Plant-based foods, regional global cuisines and packaging innovations are among the top 2019 predictions from the Specialty Food Association’s Trendspotter Panel.

The panel, comprised of professionals from diverse segments of the culinary world, have identified eight dominant trends to keep an eye on next year:

  1. Plant-based blossoms into a movement.
  2. Palates shift to regional cuisines of Africa, South Asia, and Latin America—driven by Millennials and Gen Z.
  3. Cannabis across multiple categories.
  4. Packaging takes center stage—in the environment, and in consumer communication. 
  5. Cassava.
  6. Fermented functional beverages.
  7. Edible beauty.
  8. Ice cream renaissance.

“The specialty food industry is growing rapidly, and much of this can be attributed to innovations happening in areas like sustainability, the plant-based movement, and desire for deeper regional flavors,” says Denise Purcell, head of content for the Specialty Food Association. “The Trendspotters are seeing major shifts in how consumers are eating. These shifts are providing us with amazing options, along with the opportunity to change how we eat and how food is created.”