The Hottest Food Trends in 2016 and What To Expect in 2017

The Hottest Food Trends in 2016 and What To Expect in 2017

In a year of wall-to-wall unexpected world events, food and community has been a saving grace in 2016. It was the year of #trending hybrid desserts like the cronut, cruffin, muffle and donut cones. The food delivery revolution swept across Australia and our prayers were answered with the avocado emoji (?).


The buzzwords of 2016 are starting to feel lukewarm as the new wave of future food trends hit. We’re done with freakshakes and hashtaggable food. Millennials fought for the democratisation of smashed avocado on toast and vegans rejoiced with the discovery of aquafaba. So what were the culinary trends in 2016 and what can you expect on your plate in 2017?


Firstly, you’ll be happy to know that we’re putting to bed the most overused words of 2016: bone broth, farm-to-table, fried chicken, froyo, breakfast burrito, zoodles (zucchini noodles), acai, edible flowers, and the ubiquitous food truck.


The hot culinary trends of 2016:


  • Frosé: Pretty-as-a-picture frozen rose in slushy form was the cocktail of summer
  • Kombucha: Fermented tea drink with health benefits has hit the mainstream
  • ‘Feed Me’ Menu: Share-style feasts where the chef decides for you
  • Southern-Inspired Soul Food: Comfort food in the form of fried chicken, slow-cooked meats and Texan BBQ
  • Matcha: Finely ground Japanese green tea was the most photographed drink of the year
  • CocoWhip: Vegan coconut soft serve is all the rage with lactose intolerant and wellness folk
  • Turmeric: Spice of the year showing up in lattes, smoothies, juices, tonics, and cocktails
  • Cocktails In A Can: Continental’s Mar-tinny and the Can-hatten kicked off the rage
  • Negroni: A classic cocktail revival with new twists like cold brew, smoky, and salted


Looking ahead, the trends heating up for 2017 include a focus on hyper-local produce sourcing and a back-to-basics movement around waste reduction in restaurants and at home. We can say goodbye to the rainbow cake trend and hello to galaxy cake designs hitting your social media feeds.


The predictions for 2017 culinary trends:


  • Secret Menu: Ordering special unknown dishes for those in the know
  • Preservative Free Wine: A push for natural, preservative-free and vegan wines
  • Dessert Bars: Dessert as a destination, think degustations and discotheque dance parties
  • The Rise of Tea: A renewed interest in locally-sourced blends, artisan tea, tea bars, and tea classes
  • Poke: The love affair for abundance bowls is getting a hit of Hawaii with cubed raw fish salad
  • Seaweed: More edible ocean algae, less kale
  • Fancy Fish ‘n’ Chips: From forgotten suburban stalwart to elevated dining fare
  • Mushroom Lattes: Medicinal mushrooms like reishi, chaga and shiitake pimping your cuppa
  • Lupin: A yellow legume with double the protein of chicken eggs
  • Pandan: There’s a new green in town – matcha’s South East Asian cousin
  • Ube: A purple food revolution is upon us with Filipino lavender-coloured yam  
  • Ethnic-Inspired Breakfast: Watch the rise of Palestinian, Ethiopian and rustic Japanese cuisine on breakfast menus


Here’s to another year of wild and wonderful gastronomic discoveries!