10 food trends for 2018

Discover Good Food's 10 hottest trends in food and drink for 2018, including meat-free burgers, alcohol-free spirits and more innovative ways to eat healthy.

Saag paneer in bowl

Over the last year, we've seen a wide range of food and drink trends reflecting changing attitudes towards health, community and the environment. We've seen a brunch boom, buddha bowls aplenty and of course, the avocado craze.

It seems 2018 is set to be a year of even more adventurous veggie and vegan cuisine while the rise of hyper-local cooking and exciting advances in technology take a firmer hold on British food culture. Wondering what to expect from the future of food and drink? Check out the BBC Good Food team's predictions for the coming year.
 

1. Gut-friendly food

Pickles in jar
With fermenting, pickling and preserving reaching the mainstream, our panel agree that gut health is set to be a big food trend for 2018. This includes probiotics like kimchi, miso and kefir and prebiotics such as onions, garlic and other alliums.

Want to learn more about preserving food and the health benefits of doing so? Take a look at our digestive health hub for all the latest recipes and research. Then, see our beginner's guide to fermented foods and try it for yourself. 
 

2. Competitive dining

Dinner party canape spread
With the launch of the BBC's Big Family Cooking Showdown alongside daily re-runs of Come Dine With Me and back-to-back series of MasterChef, we predict 2018 will see more social media buffs entering the fray of competitive dining. Expect inspiring Instagram feeds full of inventive (and sometimes, bonkers) dishes from budding chefs at home.

Spread your culinary wings, invite some people over and cook up a few dinner party recipes. Check out our entertaining hub for everything you need to throw the ultimate dinner party and peruse our top 10 tips for playing host.
 

3. Booze-free beverages

Rhubarb cordial
Good Food columnist Tony Naylor cites non-alcoholic drinks as a growth area in the food and drink industry, and our supermarket forecasters say that health-conscious millennials are drinking booze less and less. Premium tonic waters with interesting flavours, non-alcoholic 'spirits' and botanical mixes are flooding in to fill a gap in the market. 

You could shop for booze-free drinks or make your own mocktails and fruity cordials at home.
 

4. Hawaiian food

Poke bowl
Poke bowls are everyday food in Hawaii – essentially sushi without the fussy presentation. Still relatively hard to find, even in London, next year they will likely cross over into the mainstream. These bowls are endlessly customisable and can be economical, too. 

Try our Japanese-influenced poke bowl for a fresh and filling lunch.
 

5. Timut pepper

5 ways with gin and tonic
We love exploring new seasonings and we're not afraid of hot spices. Timut pepper, from Nepal, is spiky, zesty – surprisingly grapefruity – and leaves a tingly residual heat on the palate. It's also been tipped by sous-chef.co.uk and supermarket giant Asda as being the next big condiment for 2018.

Try adding a sprinkling to gin & tonic to take this classic cocktail to the next level.
 

6. Specialised tea

Jasmine & ginger festive tea
Good news for fans of a cuppa – tea is even more popular than before. Sales of herbal and green tea, in particular, continue to rise for consumption at home, so it’s likely that the small number of tea ‘bars’ that we've seen popping up may also start to proliferate on the high street. People are beginning to think of tea with the same reverence as coffee for its many varieties.

Get to know your types of tea and become an expert on the perfect brew.
 

7. Hyper-local food

Foraging for apples
In the UK and many other countries now, there is a growing trend for dishes created with ingredients sourced within walking distance. One of the figureheads for this movement is Danish chef René Redzepi who is doing just that at his two-Michelin-starred Copenhagen restaurant Noma. Tony Naylor observes that at home, too, there are more and more "restaurants are applying a Redzepi-like sense of localism to their ingredients". 

Want to use your hyper-local ingredients in your cooking? See our beginner's guide to foraging.
 

8. Heme

Impossible burger
Not available to buy yet, heme – pronounced 'heem' (from the Greek word for 'blood') – is at the cutting edge of food science, and is a possible stepping stone to more environmentally sustainable meat alternatives. Tech-food start-up Impossible Foods are already using it to bring a meaty quality to their plant-based burger including, yes, the bloodiness of meat cooked rare. 

Find out what the Impossible Burger tastes like.
 

9. Plant-based protein

Avocado burrito bowl
With more and more chefs embracing ingredients such as tofu, tempeh and quinoa, veganism is on the rise. Food blogger Angry Chef  talks about redefined Indian cuisine (rich with pulses) as a growing trend, with restaurants taking dishes back to their plant-based roots with originality and mass appeal. There'll be more meat-free days in 2018.

Learn more about modern veganism and find out what a plant-based diet is, as well as how it affects your body.
 

10. Everyday food tech

Food tech
Having recently purchased Whole Foods, Amazon is now competing with a clutch of smaller outfits who specialise in delivering recipe kits to home chefs, which means an emerging trend is set to become even bigger. Tying in with this, the development of smart fridges will take the hassle out of ordering ingredients by snapping 'shelfies' of your food to keep you well-stocked. We can also look forward to more voice-operated gadgets such as Google Home and Alexa to record and order your shopping lists.

If you love hi-tech mod-cons at low prices, discover our pick of the best kitchen gadgets under £20.

Check out other food trend guides...

The 10 best spirits to buy to stay on-trend 
25 foods you should try at least once
What our team are eating this week
10 food trends for 2017

Do you have a food trend prediction for 2018? Leave a comment below...
 

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