Trendy foods these days range from the bizarre and shocking to regular foods in irregular coloring. 2017 was a huge year for strange foods going mainstream, with Starbucks having huge success with their super-Instagrammable Unicorn Frappuccino. So what's in store for 2018? It's anybody's guess, but we've compiled some predictions.
The Anuga food trade fair in Cologne, Germany debuted "Pop Bugs", a response to the energy-intensive farming of livestock. This finger food takes a familiar meatball form with a much less familiar twist - the "meat" part is cooked cricket!
Apparently, purple is going to be this year's edible color of choice. The vibrant visual appeal of purple means foods like purple carrots, sweet potatoes, and yams are going to be huge, as well as berries and figs - which coincidentally (or uncoincidentally?) has been called 2018's Flavor of the Year by flavor giant Firmenich.
As we become a more health-conscious society, traditional sodas seem to be on the way out, and big beverage companies have noticed. We're seeing more and more craft sodas gaining popularity, especially among millennial crowds. Unique, plant-based flavors like lavender, juniper, and rhubarb are taking the soda industry by storm, with craft sodas costing more and carrying impressive brand power.
The edibles market is expected to explode as more and more states move forward with marijuana legalization. Recreational marijuana industry analysts predict edibles will be a $100 million market in 2018, so it's no surprise we're starting to see snacks and cuisine featuring THC - marijuana's psychoactive component. Treat Yourself makes a cherry almond Pop-Tart style snack with 5 mg of THC per tart, while California-based bakery Kaneh Co. makes a cheesecake blondie bar that comes in 100 mg and 250 mg doses.
While the dairy-free and vegan-friendly ice cream market continues to expand, you may start seeing more and more non-traditional ice cream flavors lining the shelves. From curry and mint flavor, to sweet corn, to ice cream made from goat cheese, and ice cream so spicy you have to sign a waiver, the possibilities are endless.
Move over soy and almond milk, you've got competition. It seems like every year there are new milk alternatives to add to the list of ones to try, but 2018 has some downright wacky introductions. Pea milk has hit the shelves and is packed with protein and calcium - perfect for those vegans with soy or nut allergies. Next up is "Golden Milk", or milk mixed with the spice turmeric. Golden milk is made from cow's milk or dairy alternatives, and you can even mix it at home yourself DIY-style.
Technically soups have always been drinkable for the determined, but these days companies are marketing and selling soups that you can drink from a straw. Zupa sells drinkable soups online that are meant to be consumed cold, but can be warmed or microwaved. Soupure sells super healthy drinkable soups that also work as part of cleansing programs.