2019 Food Trends (so far)

2019 Food Trends (Sor far)

Everyone makes predictions at the end of the year about what the next one will bring. Will it bring changes in habits, new opportunities, maybe even love? Food is no different. At the end of 2018, everyone from locally based newspapers like The National to international outlets like the BBC’s Good Food were making predictions about what food trends from 2018 would stick around and what new ones would find their moment of fame in 2019. Now that we’ve passed the halfway mark of the year, and just started the Hijri New Year (where did the time go!?), we wanted to take a look and see which predictions have become a reality and which never really took off.

5 Trends that Came True:

1. Avocado

Avocado is a trend that’s firmly sticking around for another year (and probably a few more to come). From the now-classic avocado toast loved by millennials around the world to more innovative ways of using avocado (have you tried avocado ice-cream?), it is pretty clear that the avocado trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. If you are a smashed avo on toast fan (who isn’t) check out Just Salad’s Avo Blast Toast!

Avocado toast on a green background.

2. Poke Bowl

The predicted rise of the Poke bowl and other food from the Pacific Rim has certainly come true. There have been restaurants popping up all over the UAE offering different versions of the poke bowl and people seem to be loving it! The UAE is a melting pot of cultures and cuisines so the rise in food from the Pacific rim is not surprising. What is surprising is that it’s taken this long for it to happen! If you haven’t tried the now celebrated Poke bowl, we recommend Poke & Co for a taste of Hawaii.

Poke bowl on a white background.

3. Low-carb, High-fat

The Keto, Paleo, and Paganism diet which are all based on low-carb and high-fat intake, have seen an increase in popularity this year in the UAE. Many restaurants now serve dishes created and labeled specifically for those sticking (or trying to stick) to these diets, making eating out or ordering in a lot easier! Many restaurants have also introduced labels on their food that show calorie and fat content, so you can keep an eye on what’s going into your body. If you’re a Keto fanatic check out Fit Me restaurant where you get delicious meals that are specifically created to adhere to dietary restrictions, such as Keto.

A dish of egg whites, broccoli, avocado and chicken.

4. Fusion Dishes

Fusion dishes didn’t appear on a lot of 2019 food predictions, but in a country like the UAE with such a cosmopolitan population, fusion dishes are always trending. This year so far, we’ve seen the popularity of these fusion restaurants increase, like Mexican and Arab fusions at Tawook Nation and Japanese and Nepalese cuisine at Moshi! We’re wondering what will be next…

Sushi and momo's on a black slate

5. Waste Reduction

2018 saw the start of a huge movement in the UAE to reduce waste, recycle, and reuse. This has certainly continued in 2019, especially within the Food & Beverage industry. From restaurants switching to plastic alternative straws (like buckwheat or metal) to restaurants, like Mantoushe, changing their packaging to be more eco-friendly, the UAE is definitely continuing on the path towards being an eco-friendly city. LUNCH:ON is also committed to making changes this year to reduce the waste from our service. We’ll be introducing a new feature soon, so you have the option to opt-out of receiving plastic cutlery with your lunches and help reduce plastic waste in the UAE. (We’ll let you know when this feature is ready!)

plastic cutlery on a beach.

We’re Still Waiting For:

Hummus Takeover

The rest of the world may only just be taking note of the wonders of hummus (and of other Middle Eastern dips, like tahini) but it’s no secret in the UAE. Living in the Middle East means access to delicious hummus whenever we want. However, the predicted trend of hummus being used in less conventional ways (like chocolate-flavored hummus) hasn’t really taken off — at least yet, although the hummus-avo is a must-try in Soulfull’s BBQ Vegan Burger. We hope that this trend gets a little more love in the second half of 2019, so we can get our hands on even more hummus!

Large burger with green bun filled with lettuce, pickles, and a vegan patty.

Prediction for the Future:

Meatless Meat

We’re predicting the rise of the new wonder product on the market, meatless meat. If you haven’t heard about it yet, it’s a product made from plant-based ingredients that mimic the look, smell, and taste of meat. There are several companies in the market right now producing meatless meat, but the front runner is Beyond Meat whose stocks skyrocketed a couple of months ago. Don’t believe that plant-based patties could look, smell, and taste like your favorite juicy beef burger? Head to Bareburger for their B12 Bleeding Vegan burger (it’s not blood but beetroot that oozes from the patty) or Pickl for the Beyond Burger. One bite is enough to see for yourself how close to a real burger these plant-based alternatives taste! We don’t think it will be long until this starts getting more attention in the UAE and more restaurants start incorporating their own versions on their menus. What do you think about meatless meat? Have you tried it yet? Let us know your thoughts!

A juicy burger cut in half made with meatless meat.

What have been your favorite food trends of the year so far? And, what are you hoping to see in 2020?

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