2017 food trends

Trends come and go and so the key to remaining relevant in the eyes of customers is what you do to grow and adapt your menu to stay ahead of the curve.

Bowl and beyond

Bowl and beyond recognises both the content and the container. Evolving from pots to boxes, from plastic to glass, one pot meals demonstrate the versatility of combining food groups in a single format, either for eating in or taking out. Materials that are secure, reusable and chemically safe not only provide sustainable packaging but help with portion control for individual diets and appetites. Chilled or warm, liquid or textured, sweet or savoury; jars, bowls, tins and bottles facilitate the layering of fresh, colourful, seasonal ingredients, simple grains and pulses, with optional protein.


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Playful palate

With more exposure to new cultures and cuisines; culinary adventures are stretching beyond simple consumption. Eating and drinking should now encompass flavours, textures, colour, cooking techniques, temperatures and smells. 50% of diners agree that injecting familiar dishes with trendy flavours is a good way to try new styles*. Diners are often open to trying familiar dishes with trendy flavours, and welcome this introduction to new styles of cuisine.

*Mintel 2016


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Raw & simple

The gap between dining tables and nature is decreasing as consumers look for fresh fruits, vegetables, plants and herbs throughout the day. Using natural ingredients which have been nurtured in the relevant seasons helps to shorten the food supply chain. With vegetarian, vegan and many more diets, many consumers make a conscious decision to eat less meat and more vegetables with 84% of Millennials agreeing that freshness is likely to influence their food and beverage purchases*.

*The Food People 2016


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Grab & go

Over half of all consumers buy meals on-the-go*. There is a widening variety of outlets, kiosks and pop-ups that offer global meal choices. As a result of the demand, diners are keen to see their favourite sit-in restaurants offer a takeaway option, and to meet this demand there is an increasing number of casual dining brands developing cross-over formats.

The success of a ‘grab and go’ offer relies not only on the quality of the food, but on the quality of functional packaging to ensure delivered parcels uphold the brand. Many of us have used a third-party ordering/delivery service to make the most of the increasing accessibility of our preferred dishes. Whilst helping transition the market towards mobile ordering, these services are also enabling smaller restaurants to reach a wider customer base.

*Mintel: 2016 (53%)


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Oriental burst

The overlapping cultures of the Asian regions are emerging on UK menus everywhere. As the world becomes more and more accessible; hints of oriental flavour and sharing formats are much more evident. The delicate balance of each region’s specialised ingredients is carefully proportioned to create balance and harmony at each meal time.

By taking full advantage of the four distinct seasons, the natural mountain ranges and the surrounding waterways, the individual Asian provinces share lots of the same ingredients, yet execute their own specialities in completely different ways. Increasingly these cooking behaviours are trickling into Britain, fusing with other global cuisines to create Mexican Korean, Japanese Mexican and American Korean.

Whilst Chinese and Indian food remains universally popular, 59% of consumers have eaten three or more types of cuisines, and 40% are interested in trying Japanese*.

*Mintel 2016


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America discovered

An influx of distinct, local cuisines from all around the Americas is continuing to transform ever-popular classics. The subtle, and less subtle, additions of flavour, rubs and condiments merge with unique cooking techniques to represent authentic dishes.

Latin American influence is evident in the growth of brands and outlets of Argentinian, Brazilian and Venezuelan origin. They keep in touch with their authenticity through the use of traditional flavours, ingredients and presentation formats. Further growth in the Mexican and South American market is expected; benefitting from bolder flavours, quality cocktails and sharing platters. Interest is also growing in the less-established menus of the American islands with 60% of 18-34s trying a broader range of cuisines than before*.

*MCA 2016


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Great Britain

Backing British is increasingly a focus for our nation’s consumers, be that eating out or shopping for the home. Consumers are developing a passion to support British farmers, artisan producers and local growers. Increasingly, today’s diners are looking for the best British ingredients when they’re in season and taste their best – peak of freshness and flavour. The stamp of provenance provides transparency for chefs, retailers and consumers, delivering reassurances of the origin of the produce.

55% of shoppers are influenced by the Red Tractor logo when deciding on what food to buy*.

*Bidfood 2016


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Better me

The Government’s announced implementation of a sugar tax on soft drinks is generally perceived as a positive initiative to combat obesity. The combination of the tax and the subsequent awareness of sugar content in foods is driving an increase in low/ no sugar, substitute and non-added sugar products. Eliminating sugar in food reflects the wider intention to be healthier, seen in the growth of lifestyle diets – paleo, vegan, gluten-free, and wheat-free. As a consequence, there is a wider availability of free-from products, and a surge in foodservice outlets offering dishes to meet the adoption of these diets, either temporarily or permanently.

79% of those who said they will decrease their sugar consumptions are already concerned about the impact of sugar in their food and drink*.

*CGA Peach 2016


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Street eats

Street food is booming. This style of food is influencing the choices of nearly half of all consumers when eating out of home. As a result of the introduction of global cuisines, reaching consumers through street food formats, there has been a spice revolution with over half us expressing a wider interest in spicy food. The availability and appeal of this informal dining option has traditionally been stronger at lunchtime however, 10% of us are now choosing to eat street food earlier in the day. With such a variety of fresh, good quality food that incorporates an element of theatre, we expect not only the frequency of street food consumption to increase, but also the amount we’re prepared to spend on it.


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Day-part dilemma

Traditional dining timetables have been changing and continue to do so. Consumers, particularly Millennials, are daring to dine out outside the usual meal clock. Breakfast is creeping into later parts of the day, with brunch becoming a social eating occasion, and ‘brinner’ is slowly turning into the evening spot, where consumers enjoy a more leisurely approach to a heartier breakfast. All day dining is promoted much more on menus to offer diners the option to dwell longer at outlets, either to enjoy a wider variety of meal choices across the day or to build in day-parts devoted to afternoon tea, high tea or supper.


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Have a look at the new trends for 2017

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