5 top food trends for the UK
This is a piece of subjective research into the 5 top food trends based upon the opinions of our informal industry panel, a group of people representing customers, suppliers and contacts we have across the UK’s food industry.
It’s always difficult to narrow all the innovation and change we see around us but here goes – these are the top 5 food trends as we see them…
CULTURE / ETHNIC CUISINE
This is growing strongly in the UK driven our diverse mix of cultures which nowadays make up the Brit population and our willingness to try new exciting flavours from around the world that feature in our media. We are almost obsessed with it! The experimental route is often usually from street food (served from mobile takeaways), to restaurants and then to supermarkets. As to what in particular is trending at the moment, we pick out half a dozen here:
- North African
- Latin American
A new word for you here: “flexitarianism”. And this is thought by many to be the drive behind a new wave of interest in vegetarianism. The idea is simple… many want to cut done on the meats but can’t manage to be vegetarian, it’s just too difficult for some. So, this approach is to reduce meat consumption but not to abstain, because it is far too delicious to go that far, and eat more vegetables. In defense of meat we all have an American scientist called Ancel Keys to thank for the ‘fat causes cholesterol’ hypothesis. We have suffered it now for some 50 years and it has never been proven. Meat, natural fats and indeed cholesterol, are crucial to the diet. We should be eating them!
This is a trend clear to see on the shelves of every trendy coffee shop to garage forecourt. Snacks are becoming ever more imaginative in terms of the content and increasingly baked as opposed to fried. The market is being driven forward by both our propensity to snack, the innovation of the packaged snacks themselves and the vast shelving space they are given by retailers because of high profitability. As to what is coming next… we think more diverse ethnic snacks with health benefits will gain appeal, for example biltong.
Consumers, diners, etc. are keen to know the exact provenance of their food. People are anxious about this matter, particularly when it comes to meats and poultry, because of bad publicity of the last few years to do with horse meat, what meat it says on the label isn’t what’s in the pack, etc. Businesses, retail or catering will have a competitive advantage the more specific they can be about the source of their meat, ie: farm, herd, estate, etc.
This is not new, but it’s importance, as we assess trends, is becoming even more significant so it cannot be left out of the top 5. There are several factors that overlap here: provenance (as mentioned above), animal welfare and environmental. This environmental consciousness on behalf of the consumer, is concerned about the treatment of livestock on the farm and a concern for sustainability with regard to wild caught food such as seafood. In the UK being able to display: the Red Tractor logo, Soil Association logo or the MSC logo, gives purchasers increasingly important reassurance. Consumers increasingly expect to see these.