Avocado has retained its glory. Plastic straws are out. Hyper-local food has arrived. As 2019 draws to a close, so does the reign of the food movements it saw. It’s time to welcome a new drift across the F&B landscape. Here are the top seven food trends that dominated India’s food scene in 2019.
Zero Waste movement, employment for local community, chemical-free foods. With an eco-friendly wave taking over the food industry every few months, 2019 was the year where sustainability was at the core of how food is approached. From fair trade to proper disposal of food waste to portion control for conscious consumption of food, 2019 was pro-earth and pro-community.
Indian regional cuisines have been picking pace for a while now. Dedicated restaurants for food from all over the country — Karnataka, Bihar, Bengal, Kashmir, Goa, and more — have sprung up. It’s time to take the next step. Enter pan-Indian menus. That was the new thing for 2019 where restaurants served traditional dishes with their own twists from all corners of the country. Masala Dosa next to Rogan Josh? We said yes!
Citrus deserts have been gaining momentum, and 2019 not only multiplied this trend but also made way for sour flavours in mainstream foods. Other than lemons and oranges, pomegranate, rhubarb, and tamarind are increasingly becoming the popular ingredients to be used across dishes.
So long, plastics
With plastic straws nearing the stage of complete elimination from F&B establishments, 2019 further promoted this war on plastic. Guests were actively being encouraged to bring their own glasses (and even cutlery in some cases) to restaurants and bars. In 2019’s food trends, even packaging for takeaways and delivery modes turned towards more green options such as recycled paper over plastic containers.
Ditching the Norwegian salmon and French caviar, Indian chefs had turned their eye to indigenous ingredients. Backed with the knowledge that eating what’s grown where you live proves best for you, not to forget the freshness that comes with local produce, the spotlight was on Indian foods. Men in white took special foraging trips to bring the best of India’s flavours to your plate; 2019 saw ample buckthorn from Leh and crabs from Kanyakumari.
2019 saw not just alcohol and mixers put together in your glass but also cocktails that tell a story. Be it a region, an ingredient or a memory, cocktail menus carried a theme, with all the drinks linking back to it. A hooch-forward F&B culture means restro-bars happily creating fatter drinks menus than the food menus. With hiring bar consultants to set it up, this became a common practice in 2019, leading the way to more innovative cocktails.
In view of above-mentioned terms such as sustainable, local, fresh, making everything in-house is only a natural extension. Chefs and restaurants had taken to prepare everything themselves from scratch. So whether it is the bread basket, crisps, salsa or mayo or the plum gel accompanying duck strips, 2019 relished freshly made, unpreserved foods.