The end of the year is equal parts reflection and anticipation. While some people take pleasure in dwelling on the highlights of 2017, we’re looking toward the future (can you blame us?). We’ve taken a more personal approach, to cut through all the other industry predictions, projections and prognostications for next year. Here are the 2018 food trends we’re most excited to see pop up:
On High Heat: Filipino Food
Filipino food started the transition from regional home cooking to restaurant worthy fare in the past few years, and we love it. This year, the trend-makers are saying it will go fully mainstream (not just in Los Angeles!).
Our designer Uriel is a fan of Neri’s, a filipino spot not far up Wilshire from our office.
“I usually order pancit bihon. How can you not love something that works as take out, and still tastes just as delicious as leftovers? Every order is full of flavor — it’s definitely a staple now.”
While this trend might not be a surprise to our inner circle of foodie friends, watch for filipino concepts to spread far and wide. The entire office is all for a roll, so you can bet anything that comes with lumpia will be an immediate order in 2018!
Nice Knowing You, Food Waste
Root-to-stem is another 2018 food trend that’s (finally) making its way from the chef-driven restaurant into the everyday dining destination. Three years since Dan Barber thrust the issue into the spotlight with WasteED, it’s finally gotten the momentum it needs to start making a difference. Our Creative Coordinator Stephanie has a personal passion for restaurants taking a stand against unnecessary waste.
“I’ve been an Imperfect Produce and Ugly Juice customer, but I love hearing about more and more restaurants using food that’s unusable by market standards. There are food trucks that I’m planning to try in the new year, just because they are part of this movement.”
Whether it’s about using all of the parts of the plant (carrot-top pesto, anyone?), finding a second use for unused ingredients (love the charred onion vermouth at Broken Shaker!), or turning bycatch into menu items, we’re big fans of putting more food into mouths instead of landfills.
Speaking of vegetables, they’ll keep moving their way to the center of the plate. This year saw Impossible Food go from science experiment to cult “burger” to familiar option here in CA, which shows a willingness to explore alt-protein entrées. Cauliflower “rice” is finding a place on the shelves at Trader Joe’s and our Creative Director Josh is going to be the first to fill up his shopping cart. Taking things a step further, we’re also thinking about replacing our 2017 staple of almond milk with a cheaper, even more environmentally friendly option garnering foodie press: oat-milk. If we’re extending Meatless Mondays, why not go all the way?
“I don’t really know anyone that ONLY eats meat. Probably because they would be either 1. in a hospital, or 2. a palate-picky three-year-old. Exploring plant-based alternatives brings on a whole new world of culinary innovation. You really have to be creative in re-imagining certain flavors and textures that ultimately will make amazing food more accessible to everyone.”
Based on projected 2018 food trends, we’ll be expecting new innovations to hit menus and store shelves any minute.
Stacks of Snacks
There’s nothing new about afternoon snacks in the Six Degrees LA office. Stop by anytime, and you’ll see us noshing on peanut butter pretzels or the occasional plate of cookies from Milk Jar. It turns out that we’re trend-setters— UK grocery chain Waitrose calls this “fourth meal” one of their top food trends for 2018. It’s a growing segment in the US, so hopefully with new flavor profiles and elevated snack-size bites, our CEO Julie won’t have to turn to our emergency cheese stick stash anymore.
Signed, Sealed, Delicious
We’re looking forward to washing down our afternoon noms with the signature beverages that are set to sprout up on menus everywhere. Trends in cold brew coffee, cocktail-hour shrubs, or ubiquitous craft teas and juices are coalescing into what we’re calling the “better beverage” movement. Our Marketing Director Amanda is keen to push clients to think about their signature drink offerings alongside their cravable dishes; we’re looking forward to seeing all kinds of concepts embracing this strategic— and tasty— move.
Scrub The Kitchen
Most of all, in 2018 trends, we’re looking forward to seeing restaurants and kitchens (not to mention Hollywood and every other workplace) becoming better places for everyone to work. It’s hard enough for anyone to make it in the restaurant world, without adding abuse, harassment and discrimination to the mix. Our Marketing & Social Coordinator Jessica looks forward to relaying to the office only uplifting industry headlines in the new year.
“It’s powerful to see change taking place, especially at the highest levels. More ethical leadership and diversity of thought give me hope that the culinary world will continue to clean up its act.”
Let 2018 be the year where everyone in a restaurant is judged on their merit and treated with respect.
From our Six Degrees LA team to yours, warm wishes & good dishes in the new year!
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