Since New Year’s, ‘influencers’ and so-called market experts have been peddling their predictions for which Trends (many of which will turn out to be mere Fads) will dominate 2019. For the most part, they agree on the major points, as listed below. But I’ve spotted a few nobody else seems to have noticed…
What’s IN for 2019…
Here in Canada, this is perhaps the hottest topic on the food scene. Since recreational Pot sales became legal a year ago this month, folks have been waiting for Marijuana ‘edibles’ to appear. The sale of Cannibis infused foods and beverages was delayed until the début of street-level retail stores earlier this spring. Now, it seems, there’s almost no food you can imagine that’s not available with a Weed inclusion. And if you do think of one, you can go ahead and make it yourself.
I’ve been saying (and reporting on) many different Veggie Protein startups over the past few months. 2019 is the year they’ll really start making their mark. Already this year, we’ve heard of at least a dozen chain restaurants which have introduced permanent menu items featuring products such as Beyond Meat and The Impossible Burger.
As much as some folks want us to leave Animal-based meats behind, there are many others who champion the thrust to perfect ‘lab-grown’ Meats. In fact, developments over the past few months indicate that the ‘Cultured Proteins’ sector is ripe for a major break-out.
Eating More Fruits and Veggies:
The scientific experts and official Health and Food organizations have been shouting their message louder and clearer than ever before over the past few months: eat more fresh Fruits and Veggies to ensure optimal health, well-being and longevity! I predict the message will finally sink in, and many folks will make the effort to feed themselves better.
Food Delivery services:
It seems that every day there’s a new Food or Restaurant or Meal Kit delivery service vying for our attention and patronage. These convenient services have certainly taken the convenience-crazy younger set by storm. But I wonder if they can all survive through the 2020s? As I’ve previously predicted about Fast Food sector, I see a shakeout in the Food Delivery sphere in the next few years. Amazon is already maki9ng noises indicating it wants a monopoly on that part of the online purchasing universe, too. But I have a hunch there are still a lot of folks out there – me included – who want to maintain a closer relationship with our food, including choosing my own Produce and Meats by firsthand, direct inspection. I don’t see conventional supermarkets going out of business until well after I’m dead and gone.
Food Waste Reduction:
Programs and non-profit pushes aimed at improving food supply sustainability and reducing food waste that have cropped up over the past few years will mature this year in a higher-profile, more organized. Organizations such as Second Harvest (which recycles edible food from supermarkets, wholesalers and restaurants) will become more mainstream. Consumers will have enhanced opportunities to access ‘ugly’ food – the stuff which isn’t ‘pretty’ enough or standard enough in size and appearance to suit retailers.
How many times have we seen those public service announcements about wildlife workers removing plastic six-pack rings and other non-bio0degradable packaging materials from helpless, trapped sea creatures and birds? 2019 is the year we’ll start to see a new phase in packaging evolution that reduces or eliminates the use of plastics. Not to mention the push among Fast Food chains to reduce or eliminate plastic packaging and disposables. Also, there will be attempts to reduce the bulk of packaging of all types, in the face of a recycling industry that’s glutted with plastic and paper.
Low- or No-Alcohol Beverages:
Younger folks are apparently getting the message about drinking and driving and the health risks associated with alcohol. They’re demanding fun beverages that are either safely low in Alcohol (0.5 percent alcohol) or completely free of alcohol. In my home jurisdiction, the Province of Ontario, young drivers face tough penalties if they have any detectable amount of Alcohol in their blood at roadside checks – zero tolerance. Similar programs exist in many other provinces and states.
‘Trends’ other sages and seers missed:
Did anyone else notice that – in spite of the history of rabid competition between them – the three biggies in Beverage sector are running scared as researchers and medical experts ramp up their demonization of Sugary Drinks and other kinds of thirst quenchers become steadily more popular?
I think that the popularization of ‘Ugly Foods’ – the kind that are still being culled from the Food supply stream for appearance purposes – will grow as folks seek lower-cost options to get more Fresh Fruits and Veggies into their diets.
According to Public Opinion: A Study of Canadian Conversations Online on Food and Farming , Food-related topics Canadians at least are talking a lot about on Social Media include the future of the NAFTA agreement, Climate Change, the controversy over Genetically Modified Foods, and Organics. Cannabis, of course, takes a top-level place in that list – making it the only issue on the list that other sages and seers have noted.
The whole shebang…
I’m sure there are more valid Trends to talk about. Eater.com has posted what it claims is a list of ‘Every Single Food Trend Predicted to Take Over in 2019’. I’ve read it. Alas, many of these ‘Trends’ were predicted to ‘Take Over’ last year; some the year before. But you might find a few morsels that will whet your palate.
We’ll look back, at the end of the year, and see how many of the top ‘Trends’ for 2019 actually turn out to be short-lived Fads.
~ Maggie J.