2018 food trends

Foodservice, more than most any other industry, is constantly evolving. That’s because consumers’ tastes are always changing. Foodservice operators who recognize, adapt, and take the lead on the latest food trends, often find success integrating culinary developments into their existing menus.

Recently, the National Restaurant Association released their annual What’s Hot Culinary Forecast for 2018. This report surveyed nearly 700 professional chefs and members of the American Culinary Federation on the food and beverage trends that will be the most popular in restaurants and foodservice operations this year.

The report is chock full of trends related to sustainability, ethnic inspiration, and natural ingredients. But what trends can you expect to see in display cases in gelato and ice cream shops, bakeries, and delis? Let’s examine a few:


Locally sourced and farm-branded meats, from poultry to beef to pork, will find their way onto menus more frequently in 2018. As part of the ever-growing farm-to-table movement, consumers want to be educated on where their food came from and how it was raised. Delis can expect to see that same demand in their operations, with expectations of less-processed, local cuts of meat.


There’s nothing more reliable than a nice glazed doughnut. But experts expect to see this popular breakfast item go the non-traditional route with fillings. Who can possibly turn down a cheesecake-stuffed or Nutella-filled doughnut?


Handmade and artisanal ice cream shops are embracing the demand for ice cream with natural ingredients and unique flavors. And when it comes to “Instagrammable” food, ice cream has become an art form for operators to show off their products.


Ice cream’s Italian counterpart is a perennial culinary favorite in the states. Gelato shops from California to Florida are seeing more customers favoring this dessert that is not only flavorful, but contains less butterfat than ice cream.

Use a display case to showcase the latest food trends in a more profitable way. Read our free Guide to Increasing Sales with a Refrigerated Display Case to learn more.