Good Food 100’s co-founder and president Sara Brito has put together a list of food trends that will reign supreme in 2019:
1. Moving beyond menu transparency to full transparency
As eaters’ palates and awareness for what they consume continues to change, restaurants will have to remain committed to caring about more than just how food tastes. They need to demonstrate they care about the whole system and story of food, including the environment, farmworkers, animal welfare and inclusion in the workplace.
2. Focusing on environmental sustainability and human sustainability
Dozens of reports show that restaurants value the human resources it takes to cook and serve good food and retain top talent. We expect to see a significant increase in soft career developement and quality of life benefits for employees due to national labor shortage.
3. Simplified restaurant concepts and menus
Sometimes choice isn’t always a good thing. Simplified restaurant concepts are redefining the way we approach food and eating out. What might have started out as a trend to deal with skilled labor shortage is now becoming a way to cater to the ever-changing needs and wants of the customer.
4. Vertical integration of farmers, ranchers and fisherman as shareholders, not just vendors
Farmers, ranchers and fisherman are the backbone of our food system. While often forgotten in the past, increasing awareness and inclusion of these players will guarantee access to good ingredients and a stable, consistent supply chain.
5. Mainstreaming of more creative, non-alcoholic spirits and beverages
As the average consumer becomes more health-focused and adopts special diets and lifestyle choices (e.g., Paleo, Keto, Whole 30 etc.) that recommend limiting alcohol consumption, we expect to see a rise in creative new spins on traditional beverages. Everything from CBD lattes to tea-infused cocktails will be fair game.
6. Seaweed is the new kale
Wildly popular across many cuisines in Asia, this marine plant will gain more traction in the U.S. in 2019. We expect eaters all over the country to be adding it to their DIY salads and bowls to reap the benefits of the plant’s good-for-you vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
7. Heritage grains
Good news: Heritage grains are here to stay. Not only do they taste great, they also have more nutrients and are easier to digest.
8. Bespoke vegetables
Propelled by the launch of Dan Barber’s new Row 7 Seeds and chefs’ continued infatuation with the next best thing, bespoke vegetables are tailored to each consumer and/or restaurant and can scientifically reduce our food waste.
9. Community Supported Restaurants (CSR)
Similar to community-supported agriculture, CSRs increase growth and sustainability. We expect to see more community-supported restaurants to ensure community buy in during an especially challenging economic environment.
10. Outsourced career training and development
Nonprofit organizations like the James Beard Foundation and events like René Redzepi’s MAD Symposium have been stepping in to fill the void of training and career development in the restaurant industry. These organizations offer a wide variety of seminars and workshops from policy and advocacy training to child nutrition and hunger.