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The food trends for 2018 have been released and we want to share them with you. Food trend predictions aren’t the popular food fads that we see rise to popularity and Instagram notoriety during the year never to be seen again (think mermaid toast, cronuts, coffee in a cone created made here in SA or beetroot lattes).

Food trends are compiled by artisans, chefs, importers and influencers and predict the products that they believe will move from niche to mainstream in 2018, meaning that the maca root your holistic aunt was sprinkling onto her porridge (and everything else!), might just become available at your local retailer, and those around the braai would be familiar with its benefits.

Here are the predictions for 2018:

  1. Gut-friendly food:

You’ve heard of kombucha, possibly enjoyed a lavender and elderflower flavoured one, and you’ve chatted with brave mates that have ventured into making it themselves but you’re still not unsure what exactly it is. Kombucha is a type of gut-friendly fermented food growing in popularity along with kefir, miso, soybean, sauerkraut and homemade yoghurts.  The benefits boosted of fermented foods are, more probiotics (good bacteria) the right balance of bacteria helping you absorb more of the nutrients from your food and learning how to ferment allows you to keep food for longer and reduce waste!

  1. Competitive at home dining:

We fell in love with cooking shows and reality TV a long time ago, and since them and love for cooking and dining have only grown. Inspiring Instagram feeds and want to show our culinary successes online have fuelled this trend. In 2018, it is predicted we will get more adventurous at home and entertain and cook more for our loved ones. As the cost of living and specifically food is due to increase in SA, we believe home entertaining; potluck style will increase. But don’t worry, Food Lover’s Market will be right here with new recipes and all the best ingredients. (Look out for our month-long focus on entertaining in 2018)

  1. Plant-based dining:

Eating a more plant-based diet is definitely on the rise, as we saw in our article on most searched recipe terms in 2017. You might have noticed less meat on the Christmas table this year, and more family enjoying a meat-free lifestyle. There are many health benefits and environmental benefits of eating less meat and animal products. 30% of American consumers are now buying plant-based milks and yoghurts.

Low-fat animal proteins include Tofu, tempeh, quinoa, and legumes such as chickpeas and beans. If you are interested, look out for our plant-based month in 2018.

Under mushrooms, we will discuss blenditarian movement, which we think is just perfect to aid South Africans with the rising food costs.

  1. Hotpots – with an Asian influence

More commonly known as stews in South Africa, hotpots and broths are predicted to rise in popularity and there is nothing more comforting and nourishing than a good stew in the winter. Asian flavours like curry, Moroccan tagine spices and coconut milk add more ‘warmth’ and creaminess to the traditional stew. Come winter time, Food Lover’s Market will be sharing many stew and potjie recipes, great for those veg combo deals, family gatherings and easy to freeze. We will be featuring the locally produced Wonderbag as an energy and time-saving option.

  1. Regionality

Along with more humane and seasonally food choices, regionality will feature in 2018. Chefs are opting to highlight a regions uniqueness and traditions in their offerings, and locally produced foods have a reduced impact on the environment; known as food miles. When looking out for your trendy moringa superfood, try to find one grown and indigenous to Africa. Food Lover’s Market stocks regionally sourced produce as much as possible.

  1. Mushrooms

Whole Foods is hinting that mushrooms will be the next best thing in 2018. While you might not be ready for mushroom coffee, mushroom offer great flavour and a meaty texture to any dish. The Blendatarian movement encourages finely chopped mushroom added into your Bolognese, burgers and mince dishes. This idea can be extended to added vegetable like potato or carrots into your meat dishes, to bring down your shopping bill and increase your fibre and vitamin intake.

  1. Air fryers

The increase of healthy eating has seen fried food get limited to something only enjoyed in restaurants or takeaways on the odd occasion. While not a food, but an appliance, the air fryer doesn’t actually fry food, but equally circulate air giving the loved crunch of fried foods, without the oil.  The cost of these appliances has come down. They are great for baby marrow chips, chicken and even our favourite avo chips!

So, let’s go on a culinary trip, snap a “shelfie” (a pic of what’s in your food cupboard or fridge), invite some friends over, hashtag #foodtrends and let’s have a happy, healthy, hearty 2018!

Spanspek