Our world has never been more connected, with ideas crossing physical and virtual borders at increasing speeds. The world of food is no different. In recent years, American consumers have become even more adventurous about trying new cuisines and expanding their palates. In this guide, we’ve shared some of the most popular global food industry trends in 2018, which show diners’ appetite for sustainable, customizable, and authentic dishes.
Plant-Based “Meat” Finally Tastes Believable
Vegan and vegetarian options have had a place on restaurant menus for years, but they were usually there to humor diners with dietary restrictions. Today, the world’s omnivores are putting more care into the food they consume, and they’re consciously trying to eat less meat (especially beef). At the same time, food scientists have engineered plant-based proteins that taste and “bleed” like meat. With culinary creations like the Impossible Burger, the uncanny valley between meat and vegetables is shrinking fast.
Street Food Takes the Spotlight
There’s nothing quite like the first night market that you visit in Asia, with local food vendors lining the streets. Typically, street food is the most affordable and delicious option for budgeting backpackers, and that authentic culture is seeping into Western cuisine. Playful American chefs like David Chang and Danny Bowien pull from a variety of street food influences, and hip “gastoparks” are becoming a new global phenomenon.
Local Farming Builds Momentum
Meanwhile, the world’s agriculture is shifting to a more decentralized state, as local communities source food from their region. The number of millennial farmers is growing, and we haven’t seen an increase like this for more than a century. That means more innovation is coming, and seemingly impossible ideas like vertical indoor farms are going to be commonplace in a few years. Truly, we’re at the peak of a golden age in farming.
Consumers Reach New Levels of Awareness
We have access to more information than ever before, and we have an insatiable appetite for it. As consumers learn more about their food sourcing, nutritional content, and environmental impact, they hold the food industry to an even higher standard. This has profound economic implications. Supermarkets and restaurants are adapting to meet the changing tastes, so that their food is as healthy, local, and sustainable as possible for consumers.
Supermarkets Think Outside the Box
Lastly, we’re reimagining the supermarket layout and coming up with groundbreaking ways to present food products. Emporiums like Eataly are expanding the market concept into a culinary journey, with educational exhibits and dozens of restaurants under one roof. Meanwhile, online grocery shopping is taking off, as Amazon continues to expand its dominance in the health food market. Who knows what supermarkets will look like in 2030, or if they’ll even exist in physical form…
Global food industry trends come and go, but Alto-Shaam’s dedication to helping customers solve their kitchen challenges is here to stay. To learn how our foodservice equipment can revolutionize your business, request A Taste of Alto-Shaam demonstration today.