With each passing year comes a whole new set of food and beverage trends to follow—the latest of which comes from Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants’ fifth annual list of predictions for 2019.
Last year, Kimpton listed savory cocktails, global spices and creative sustainability as the latest trends in F&B. The 2019 list, announced earlier this month, expands upon some of these trends, especially as sustainability and wellness have helped usher in the superfood revolution and whole vegetable movement. The list is created using survey results from more than 100 chefs sommeliers, general managers and bartenders who work at Kimpton’s more than 80 restaurants and bars.
Here are five of our favorite trends from the list that could inspire a catering menu or two:
Plant-Based Food Becomes Mainstream
As meat alternatives became mainstream this year, the plant-based movement is shifting into high gear, as 80 percent of Kimpton chefs plan to feature a vegan or raw dish on their menus in 2019. That also means more whole-vegetable entrees.
Unusual Spices & Flavors Grow in Popularity
About 40 percent of chefs plan to use smoky flavors in their 2019 menus, and we’re not just talking about more mezcal cocktails. Floral flavors, including rose and lavender, and both Israeli and African spices will be thrown into the mix. And what’s the top spice that a third of the chefs plan to use? Sumac.
Gut-Friendly Foods Are on the Rise
Fermented foods have been mainstream for a couple years now, and that trend is not going away any time soon. In fact, “gut-friendly” foods are on the rise, as probiotic-rich ingredients will continue to impact menus. Goji berries, turmeric and other “natural elixirs” will also cater to the growing superfood obsession.
Less Alcohol, More Mocktails
About 80 percent of the bartenders plan to feature non-alcoholic cocktails on their menu for the non-drinkers in your group, which likely include the 30 percent of Americans who don’t drink at all, according to the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions.
Veggie Beverages Are Here
Almost 70 percent of the bartenders say they’re experimenting with mushroom-infused spirits, coffees and teas. And as vegetable cocktails popularized last year, incorporating ingredients like corn, beans and beets, you better believe that more off-the-beaten-path vegetables will be making their way into the cocktail mix. Think tomatillo, jiacama and sunchoke.