2019 is an exciting year to work in the food industry. There is a lot of development in new food and drink ideas, incorporating previously unheard of ingredients into dishes. The following are just a few of the projected food trends for 2019.
Meat has been a major topic of discussion in 2018, and many food providers are changing their offerings and tweaking the concept of “meat.” Plant-based alternatives such as the trendy Impossible Burger are one way that clean meats are changing the industry.
Lab-grown meats, also known as cultured meats, are also starting to gain recognition. Several F&B companies are putting a lot of money into researching and developing consistent and sustainable methods to produce lab-grown meat that is virtually indistinguishable from the traditional meat we already consume.
How does it work? Basically, you take a cell sample from an animal, submerge it in a nutrient-packed liquid full of proteins and sugars, and then let that cell sample grow. While this is a very watered-down explanation of lab-grown meats, food pioneers believe in its lasting sustainability. Lab-grown meats will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and eliminate large ranches and slaughterhouses.
Not without its controversy, some wonder if you can call it “meat” at all, and ranchers may lose revenue from this new source of protein. There is still a lot unknown about this product, but expect to see more news about throughout the year.
Speaking of controversy, recreational marijuana has been legalized in ten states, and many chefs are starting to experiment with marijuana in their meals. There isn’t a lot of research available on the various effects and safety of the psychoactive compounds in marijuana, though research in this area is underway. Some companies are incorporating cannabidiol from hemp rather than THC from marijuana leaves. Cannabidiol (CBD) will help someone relax, but it will not produce the high typically associated with marijuana.
Fermented Food and Drinks
Fermented foods and drinks are expected to continue to rise in popularity in the New Year. Kombucha is becoming more and more popular, and kombucha bars have begun to pop up everywhere. This fermented tea and other fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and sourdough bread, are extremely healthy for the gut. The process of fermentation converts starch into acid or alcohol and provides digestive benefits. In addition to these traditional fermented foods, you may also see a rise in miso, kimchi, and tempeh.
More mocktails, please! Bars and restaurants are beginning to make more non-alcoholic recipes for those who want a creative drink without the after effects.
Alternative Options for Dietary Restrictions
Over the past couple of years, consumers and guests have become more aware of how certain foods affect their bodies and have either made certain lifestyle choices to accommodate that knowledge or have medical restrictions. For that reason, in 2019 you’ll start to see more discussion and accommodations for guests who are gluten-free, lactose intolerant, vegetarian or allergic to nuts.
Just under 25% of Americans have some type of food restriction, whether it be from allergies, lifestyle choices or religious law. Smart event planners realize that in order to provide a delicious and enjoyable experience to all their guests, they’ll need to accommodate those restrictions with alternative food options.
If you’d like to learn more about planning an event for guests with various food restrictions, contact me today.