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Food and beverage trends are constantly shifting and 2019 will be no exception. This year, trends will include a focus on healthy eating, experiential dining and sour flavors, among others.

1. Healthy Foods

Consumers are looking for more healthy options when dining out. Restaurants and caterers can appeal to health-conscious clients with clearly-labeled ingredients, healthy kids’ menus and meatless protein sources. Alternative protein sources are part of the larger plant-based food trend. Small amounts of animal-produced ingredients are added to primarily vegan dishes for a menu that is both healthy and environmentally friendly.

Another result of health-conscious chefs and consumers is an explosion of fermented foods. Vegetables, drinks and condiments are all being fermented. This particular food also reflects other food trends in 2019, including a return to traditional cooking methods, affinity for probiotic foods and sour flavors.

2. Reduced Waste

Waste contributes to both increased costs and environmental concerns. In 2019, restaurants and caterers will continue to work to reduce waste by donating leftovers (or selling them at a reduced cost), using all of a product and composting kitchen scraps.

3. Ethical Decisions

In adding to reduced waste, consumers are demanding transparency from food and drink producers. The values a company holds may become more important than the quality of the food as customers become more aware of what’s happening beyond the menu. Diners are also interested in eating local and want to know that ingredients are ethically sourced.

4. The Most Important Meal of the Day

The most important meal of the day is now available all day. Breakfast menus are now fair game for both lunch and dinner in a growing number of restaurants. You’ll also see more ethnic additions to breakfast, with cotija, lamb, prosciutto and plantains on menus and grocery lists nationwide. Of course, some of the past year’s biggest breakfast trends aren’t going anywhere. Toasts (beyond just avocado) and brunch will still be relevant in 2019.

5. Sour Flavors

Look for more sour flavors in 2019, in both food and beverages. International cuisine is influencing menus at many types of restaurants and caterers. Sour flavors are found in Korean, Filipino and Persian dishes, all of which are growing in popularity in the United States. Fermented foods and sour beers (Flemish red, gose, etc.) are also riding this trend.