Future Shock

For 2019, prepare yourself for fake food snacks, chicken crisps, sour and bitter foods, good gut bacteria,and bugs. Please pass the pimento cheese.


Whole Foods just released its list of predictions for 2019 trends. Included are “fake meat snacks” like imitation pork rinds and mushroom and fish jerkies (which I wrote about months ago; just saying …); Pacific Rim influences such as Filipino pork sausage (yum), dried shrimp and jackfruit; and the return of high-fat diets. Count me in. Hemp, probiotics, avocado-based ice cream and socially conscious purchases fill out the list.

Meanwhile, Kroger (“strategic partner” of my new fave, Lucky’s, in case you didn’t know), has their own predictions for the new year. Regional flavors (Southern Appalachian pimento cheese is cited); plant-based foods and “flexitarian” diets; and lower sugar and naturally sweetened products (funny, I thought sugar was a natural sweetener) are highlights. Research organization Innova Marketing Insights says the big trend next year will be “snacking.” I’ve been ahead of that curve most of my life, hurrah.

The Trendtellers Council of Tyson Foods predicts that “mission-based brands” that allow younger consumers to turn food into “a form of self-expression” will be hot, and points to (surprise) Tyson’s own ¡Yappah! Crisps, made from, and I must quote here, “Tyson chicken trim with ingredients that would otherwise be left behind — vegetable puree and pulp from juicing and spent grain donated by beer giant Molson Coors.” Hmm … why does that list sound familiar?

UK supermarket giant Waitrose says our 2019 will be filled with foods from West Africa—Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria, Mali. Bitter foods (even darker chocolates, charred meats), alcohol-free cocktails, personal health tracking devices and trendy ice cream will be in. Stop looking at me, Alexa, this gallon of avocado fudge ripple is trendy.

Hospitality company Benchmark tells us to save time for tea parties, and clear space on your plate for “good gut bacteria” and bugs. Lots of bugs. According to Baum + Whiteman International Food + Restaurant Consultants, the new trend in restaurants will be marijuana-based food and drink, sour foods from Korea and Iran, house fermentation, rum, server-less eateries (robots?) and restaurants that aren’t restaurants in places like Restoration Hardware, banks and cellphone stores.

And U.S. News and World Report says we’ll all be eating pasta made from legumes, drinking non-dairy “beverages” (you can’t call almond milk “milk” anymore, did you know that?) and cooking with algae oil.

I’m looking forward to going out for meatless meatballs on peanut spaghetti, a side of chicken fat chips and a sesame seed shake. Why is 2019 beginning to sound like that movie Soylent Green?

Happy 2019 …


* The acclaimed Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto will hold court at his namesake Disney Springs Morimoto Asia, on December 2 to start the restaurant’s 12 Beers of Christmas. Beers from a plethora of local breweries, including Crooked Can Brewing Company, Rogue Ales, Red Light Red Light, Cask & Larder, Hourglass Brewing and Orange County Brewers, will pair with pan-Asian bites.

* December 5 is Krampusnacht at Hollerbach's Willow Tree Café! It sounds like a horror movie, but it is actually the arrival of Der Nikolaus and his half-goat, half-demon assistant, Krampus, who wears a basket to carry bad children away. Okay, yes, it is a horror movie—probably why this is an “adults only” event. Krampus kocktails, Christmas stollen and a seasonal menu might chase the demon away.

* Lakeridge Winery in Clermont presents its annual Wine & Chocolate Festival  December 7 through 9, with a wine and cheese bar, international food court, live entertainment, and sweets from Maitland Chocolate Factory, Clermont’s Simply Sweets Chocolates and Pastries and more.

Share some cricket cakes and pimento cheese with your Krampus ! Explore new foods and new restaurants in the new year. And tell me what you find at joseph.hayes@orlandomagazine.com.  Access a comprehensive list of my print and online reviews here!


Categories: Savor Orlando