Food Trends For 2017: Six Insta-Worthy Trends To Look Out For

From rainbow bagels to alcohol-infused doughnuts to coffee in a cone, 2016 was filled with several unforgettable Instagram moments. But now that unicorn toast is so last year, what can we expect to pop up in the culinary landscape of 2017? Here are a few predictions:


According to Bon Appetit, the nostalgic act of grilling over a bed of glowing coals is making a comeback in a big way. In addition to helping you cook up the perfect filet mignon, charcoal has alleged detoxifying properties and acts as a remedy for food poisoning, resulting in charcoal-infused products from lemonade to charcoal-infused hand soap.

Ugly Produce

You’ve probably noticed a few “ugly” produce stories popping up on your feed within the past few months.

In April, Whole Foods partnered with Imperfect Produce to test the sales of “funky” fruits and veggies in a handful of stores in Northern California in an effort to reduce food waste. Other retailers such as Walmart have also jumped on the “ugly” wagon.

On Jan. 17, Hy-Vee partnered with Robinson Fresh – one of the largest produce companies in the world – to sell “ugly” produce. In a Hy-Vee press release, the company’s Vice President of Produce and Health Markets, John Griesenbrock states, “the beauty of this program is that the produce tastes the same and is of the same high quality, it just looks different.”


Poke, pronounced “po-kay,” is a Hawaiian specialty that has made its way to the mainland. Poke is essentially cubed, fresh raw seafood (usually octopus or tuna) mixed with soy sauce, green onions, and sesame oil, served over rice.

“You will start to see more around the poke trend,” Darren Tristano, president of Technomic, told CNBC, explaining that the trend will shortly move from fine dining establishments to niche restaurants, to menus across the country.

According to the National Restaurant Association, poke was named a “hot trend for 2017” after surveying more than 1,300 professional chefs.

“Menu trends today are beginning to shift from ingredient-based items to concept-based ideas, mirroring how consumers tend to adapt their activities to their overall lifestyle philosophies, such as environmental sustainability and nutrition,” Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research for the National Restaurant Association, said in a statement.

Old-School Pizza Joints

So long kale pizza, and hello doughy American pie! How does red checkered tablecloths, pitchers of soda being poured into those red, see-through plastic cups, and Tiffany lamps sound? Like a childhood dream, perhaps? Fortunately, spots like Pizza Jerk in Portland, Scarr’s in New York, and Dino’s in Seattle are hopping on the nostalgia train.

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A photo posted by Scarr's Pizza (@scarrspizza) on

Breakfast Sandwiches

Breakfast sandwiches have officially made it into the “trending” category. According to Baum + Whiteman (international food and restaurant consultants), “Breakfast sandwiches are making waves as millennials demand speed, high-protein, and portability when possible.”


The “freakshake” trend began in Australia, had a brief moment in the UK, and then planted itself in the U.S.

Baum + Whiteman describe the “freakshake” as a “freestyle milkshake topped with ice cream, as much sauce and whipped cream as possible and then surmounted by insane quantities of cake, cookies, donuts, ice cream sandwiches and various candies… until the concoction threatens intellectually and physically to topple.”

Black Tap in New York City sells these insane shakes for $15.

Baum + Whiteman list the following food “buzzwords” for 2017:

  • Horseradish
  • Celery
  • Cottage cheese
  • Matcha
  • Jackfruit
  • Ramen
  • Pickling vegetable
  • Cold cuts
  • Cauliflower
  • French dip sandwiches
  • Aging meat
  • Grain bowls
  • Breakfast
  • Caccio e pepe
  • Salted egg yolks
  • Asian bakeries
  • 3-D food printing
  • Soda
  • Snack

[Feature Image by Rawpixel/Thinkstock]