For better or worse, we’re not yet at the moment in the “future” where we pop a Willy Wonka gobstopper and immediately enjoy a full meal. But when 2019 comes along, there will probably be a few things on our tables we never imagined just a few years ago. This is the time of year when industry groups and grocery chains like Whole Foods start getting us excited about the hot new food trends of the coming year.
So what’s the forecast? Well, it looks like we’ll be eating more things from labs, but also ancient traditional foods from far-off lands. We will also eventually have the choice of whether we get those foods at the store, delivered to us in meal kits, pick them up in a fast-casual restaurant, or have them served to us by robots. Oh, maybe this is the future we once imagined. Read on to see all the food predictions for 2019 we could gather.
Probiotics new trend in the food industry
While Kroger’s trend report just now realized that probiotics are a thing, Whole Foods’ 2019 list has us looking forward to “shelf-stable” foods containing the gut-friendly bacteria. Those include granola, nut butter, bars, and soups. Benchmark Hospitality predicts that more restaurants and boutique hotels will be serving house-made kombucha, kimchi, and other fermented foods.
Motherless meat & other sustainable substitutions in the food industry
We’re another step closer to meat from a lab, Baum + Whiteman says, as the company Just is planning on putting its ground chicken product (made from chicken cells grown in a plant-based medium) in international KFC restaurants next year. In the meantime, Whole Foods is excited about slightly less scary faux meat snacks, like jerky and “pork rinds” made from mushrooms.
Robots are already making pizza in France and serving coffee in San Francisco, Baum + Whiteman points out, so we’ll probably see more AI in restaurants soon. That can’t be good news for the job market.
High-End fast casual
Another reason for waiters to worry: There’s a new model of fast-casual that serves slightly more gourmet food at slightly higher price points for people looking for a nice meal out but willing to walk to the counter to get it, Baum + Whiteman says.