After months of working on in-depth data collection and analysis we're pleased to announce the launch of ICA Kockkompassen 2018. Our largest, most comprehensive trend report to date since the launch of Diaz & Swahn. 

ICA is Sweden's leading grocery retailer with a vision to continuously inspire and educate their customers with the latest in food and beverage. The food trends on the worlds restaurant stage are a taste of what will come to our tables in the future. The Chefs Report or Kockkompassen, as it's called in Swedish, is a guide to inspire and help ICA develop new products as well as inspiration for their customers.

The report is based on an analysis of interviews done with 10 of the worlds most innovative and inspiring chefs and a survey with 450 influential individuals within the food and beverage industry that helped us identify several longterm trends which will influence the way we eat. 

Among the international chefs we've interviewed is the 2017 World's Best Chef, Ana Roš (Hiša Franko, Slovenia) as well as Selassie Atadika (Midunu, Ghana); Matthew Kenney (Matthew Kenney Cuusine, USA) and Jozef Youssef (Kitchen Theory, United Kingdom). 

To further analyse how the food we eat evolves we performed a Taste Tracking™ of 900* restaurant menus which involved the analysis of 65 000 words from menus in 9 major food cities. For instance since 2016 the word "blackened" has increased with 46% in Stockholm restaurants, "goats cheese" has increased with 30% in London and "fish & seafood" has increased with 47% in New York. 


Chefs are the ultimate innovators within food, flavour and culinary experiences and challenge us to explore and understand natures resources. By doing so we enrich the meal through exciting flavour combinations and a sustainable future, says Johan Swahn, researcher and trend analyst, who has created the report together with ICA.


The most significant trends according to the report are:

Foraging: the extended arm of local and plant-based trends. With growing knowledge we're now out and about exploring what we can pick and eat within our surroundings. 

Food as Medicine: Food should of course be good, but it can also be more than that. With the right understanding and a good deal of motivation food can have a profound influence on our health. 

Culinary Heritage: New and old cooking techniques combined with food traditions and produce makes way for creative and respectful cooking bringing the past into the future.

Sensory Gastronomy: Research and increased knowledge of how our senses affect the dining experience provides us with the opportunity to experiment, alter and improve the way we cook and eat. 

Green Revolution: The availability of plant-based offerings has never been greater at the worlds restaurants and animal protein is no longer the obvious source of protein. 

To visualise the trends we enlisted students at the school of Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Meal Science at Campus Grythyttan, Sweden, to interpret the trends with five recipes which can be found in the report below (in Swedish only).

We also asked 200 influential individuals within the restaurant industry which are the flavours and ingredients of the future. Here are the top 5 according to them. 

Future Flavours:

  1. Umami
  2. Natural (referring to the unrefined flavour of the produce)
  3. Salt
  4. Fermented
  5. Sweet

Future Ingredients:

  1. Insects
  2. Root vegetables
  3. Legumes
  4. Algae
  5. Aquaculture



The report was created by Diaz & Swahn; Johan Swahn, Charlotte Diaz de la Vega and journalist Linda Pérez, together with ICA Sverige. The recipes were created by the talented and aspiring chefs Clara Thorsén, Claudio Virgili, Erik Jangland, Isaac Anjou Monero and Oliver Hjort.

*900 restaurants in nine cities that all have 1-3 stars in the Michelin Guide 2017 and/or the rating 4-5 (of 5) on booking sites Open Table and BookaTable.