5 New Food Trends Earning End-of-Year Buzz

New food trends are still brewing, sweeping social feeds, and capturing Millennials’ and Gen Z’s attention, in the last weeks of 2017…

We’ve covered lot of buzzed about, and Instagrammable, food trends this year, from goth ice cream to lattes poured into avocados (aka avolattes). And of course, foodie favorite avocado toast went from mere trending menu item to an international discussion point in the ongoing debate about Millennial spending. Food fads not only have the power to create cultural touchpoints amongst young consumers, they’re also a topic of endless fascination. Our post on the 10 food trends Millennial foodies want to try most was one of our most clicked of the year, and the list included some of 2017’s most popular food fads/innovations, from sushi burritos and donuts to rainbow foods. But 2017 isn’t over yet.

We’re seeing some new food trends take over social feeds and headlines in the last weeks of the year. Here are five new foodie fads, big and small, sweeping social feeds, making headlines, and earning end-of-year buzz:

1. Fake Meat

Fake meat sales reportedly are soaring, thanks to young consumers. According to Business Insider, young adults and teens are embracing alternatives to meat and seafood, and the sales of plant-based meat are expected to surpass $5 billion by 2020. Gen Z told Ypulse they’re interested in vegan diets, and businesses are cropping up to cater to their plant-based nutrition needs. Impossible Foods is selling a veggie burger that bleeds to college campuses and beloved burger restaurants alike, while New Wave Foods and Ocean Hunger Foods’ seafood alternatives are getting more attention. We’ve followed the rising popularity of The Impossible Burger—a vegetarian burger that bleeds—calling out Impossible as a food pioneer who could change the…

 
 

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“I observe holidays and religion-based traditions but am more connected to it as a culture than as a religion.”—Female, 27, MA

Chinese youth have a “selfie obsession” that’s changing beauty standards and creating a new tier of celebrity. The Influencer Effect is full blown in China, where young consumers are beautifying their selfies via filter apps like Meitu and plastic surgery—all in the quest to look more like wang hong, their internet celebrities. One influencer, HoneyCC, argues that “Selfies are part of Chinese culture now, and so is Meitu-editing selfies.” But some say the trend is pushing the population to become more homogenous by favoring certain features, and headlines have lashed back against the whitening of skin prevalent in social apps. (The New Yorker)

Eighty-one percent of Bustle, Romper, and Elite Daily’s Millennial readers say social media is the best way for advertisers to reach them. Bustle’s latest questionnaire also found that 40% of their 18-34-year-old readers prefer Instagram for brand communications, followed by trusted websites, email, and online articles. Some other fun insights: Over half believe that a company should give back, instead of just turning a profit, and 49% think “companies should do more to protect the environment.” (Adweek)

Drug use is down among teens—except when it comes to marijuana and vaping. From the 1990s to 2017, the percentage of teens who said they’d been drunk dropped from 46% and 58%, and those reporting they’ve smoked cigarettes from 26% and 17%. However, marijuana use increased for the first time in seven years in 2017, while vaping is up as well, with at least 19% of high school seniors, 16% of sophomores, and 8% of eighth-graders saying they’ve vaped in the past year. (LATimes)

Two modern dating shows are coming to Facebook Watch. The first “unscripted dating show” from SoulPancake, Love & Longitude, is shot on iPhones and shows two potential love interests’ relationship blossoming across FaceTime, social media, and other digital interactions. The second dating show from Machinima, Co-Op Connection, plays into the esports craze. One bachelor gets to pick his partner based on their personality—and their skills at the videogame, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. (tubefiltertubefilter)

Some cities are past their “peak Millennial” populations, as the generation increasingly finds new digs in the suburbs. Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles all reached their highest Millennial population in 2015, and New York and Washington D.C. are showing slowing Millennial growth, according to U.S. Census data. Meanwhile Chicago’s suburbs and others have seen an uptick in their young adult populations—another Millennial myth debunked. Which urban centers are still attracting the demo as they age up? “Tech hubs” like Seattle and San Francisco. (Time)

“Crochet and knitting are very relaxing, therapeutic, and have tangible results."—Female, 31, AL

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