Future of Cooking

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Future of Cooking

We found 10 trends in new use of ingredients and food preparation that show the future of cooking. For trends in new use of ingredients, we researched cannabis, green banana flour, cricket powder, C mushroom, hemp and blue algae. For trends in food preparation, we researched black/goth food, root-to-stem cooking, food injection and collagen infusion.

Below you will find a deep dive of our findings and methodology.


To complete your request, I researched industry reports such as Mintel and Specialty Food Association as well as trusted media articles regarding the top global trends in food preparation and ingredient use worldwide. I avoided trends that dealt with genetically modified organisms and biological engineering. I also narrowed my findings to those with new applications this 2018 and beyond. However, I was only able to identify these trends within the scope of one request. Follow-up requests dealing with each trend's origin, popularity and modern proponents will be better able to discuss each trend in detail. I was able to find 6 trends in innovative use of ingredients and 4 trends in food preparation. Please continue below to see the results of my research.


CheatSheet reported that cannabis-based food preparation and products will gain mainstream popularity as more US states legalize marijuana, which is traditionally used as recreational drug. The article stated that more cannabis-enhanced food and beverages will be seen this 2018 and in years to come. These include farm-to-table cannabis dinner meals, party foods, and restaurant dishes.

Cannabis-based food is included in the Specialty Food Association's list of top 2018 food trends.


Green banana flour also made Mintel's 2018 list of ingredients to watch. This ingredient is becoming a superstar in the new trend of fruit-based flours. Green banana flour used to be seen as a low-cost alternative to wheat flour, but has only come to light recently as a popular gluten-free alternative flour. This product is also beginning to be linked to the paleo trend as a grain-free ingredient. Food Dive reported that commercial use of green banana flour is not yet widespread but a few companies including PepsiCo are looking for patent applications for the product.


The Los Angeles Times reported that insect-based ingredients such as cricket powder could be the future of the protein supplement industry. This is because insects contain high levels of protein and are a sustainable alternative source to animal protein. While cricket protein has attracted attention in previous years, LA Times reported that renewed interest in cricket powder is increasing thanks to new applications such as cricket salt, cricket granola, and whole roasted crickets.

Food Business News also reported in March 2018 that several cricket protein companies plan to merge to develop new cricket-based products this year thanks to burgeoning demand.


Chaga mushroom was mentioned in Mintel's list of Ingredients to Watch in 2018 as a functional food. Blvck Supplements notes that Chaga is not yet completely mainstream, but is proving to be an innovative superfood trend that is attracting greater attention due to its health benefits. Chaga is traditionally made into a fine powder for use in hot beverages such as tea. However, chaga mushroom is increasingly being used in cold drinks and healthcare products as an anti-stress supplement. Blvck mentions Seema Patel as a prominent researcher studying the benefits of chaga tea which includes antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.


Hemp continues to be developed into innovative food products as it gains momentum in the health and wellness industry. Traditionally used as fiber for clothing and paper, hemp finds new applications as a food ingredient in the form of powder, seeds and oil. However, hemp has attracted renewed interest as a clean label, high protein ingredient. In a 2017 Food Ingredients First article, NP Nutra Marketing Director Margaret Gomes outlined new uses for hemp in the near future: "We are currently seeing the market explode with exciting new products presented in novel ways. Hemp can be used in numerous applications including functional foods and beverages, dietary supplements, clothing, skincare products and even industrial applications."

Hemp is also part of Mintel's list of ingredients to watch in 2018.


Blue algae is emerging as a superstar along with other blue-colored ingredients, which were traditionally ignored due to its dissociation from typical nature colors e.g. green, red, etc. While blue algae has garnered recognition in recent years mainly as a superfood, the uniquely colored algae is finding new uses as a plant-based functional ingredient that can be used to beautify ordinary food.

Organic Authority reports that blue algae is being used as blue toast spread, frosting, dip, yogurt, marshmallow and egg dyes.

Blue Algae is included in Mintel's list of ingredients to watch in 2018 as well as Startups UK's Business Ideas for 2018.


Beacon Purchasing reported this January 2018 that the black/goth food trend will continue to develop thanks to new applications in food preparation and decoration. Black ingredients such as activated charcoal are traditionally used as a detoxifying product. Today, it is attracting renewed interest as a functional food that can be used as a striking design element, particularly in gothic styles. Beacon reported that people are creating and posting photos of black ice cream, black burgers and black cheese on social media.

Forbes also highlighted black/goth food as a hot food trend this 2018.


Food NDTV reported that root-to-stem cooking is poised to take off as a new trend in food preparation in 2018. While this food preparation method has been practiced largely by vegans and vegetarians, root-to-stem cooking is gaining traction in the mainstream food industry as part of the mindfulness movement. It is also being linked to environment-friendly lifestyle trends. Root-to-stem cooking involves creative use and utilization of every part of plant foods including stalks, stems and flowers. This also includes reusing vegetable waste as vegetable stalk or sauce.

Root-to-stem is a variant of no-waste cooking and the equivalent of nose-to-tail preparation of animal meat.


Forbes highlighted food injections as an up-and-coming trend this 2018. Sauce-filled syringes are becoming popular in restaurants and diners, where customers are invited to try flavorful injections in potato balls, frozen desserts, and seafood.

Foodgod also predicted that the injection infusion trend will be seen in confectionary including donuts as well as meat-based dishes such as steaks.


SFA also mentioned collagen-infused foods as an emerging trend. The only credible resource I've found on this trend is Whole Foods Market's report Top Food Trends for 2018, where it highlights the infusion of collagen into protein powders. Collagen is typically found in skincare products and health supplements. However, Whole Foods reported that skin and hair-beautifying collagen is being incorporated as a functional ingredient into smoothies and protein powders alike.


To wrap it up, we were able to find 10 trends in new use of ingredients and food preparation that showcase the future of cooking. New trends in innovative use of ingredients include cannabis, green banana flour, cricket powder, Chaga mushroom, hemp and blue algae. New trends in food preparation include black food, root-to-stem cooking, food injection and collagen infusion.