Lately, it seems the biggest trend in food is tracking food trends. Everyone has a list of what’s “in” and what’s “out.” Which trends will stick and which are just fads?

In food, as in the universe, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. For every new, exotic flavor, there’s renewed interest in comfort food. For instance, slow braising vs. coal fired pizza. That means it’s best to look for trends on both ends of the spectrum.

So, what’s on the radar screen? Health & wellness, convenience, environmental impact, customization, authenticity and emotional connections influence food trends.

Here are a few trends to keep an eye on:

Clean Labels

Consumers are demanding foods that have easily pronounceable as well as understandable ingredients. For many consumers, clean equals healthy.

Meat Alternatives

Making vegetables palatable to carnivores has gained momentum with cauliflower steaks, veggie burgers that “bleed” beet blood and jackfruit.


Ramen, Poke and Buddha bowls are all rising in popularity. They’re filled with grains, vegetables and lean proteins, are considered good for you and they’re easier to eat at your desk.

Earthy Flavors

Flavors from international cuisines like Syrian, Moroccan, Israeli, Turkish, Indian and Ethiopian are gaining ground. Think cardamom, curry, za’atar, garam masala. These heat-released spices are enhanced by cooking and often include a splash of lemon, orange or rose water to make the flavors pop.

The Environment

Food waste and climate change, specifically, are on people’s minds. Chefs are working to reduce waste in their operations by incorporating into their menus foods that would otherwise be thrown out. This is to help minimize climate change.

Baby Bundt Cakes

Bye-bye cronut, hello Kouign-Amann– a Breton butter cake. Step aside cupcakes, baby bundt cakes are the new kids in town.

Minimally Processed Foods

Natural, wholesome ingredients are finding their way into cocktails, as mixologists are borrowing directly from the kitchen. Herbs, Kombucha and other healthy add-ins are common.

To learn more about current and future flavor trends, download Nielsen-Massey’s newest Flavor Guide at Nielsen-Massey, known for crafting the world’s finest pure vanilla and flavor extracts, offers expertise in all things flavor. Perfect for chefs, bakers and foodservice professionals, this quick reference guide offers a variety of useful information that is valuable in the kitchen.