Cannabis-infused products, zero waste cooking among top culinary trends 2019

WORLD – CBD and cannabis-infused food and beverages, zero-waste cooking are among the top trends in the 2019 culinary forecast, according to What’s Hot survey carried out by National Restaurant Association.

2019 is expected to witness an unmatched preference for cannabis/CBD-infused drinks which are increasingly becoming popular as a result of an easing legislation and their deemed health benefits.

American Culinary Federation chefs who participated in the survey said infusing foods with the ingredients could create unique cuisine opportunities and potential new markets for experiential dining occasions.

Second on the What’s Hot list was cannabis/CBD-infused food.

Globally inspired breakfast dishes and global flavors in kid’s meals were also among the trendy patterns expected from consumers in 2019.

Global flavors are becoming a favorite on the menu, with the trend heating up from last year.

The Israeli soda gazoz ranks second in the non-alcoholic beverage category while Thai-rolled ice cream placed first among sweets.

African cuisines, condiments and spices trended across several categories, including items that originated in North, West and East Africa (Ethiopia).

Chefs identified North African cuisine (think tajine and fuul) as today’s “hottest” global flavor.  
New cuts of meat, such as shoulder tender, oyster steak or Merlot cut, cooled some after nabbing the top spot for the past two years.

Chefs ranked overnight oats, anise-flavored cocktails and pretzels in desserts as trends that have come and gone.

Consumers embrace the sustainable way

The third most popular trend was zero-waste cooking, an elevated cuisine strategy that utilizes food scraps into useful meals.

Zero-waste cooking transforms food scraps, damaged produce and leftovers into culinary delight.

The survey indicates that Americans crave foods that not only nourish them but also help sustain the planet, including plant-based and vegan diets which have not only captured the vegeterain niche but also health-conscious consumers.

Among the 15 hottest items, three are plant based sausages/burgers, veggie-centric/vegetable forward cuisine and plant-based proteins.

Locally sourced items also made it to the top of the list including restaurants that grow produce in their own gardens.

The Association’s 2019 What’s Hot report reflects contemporary consumer cravings in tandem with emerging societal dining trends.

We’re seeing a more eco-friendly perspective and greater emphasis on global flavors/cuisines as well as enhanced availability of healthful items/children’s meals and the exploration of new food sourcing options.

Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research for the National Restaurant Association.

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