Andrew Freeman, the founder of Andrew Freeman & Company, a restaurant and hospitality consultant, released his company’s view on the top five restaurant, food, marketing and cocktail trends for 2018.
“Change is the New Black,” is the theme for this year’s report of which AF&Co outlines the importance of embracing change in today’s social, economic and political culture in order to evolve. The report noted that the hospitality industry is adopting and adapting to change faster than ever before, delivering it to consumers at a more rapid pace.
Consumers are still heavily influenced by cocktail culture and are eager to explore the latest recipes, flavors and ingredients. Many continue to look to the hospitality industry to lead the way in order to recreate what’s trending at home. Here, some of the top beverage trends the company predicts we will see a lot more of in 2018.
Mocktails. AF&Co suggested that house-made tonics, elixirs, house sodas, shrubs, tinctures and fresh-pressed fruit and vegetable juices that boast a purpose such as health and energy are gaining popularity.
Farm to Shaker. There will be an increase in cocktails inspired by Mother Nature and helping to reduce waste, such as using byproducts from the kitchen and cocktail recipes, as well as seasonally inspired recipes.
Raising the Bar. Many restaurants are opening adjacent wine bars with smaller food menus and affordable pricing, offering patrons a more casual way to dine. This speaks to the consumers’ interest in a quality experience.
Mezcal Madness. Made from the agave plant native to Mexico, mescal is the smoky cousin to tequila. The popularity of the spirit has inspired bartenders to use mescal to create classic cocktails, such as a mezcal mule and mezcal negroni.
Just (Cold) Brew It. Cold brewed coffee will continue to remain popular and consumers can expect to see new flavors with an artisanal twist such as hazelnut, horchata and lavender and honey.
**Source: Andrew Freeman & Company