With 2019 finally in full force (how are we already halfway through February?!), it's time to reminisce about all the highlights in food innovation that happened in 2018. Last year brought about new food trends from all over the world, and thus the birth of new food combinations which resulted in next-level creations like pizza on top of pizza and ice cream tacos. These recent food trends obviously aren't going anywhere any time soon, so here's a look at the best food trends from 2018 to keep up with. 

1. Nutella


wuestenigel on Flickr

Although Nutella itself isn't a food trend from 2018, new ways of using Nutella in food were particularly popular in 2018. It has become a staple in the pantries of college students all over the country and is the inspiration behind the 2-pound Nutella-filled golden chocolate heart and the opening of the Nutella cafe, an eatery offering everything from Nutella creme brulee to create-your-own crepes. 

2. Vegetable Carbohydrate Substitutes

zucchini cut in a Veggetti handheld spiralizer

yourbestdigs on Flickr

With a growing concern for health and diet, foodies are discovering new recipes to recreate their favorite dishes like spaghetti and fried rice without actually consuming too many unhealthy carbs. Zucchini and squash noodles have begun to find their way into traditional pasta dishes, and cauliflower has become a favorite item in dishes like cauliflower rice, buffalo cauliflower nuggets, and cauliflower wings

3. Matcha


Ikusuki on Flickr

Matcha tea itself is a very old and traditional part of Japanese culture, but the use of the matcha flavor has become a recent favorite for bakeries and dessert places in the US. From matcha cake, to matcha tiramisu, to matcha smoothies, to matcha pancakes, to matcha donuts, the matcha dessert possibilities are endless, and here's to hoping that more will come in 2019. 

4. Bibimbap

vegetarian bibimbap

Stacy Spensley on Flickr

As the Korean popular culture wave spreads throughout the Western hemisphere, certain standard Korean dishes like bibimbap, or mixed rice with vegetables, have made their way onto menus of American restaurants everywhere. Well-loved for its sweet, spicy flavor and its healthy incorporation of vegetables, bibimbap is a representation of Korea's growing influence in the culinary world.

5. Poke 

Salmon Poke Bowl

pokebrosau on Flickr

Poke is a perfect mixture of sushi and salad with roots in Hawaiian culture. These bowls of raw fish, rice, vegetables, and Asian-inspired dressing are customizable to all different diets and taste preferences, and poke restaurants have been popping up around college campuses all over the US, giving some relief to sushi-craving college students' wallets. 

6. Mason Jar Meals

vinegar, garlic, oil, herb, salt, pickle
Bernard Wen

Millennials all over America were buying mason jars in the year 2018 for their convenience, versatility and ~aesthetic~. Whether you need to soak some overnight oats for breakfast the next morning or prepare a healthy salad for lunch, mason jars are a quick and simple solution to your meal prep needs. Not only are they reusable, but they are also easy to clean and perfect portions for on-the-go meals. 

7. Ramen

vegetable, rice, sauce, ramen
Ashly Kim

College students have been consuming ramen in relatively large quantities since the beginning of time (a totally historically accurate fact, obviously), but ramen has recently become a vessel for more luxurious or innovative ingredients. From the ultra spicy Korean fire noodles to beer ramen, chefs have begun to redefine what ramen is and have put their own special twist to this classic Asian dish. 

8. Acai Bowls

Acai bowl with chocolate, berries, almonds and coconut

wuestenigel on Flickr

The açai bowl has become the recent food trend from 2018, particularly part of the breakfast/brunch craze, gaining special attention because of its vibrant colors and healthy ingredients. Açai bowls usually contain superfoods like berries, chia seeds, and nuts, but they can also be custom-made to your taste preference with toppings ranging from chocolate and coconut to pomegranate and dragonfruit. 

9. Thai Rolled Ice Cream

Wen Yuan

Not only is watching ice cream being rolled very entertaining, but Thai rolled ice cream has a unique texture that is flakier and creamier than normal grocery store ice cream. Because ingredients like Oreo, graham cracker, or fruit are finely chopped into the ice cream as it is frozen, you can enjoy ice cream with well-incorporated flavors of your choice. 

10. Boba

coffee, chocolate, cappuccino
Emma Davis

College students all over the nation have found a new way to get their caffeine fix, and that's through a tall drink of boba. From creamy taro milk tea to tart passionfruit tea to mild oolong milk tea, boba is a drink experience that makes you want to come back and try a new flavor with each visit. Restaurants have also started to incorporate boba in dessert menus, like boba toast and even boba pizza.

As we say goodbye to 2018 and hello to 2019, we should all mourn for our new year resolution diets. If 2018 is any indication of what new, innovative food trends are on their way in 2019, there will be so much more to taste and enjoy with open mouths and loosened belts. 

For more on 2018 food and fun, check out these articles: 

- The Ultimate Guide to the Food Holidays of 2018

- Fall Themed Foods That Hit the Shelves in 2018

- The 6 Must-Eat Vendors at Made In America