Let’s Talk Food: Top food trends for 2018

  • Image from MILK STREET

    Filipino Chicken Adobo with Coconut Broth.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas yesterday. Now it’s time to think about the new year coming this weekend.

The Trendspotter Panel makes these predictions for 2018:


• We will see more cricket flour and nongrain sustainable protein.

• We will eat more fermented foods.

• We will see more savory flavors where we would expect sweet.

• We will eat foods for better health and more taste.

• We will eat more pasture-raised animals and really consider their welfare.

• Bananas will be transformed into “milk.”

• Moringa oleifera or kalamungay will be the new superfood.

• We will eat for beauty with products such as collagen-infused foods.

• Mushroom extracts, powders or whole will be added to foods such as chocolate and lattes.

According to Hot Topic Report, fresh food will be the top influence in driving shopping traffic. The research revealed 37 percent of shoppers make multiple trips weekly to ensure their food is fresh. Of these, 65 percent are millennials, 47 percent are Gen Xers and 25 percent are Boomers.

The fruit and deli-prepared foods drive 31 percent of the dollar growth. Thirty-seven percent of these shoppers report they don’t have the time to figure out what to have for dinner and it is typically a last-minute decision.

Another survey claims the top food trends for 2018 are:

1. Plant-based (meat alternatives) will be trending. Algae will be the next superfood.

2. Uncycled products, made of ingredients and scraps that would have otherwise been discarded will be a trend.

3. Filipino foods will become ever popular.

4. People will continue to look for alternative sweeteners for lower glycemic impact. We will see more syrups made from dates, sorghum, yacon and sun root.

5. We will see more activated charcoal consumed for its detoxifying properties. Coconut shells are heated to extremely high temperatures until they are carbonized. We will find it in pizza crust, lemonade and ice cream.

6. Product labeling will be become ever important. Consumers will be seeking greater on-label visibility into the farms, ingredients sources, supply chain of each item in their shopping cart. We will ask for more GMO transparency, fair trade certification and no animal testing.

7. Root to stem will mean we will eat more products and reducing food waste. In butchery, this means nose-to-tail. We will be looking at eating the entire fruit or vegetable, including the not commonly eaten skins and leaves.

8. We will see more cannabis cuisine in our food and beverages, in snacks, treats and drinks.

9. The Middle East will have a deeper influence on our foods. We already are familiar with hummus, pita bread and falafel. We will explore the deep traditions and regional cuisine of Persia, Israel, Morocco, Syria and Lebanon. Spices such as harissa (a smoky/spicy condiment that is great on eggs and lamb chops), cardamom (a seed from a certain plant and the third most expensive spice, along with saffron and vanilla), and za’atar (Arabic for thyme, a mixture of spices that gives food a balance of citrus, wood and earth notes) will be in our pantries. Dishes such as shakshuka (eggs poached in tomato sauce) and grilled haloumi (Cypriot semi-hard, unripened, brined cheese made from a mixture of goat’s and sheep’s milk with a high melting point, making it great for grilling or frying) will be seen commonly.

10.We will see a rise in traditional bread. Bakers will use local grains, milling the day before baking, incorporating long proofing times and reinventing what good bread means.

According to Deutsch, “bread has become all or nothing, either high-end and artisan, or low-carb and high protein.”


If you are planning to make a New Year’s resolution in 2018 to lose some weight, here are some tips from the Mayo Clinic:

When you are craving a food (that might not be good for you — such as ice cream or candy), remind yourself it will last only 20 minutes. Do something to get your mind off of it like call a friend, read a book, take a walk, anything that will distract you until the feeling passes.

If you crave cookies, think about the unnecessary calories and fat you will be consuming, about how tired and sluggish you’ll feel afterward. Remind yourself that this isn’t what you want to do with your life.

Change behavior gradually, one step at a time. Instead of eliminating evening snacks, start with no snack one night a week. Increase it to two nights. Eventually you will be able to scale back to a snack one evening a week.

Big lifestyle changes take time, but keep at it. The mini successes achieved along the way will be enough to keep you going, and the new habits that were challenging at first will start feeling more natural before you know it.

Milk Street’s cookbook has a very interesting recipe for Filipino chicken adobo with coconut broth. Kimball states that with thousands of islands that make up the Philippines, there are so many different recipes for this classic dish.

Filipino Chicken Adobo with Coconut Broth

Serves: 4

In a large Dutch oven, combine:

1 1/2 cups unseasoned rice vinegar

3/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

6 garlic cloves, smashed

6 bird’s eye chilies, halved lengthwise

4 bay leaves

1 teaspoon black peppercorns


8 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs (3 to 3 1/2 pounds)

Submerge, cover and refrigerate 30-60 minutes.

Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce to medium-low, cook, turning the thighs occasionally until the chicken registers 170 degrees, about 30 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a medium simmer. Heat the broiler with an oven rack 6 inches from the element. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Remove the chicken from the pot and arrange skin side up on the baking sheet. Pat dry with paper towels and set aside. Strain the cooking liquid, discarding the solids, then skim off the fat.

Return 1 cup of the defatted liquid to the pot, stir in 1 cup of coconut milk. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Take the pan off the heat and stir in 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro.

Cover and set aside.


Broil the chicken until the skin is deeply browned and blackened in spots, about three to eight minutes. Serve in shallow bowls with steamed rice, ladling the broth over the rice.

Email Audrey Wilson at audreywilson808@gmail.com.