Like most fads, food trends can come and go at the drop of a hat. Often dictated by the economic, social and cultural influences of their time, it’s near impossible to pinpoint what will take off during any given year and what will peter off into obscurity. But more than any other decade, the 2010s seemed to have a lot going for it in the food department. From cured meats and microbrews to ramen noodles and plant-based eating, there’s been a wealth of evolving dining options and eco-friendly approaches to how we experience (and enjoy) our food. As we enter 2020, take a trip down memory lane as we revisit the top food trends that defined the last decade.
Rich in protein, fibre and B vitamins, the humble quinoa flowering plant quickly shot ahead of other trends to become one of the top foods to kick off the new decade. As a healthier alternative to pasta and rice, foodies became obsessed with incorporating it into as many meals as possible. Although not quite as popular as it was in 2010, it’s proved a worthy competitor, and is still heralded by many as a delicious, versatile meal option. Get the scoop on the hottest food trends we’ll be devouring in 2020.
2011: Mini Cupcakes
Adorable bite-sized treats are the perfect way to satisfy those dessert cravings without all the added calories, which is why it’s not surprising that mini cupcakes topped the food trend charts in 2011. These particular flowering beauties from Anna Olson remind us what we love about them so much in the first place – light and airy, they really are perfect for any special occasion.
2012: Brussels Sprouts
Before you wrinkle your nose or shake your head in disbelief, you might recall that the divisive Brussels sprout had a bit of a comeback in the mid-2010s thanks to some creative new recipes that went beyond the roasted sliced variety paired with bacon. Check out these 15 bad eating habits experts recommend ditching by 2020.
This leafy superfood proved it had staying power, defying those food critics who believed it would only be a passing fad. But a versatile green isn’t to be denied – whether roasted into chips, tossed in a salad or added to your favourite soups, we just can’t get enough of kale.
2013: Taco Stands
Gourmet tacos were all the rage in the mid-2010s, in large part due to the booming food truck scene in big cities throughout North America. Gone were the days of simple ground beef, tomatoes and cheese – food enthusiasts wanted creative twists on the Mexican staple. For more inspiration, check out these 50 tasty taco recipes you’ll crave every day of the week.
2014: Ramen Noodles
What was once a budget-friendly meal for cash-strapped university students evolved into a fully-fledged food trend. Ramen noodles exploded onto the scene in 2014, with restaurants featuring their own spins on the traditional broth-noodle-sliced meat combo. There’s also a plethora of creative ways to whip up these dishes at home.
2015: Burrito Bowls
The offspring of crunchy tacos and hearty Tex-Mex wraps, burrito bowls offered foodies the chance to get a little more creative with their fixings while enjoying a lower-carb dining experience – such as with this high-protein and fibre-loaded breakfast bowl that is as delicious as it looks.
Although nothing will replace coffee as the world’s favourite hot drink, Japanese matcha certainly gave it a run for its money in 2015. While popular in both regular tea and bubble tea form, the finely ground powder made from green tea leaves took the world by storm when international bakeries started using it in everything from cookies and brownies to eclairs and cakes.
2016: Avocado Toast
Was there a more millennial food moment this decade than when avocado toast became the go-to breakfast meal? Whether topped with a poached egg and bean sprouts or simply spread on toast and lightly seasoned with sea salt and chili flakes, the finicky superfood became a superstar in the mid-2010s and continues to reign supreme over other trends. Broaden your recipe repertoire with these creative avocado dishes that don’t involve toast.
Get the recipe for Avocado Toast, 2 Ways
2017: Chicken Gyros
Boneless chicken and Greek yogurt are the stars of this pita-wrapped “street meat” classic that won over plenty of new fans in the mid- to late-2010s. What kicked off the obsession? Although some foodies point to its rise in popularity on Pinterest, we’re not entirely sure – but we are 100 per cent grateful.
In the mood for chicken tonight? Try one of these 50 Grilled Chicken Recipes Your Dinner Table Needs
2017: Bean-to-Bar Craft Chocolate
Choco-holics celebrated in the late-2010s with the advent of the craft chocolate movement. Wine and beer connoisseurs took a backseat to the bean-to-bar companies that specialized in processing their cocoa beans in-house versus using outside third-parties. As a result, thousands of independent craft chocolate makers started popping up all over the globe, extolling the virtues of quality raw cocoa beans and handcrafted treats versus the over-processed variety offered by larger companies.
Indulge in some of these 101 Decadent Chocolate Desserts
2018: Meal Prep
Run ragged after a long work week? Tired of buying your lunch every day? The last couple of years have seen a significant uptick in people seeking smart, simple solutions to meal prep. The secret: start small with a few easy-to-make combos for the week, and try to enjoy the process!
Check out these Healthy Meal Prep Ideas to Get You Through the Week