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Food design studio reveals 7 bizarre culinary trends we’ll see in 2018

Attention all foodies.

Food design studio Bompas & Parr has released a report identifying seven cutting-edge food trends for you to watch out for in 2018.

Bompas & Parr began as a jelly company (by their own admission) before moving into catering and finally becoming what they call a “full-service experience design agency focusing on foods and the senses”.

Yep, while the rest of us are “cooking” like peasants, Bompas & Parr are providing “multi-sensory food design experiences”.

So what does 2018 have in store for us? Bompas & Parr says the speed of the food cycle is increasing “exponentially”, so this report is more than just a boring summary of trends that have already happened (I’m looking at you, raw water).

“The areas detailed here are themes we are excited about and will be exploring creatively in the next year,” the company says.

“If you want to be a genuine innovator rather than an early adopter we welcome you to join us.”

And before you doubt Bompas & Parr’s ability to tell the future, you should keep in mind that they invented Architectural Jelly, created Multisensory Fireworks and came up with the first DNA-based dinner. Convinced yet?

#1 AI dinner party

Their first prediction is called “AI dinner party”. Bots of “dream guests” will be created based on material the guests may have published in the public domain – Donald Trump’s tweets, for example. Then, actors wear earbuds and are fed lines from the bot while they attend your dinner party.

Sounds pretty convoluted, and it could be tricky to find decent actors that look like the celebs in question.

#2 Fasting is the new feasting

Fasting has been around for yonks but Bompas & Parr sees 2018 as the year it becomes truly mainstream.

“As restrictive dieting becomes the ultimate form of social signalling, and perceived productivity benefits align with ever-busier lives, sit back and wait for your friends to tell you about their special new fast,” Bompas & Parr writes.

Fasting is officially one of the top five things annoying people talk about, along with the keto diet and cyrptocurrency.

Dinner is served! (Picture: Bompas & Parr)

Dinner is served! (Picture: Bompas & Parr)

#3 Africa is the new Asia

Bompas & Parr reckons it’s time that Africa’s wide variety of culinary culture becomes adopted, adapted and commercialised. This seems pretty reasonable, and could actually be the most sensible trend on the list.

#4 Dining for sleep

The fourth prediction is that 2018 will be the year that meals are designed to help put us to sleep.

“With cultural commentators identifying clean sleeping as the ‘next frontier’ in wellness, despite the discrediting of clean eating it’s clear that consciously enhancing the world of sleep is a prevailing trend,” the report says. Time to abandon the old method of half a bottle of Shiraz, folks.

#5 Mixed reality dining

Bompas & Parr sees VR dining as “lonely” and predicts that AR and wearable technology will be used to create a fully “responsive environment” where food can talk to you. Just think: finally, you’ll be able to realise your dream of starting the day by having a chat with your Weet Bix.

#6 GMOs for creativity

Technology now allows us to alter the DNA in microorganisms and Bompas & Parr thinks that we will soon see food altered in creative ways. This will give us access to “impossible” foods such as “off-world bacteria” (yum) or “extinct woolly mammoth” (someone call PETA!).

Who doesn't love the taste of blue? (Picture: Bompas & Parr)

Who doesn’t love the taste of blue? (Picture: Bompas & Parr)

#7 Dine at mine

With the share economy in full swing, Bompas & Parr predicts that we will see more people hosting dinner parties for spare cash. This has been around for a few years already, and Air BnB do offer a range of “experiences” that include in-house dining with hosts.

Coming up with food trends seems pretty fun, which is why I have decided to throw my humble hat into the ring. After reading the report, I think the trick is to chain multiple incongruous nouns together.

Introducing “audio-visual edible vaping”, the hot new food trend I just invented for 2018.

As you listen to music made by blind African tribespeople and watch a movie by an obscure transgender Pakistani director, you toke on custom-made “edible vape” that comes in a variety of organic flavours. Don’t miss out!

Feature image: Bompas & Parr

About the author

Stefan is an Adelaide-based freelance writer. In his spare time, he plays tennis badly, collects vinyl and brushes up on his Mandarin. Follow Stefan on Twitter

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