2018 was perhaps the peak and demise of avocados and both street food and kombucha hit the food scene hard. But what is in set to make waves in 2019? We did our research across several sources and have picked twelve of our favourite trends predicted for the year to come.
This one claims the top spot for obvious reasons, but as more people vow and commit to eating less meat, restaurants and brands will have more demand for veggie options. And to this, we say, ‘hooray!’
2- Zero Waste Eating and Food Recovery
The momentum has been building, and more and more restaurants and chefs are championing the movement. No need to throw away the tops, roots or ends and so what if your veg is a bit wrinkly – it’s all still perfectly edible. Supermarkets are even joining in, with one of the largest chains scraping their ‘best before dates’ on fruit and veg, and this years it is likely that others will follow suit.
3- Alcohol-free Cocktails and ‘Spirits’
It is reported that about a third of 16-25 year olds in the UK don’t drink. 2018 also saw the beginning of the ‘mindful drinking’ movement and sobriety is very much alive and well amongst millennials. So expect to see more non-alcoholic cocktails in restaurants and bars, bars devoted to non-alcoholic cocktails and a growth in the non-alcoholic ‘spirits’ market.
4- Fermented Foods
Depending on your food circles, 2018 might have seemed like the year that kimchi and kombucha went mainstream. You aren’t delusional, they did. But the end of 2018 saw more fermented products come to market and with more research hitting the press with evidence of the health benefits, more people are likely to be buying and making their own.
5- Unusual Ice Cream Flavours
The reinvention of ice cream for the dairy-free market happened, and the quality of dairy-free ice creams have improved quite drastically. But we’re set not only to see more milk-free alternatives being used, but also more inventive/intriguing flavour combinations like seaweed sorbet or wasabi and maple.
6- Alternative Greens
Kale has had its day and these days you’ll find more unusual and sustainable greens on menus. Look out for the likes of lichen and dulse. Yum?
7- Vegan Fine Dining
The restaurants that do this, do it well and as a result of their successes, many will attempt to hop on the bandwagon. It’ll be a tough one to pull off as this requires a certain level of skill and inventiveness that you won’t find amongst many classically trained chefs. And it will be hard to sell extortionately priced vegan tasting menus to the masses. So we’ll wait and see how this one fares.
8- West African Food
Encompassing a diverse range of foods from across 16 African countries, West African cuisine is known for dishes such as groundnut stew, fufu, jollof rice and egusi soup. Whilst modern day West African food is more meaty, traditionally, the cuisine heavily features pulses such as black eye beans and veg such as pumpkin, leafy greens, aubergine and okra. It will be exciting to see this trend take off in the UK’s increasingly diverse food scene.
9- Heritage Grains
With the rise of wheat intolerances, partially attributed to the modern methods of wheat production, we will see more restaurants (and home cooks) embracing grains grown locally that harken back to the days before sliced bread. Heritage grains are said to be heartier and more sustainable as they are more resistant to pests (and less likely to need spraying). Grains such as teff, freekah and spelt have already gained popularity in the ‘wholefoods’ circles and this is set to grow more widely. Øland wheat, a heritage Danish grain, similar to einkorn will be popping up in breads and we’ll see more restaurants milling their own grains in-house.
10- Pared-down Menus
With reducing food waste high on the food industry’s radar, it’s not a surprise that we’ll see menus shrinking. After all, waste = lost profits. But profits aside, diners are seeing the lack of choice on menus as a positive sign, and preferring to eat in places where time and attention is given to food, meaning you’ll get fewer options cooked well.
11- New Non-plastic Packaging
In 2018, campaigns raised awareness of the large quantities of plastic thrown away daily and the dangers of micro and nano plastics. We would be lying if we said we didn’t find this frightening. The race to reduce plastic is on, from produce bags, takeaway containers to coffee cups the food industry has had to take a closer look at the amount of plastic it is passing on to the consumer . This year, we will see more new biodegradable plastics, such as plastics made from crab and shrimp peels, seaweed, algae, and agricultural waste.
12- Meat Alternatives
Aka ‘motherless meat’, essentially meat made in a lab has generated somewhat of a frenzy on the food scene, alongside a boom in vegan fast food, of which 80% is over-stuffed, oozy burgers. Products like Quron previously masqueraded as beef, but failed to convince meat eaters as a passable substitute for the real thing. But the arrival of the Beyond Meat Patty, a 100% plant-based burger that has been designed to look, cook and taste like beef has started what is set to be a 2019 food trend. The burger was released in November 2018 in 359 Tesco stores across the nation and many burger chains have been quick to put it on their menus with success. In the US, Beyond Burgers are sold alongside meat, in a bid to expand the vegetarian and vegan market to flexitarians. So far sales suggest that the UK are embracing beefless beef and we’re keeping an eye out for what comes next.
Which of these trends are you hoping take off? Any others that you’d like to see the end of before they even start? Either way, here’s to watching it all unfold!