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The 10 Food Trends You Need To Know About This Summer

Just like the design world, there are always new foods, recipes, and ingredients trending. I was curious what culinary treats I should be on the lookout for this summer, so I asked Zach to share what foods he’s seen popping up on Instagram, TikTok, and in every grocery store. So here are the food trends you need to know about – and can enjoy all summer long.  

More Plant-Based Foods

You’ve probably noticed over the last few years that there’s been a boom in plant-based burgers and sausages. Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are the most popular, but there are countless more. It’s gotten so popular that these plant-based meat brands have partnered with Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and tons of other national chains. Now the plant-based trend is spreading to more than just burgers. There are some amazing mushroom jerky brands popping up now. I’ve also been seeing more plant-based “chicken”. Look out for even more unique plant-based foods showing up on store shelves and in restaurants.

 

Low Waste

With more people and brands making an effort to be more sustainable, look for more products and services that place an emphasis on helping to reduce food waste. One brand trying to help solve this problem is Imperfect Foods. They deliver produce that farmers either had an excess of or that isn’t “pretty” enough to be on store shelves, but is still perfectly good to eat. You can also look for a local produce delivery service that works with local farmers. Another way brands are trying to solve this problem is by using food that would go to waste to make things like pulp chips or a broth made with vegetable scraps.

 

Frozen Sweet Potato Snack

This frozen sweet potato recipe, a classic snack in Taiwan, has recently gained popularity on Tik Tok and Instagram. It’s a simple recipe that just involves baking a sweet potato and freezing it. It makes a delicious, healthy, refreshing snack on a hot summer day. Check out George Lee’s recipe for this easy summer treat.

 

Craft Mocktails

In the past, if you were out and didn’t want to drink, there weren’t a lot of options. Now restaurants are paying more attention than ever to create unique, beautiful-looking mocktails. Just because you’re trying to stay sober doesn’t mean you have to feel left out of having a pretty, delicious drink! Here are a few of my favorite recipes

Photo: LA Colombe

Gut Health

A healthy gut is going to be a big focus of foods going forward. With people more conscious of how foods affect them and make them feel more foods like kimchi and sauerkraut are growing in popularity. You may have seen words like “probiotic” popping up on more food packaging and that trend is only going to get bigger.

 

Coffee, Coffee, And More Coffee!

I think it’s safe to say that our caffeine addiction isn’t going anywhere. While coffee isn’t anything new, brands are finding more ways to use it. There are more cans of cold brew at the store than ever. Whether you like a black coffee, flavored lattes like the kind from La Colombe, or one with protein like Super Coffee, there’s one for you. Now coffee is showing up in our foods, too. Trader Joe’s has some amazing chocolate-covered espresso beans, there are tons of coffee flavor ice creams, coffee in cookies, and even coffee rubs for your steak. You can get just about anything in coffee flavor, and I’m certainly not complaining!

 

Alternative Sugars

We know that sugar isn’t great for us, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still crave something sweet from time to time (or every day in my case). Luckily there are now plenty of sugar substitutes that not only taste great but aren’t bad for you. Stevia is a great option because it’s a plant extract that has 0 calories and isn’t made of chemicals like some options. Monk fruit sweeteners are also a natural option that’s more than sweet enough to satisfy your cravings. We’re also seeing more foods use natural sugar alternatives. Lily’s chocolate uses stevia to sweeten its products, there are coffee creamers that are sugar-free, and Smart Sweets makes some great candy using stevia.

 

Charcuterie Boards

I feel like every store I go to, I see pre-made charcuterie boards or kits for making your own. I can’t open Instagram without seeing another picture of a charcuterie board, or a breakfast board, or even one with all desserts. Now that more people are having friends over and throwing parties expect them to only get more popular. If you don’t want to make your own I guarantee there’s someone in your area who delivers them. In LA there’s more than I can count!

Photo: June Shine

Hard Kombucha

Kombucha has surged in popularity the last few years, now get ready to see the same growth with hard (alcoholic) kombucha. Brands like June Shine and Wild Tonic are showing up everywhere. June Shine, a west coast based brand, even opened a tasting room in Santa Monica. You still get all of the probiotic and gut health benefits of kombucha, but with a little buzz at the same time.

Pickling

With everyone staying home for most of 2020 and finding new hobbies, pickling became more popular than ever. Add in the desire to waste less food and it’s become even more popular. It’s a great way to use up those veggies that you would otherwise throw away and make them last for months. Expect to see even more pickling recipes and tips, along with people pushing the bounds of what can be brined.