2019 Summer food trends

One thing to look out for in 2019 is how the food movement will influence flavours, the way people eat and event social movements. 

However, you won’t have to wait until 2019 to see these food trends as many of them are already becoming increasingly popular locally and the  world over. 

Think bowl foods, non-alcoholic drinks and zero food wastage – these are some of the trends we can expect  to see a lot more of in the coming months. 


Plant based

  • Perhaps the biggest food trend to expect in 2019 is the move towards a  plant-based lifestyle. 
  • South Africans have definitely become more health conscious and the vegan movement continues to grow as people are more aware of  their eating habits. 

Meal kits

  • According to the online trend forecaster, Visit Yoghurt Lab, ready-to- eat meal kits is another growing trend – it’s a trend that has become popular in South Africa with the likes of UCook, Daily Dish and more  recently, Checkers all launching pre packed dinner boxes. 

Food activism

Trend forecaster  and founder of Studio H, Hannerie Visser says people are using food all over the world to protest the current status quo. 

"Food is used to express how we  feel and it is used to make people understand a specific point of view  or stimulate conversation around a specific topic. People will use food  to connect like never before. Food will be used as the medium to break down barriers.”  

She adds: “With the rise of activism against anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim legislation and  institution, we will see more Middle Eastern cuisine and ingredients.” 

Visser gave a hint into which flavours to expect more of in 2019 

  • Due to the pressure on resources (like water), the sea and seaweed will be explored more as an alternative source of food.  
  • Plant-based menus will become the norm and meat will be treated as a luxury item  (caused by economic conditions, but also for ethical reasons).  
  • Mushrooms are popping up on menus everywhere – fresh, in powder form and even candied and in ice creams.  
  • Plantains are seen in supermarkets all over the globe in various iterations – from fresh to packets of plantain crisps.  
  • Street food is still a big trend, but with a strong focus on being super healthy. 
  • Wood fire and grilled everything is the one big thing taking over restaurant menus everywhere. 

In terms of eating habits, Visser says there is a movement towards zero waste – from nude food  to leftovers.