways to get you to double tap, and meal kits exploded in popularity, giving consumers a ton of more options when it comes to meal planning at home.
Here, we break down the top trends of the year, in no particular order.
If one thing was made perfectly clear in 2018, it’s that Canadians love themselves some fried chicken. Virtually every casual fast food outlet around capitalized on the finger-lickin’ craze, and you’d be hard pressed not to find a fried chicken burger on nearly any bar menu across the country. Whether it’s Nashville Hot or Japanese-style Karaage, this was an undeniably tasty trend that we’re sure you’ll continue to see evolve in the new year.
The rise of plant-based eating reached all new heights this past year, with a surge of new and improved faux meat products gaining in popularity. Brands like Field Roast lead the pack with everything from burgers, sausages, and cheese made from 100% plant-based ingredients. With such a breadth of meat-free food now available, you’re even seeing fast food chains jumping in on the trend.
Hate figuring out what to cook for dinner? No problem. The demand for prepare-at-home meal kits certainly exploded this past year, with a ton of different local options to choose from. We’ve personally used a few in the past, and there’s no denying that they can be very convenient. Because let’s face it, a lot of us can be way too tired to come up with meal ideas after a long day – food bloggers included!
Well-known for their dietary and nutritional benefits, mushrooms definitely had a moment in 2018, appearing in everything from hot chocolate to body care products. The rise of “clean eating” certainly helped the mighty mushroom gain some new fans, offering up a plant-based umami bomb to just about anything you could imagine. The worldwide mushroom market is slated to expand to more than a staggering US$50 billion by 2023, which means this wholesome vitamin packed funghi isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Love it or hate it, goth food was alive and well in 2018, appearing in everything from ice cream, gourmet hot dogs, pasta, cocktails, and beyond. The oddball trend picked up steam in 2017, and Instagram users, to no surprise, ate it up – engaging with curious, if not apprehensive reactions. A clear rebuttal to last year’s technicoloured unicorn fad, goth food consists of anything that has been dyed with activated charcoal, squid ink, black sesame or black truffle, to give it an appearance of a black or greyish colour. But seriously though… can we all just agree that this one needs to go away?