One major plus about being based in Central London is that we are continually exposed to an ever changing range of diverse foods from all over the world. We’re lucky to also work with some of the best brands in this sector…  so here’s our pick of this year’s top food trends to whet your appetite.

Regional wins

The value now placed on sustainability, transparency and supporting local produce means consumers are increasingly seeking dishes that tell stories of the region and the people who bring it to life. This paradigm can now be seen everywhere within the “farm-to-fork” movement and in the UK, 57% of UK adults who use and buy milk drinks or cream are more likely to buy products from a brand or supermarket who openly supports its farmers.

Back to basics

The rise of street food stalls and communal eating venues has resulted in consumers expecting simplicity from food outlets across the board. We are set to see this movement continue where simpler, shorter menus and places that focus on just one or a few dishes become the new norm. This will affect both fine and casual dining, as the barriers are being removed between the two.

Shared space showcasing

The rise in rents, business rates, staff and food costs has made it increasingly difficult for fledgling independent businesses to either launch or survive in an increasingly competitive industry. In the case of Market Halls by one of the founders of Pitt Cue, this is quite literally, bringing them under one roof. Market Halls is a collection of new food halls, including the UK’s biggest planned to enter the UK market in London’s Oxford Street, Fulham and Victoria in 2018. We are set to see more communal dining spaces in 2018.

On-demand food habits

Traditional boundaries of how and when we eat are blurring. The rise of convenience stores and meal plan food delivery services are catering to this trend and home based assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa are increasingly set to become part of the grocery shopping process. This year, we will start to see Amazon’s importance within this sector emerge. Industry headlines have recently been consumed by their brand new automated convenience store, which is likely already challenging the role of the physical supermarket. And it doesn’t stop there. They are also turning up on our doorsteps and making their way into our kitchens through their partnership with Allrecipes to link recipe ingredients directly to AmazonFresh.

Plant-based diets

Plant-based diets are no longer considered ‘niche.’ International meal delivery service, Just Eat, named veganism as a top consumer trend in 2018 as people become more aware of healthy and ethical lifestyle choices. Veganism is one of Britain’s fastest-growing lifestyle movements and the number of people who subscribe to the diet has grown by 500% since 2014 in the US, according to a report by GlobalData 3. Due to the fact that this trend is being driven by younger generations, we can be confident that this will only increase from here.

These food trends show an interesting appetite for innovation and fresh thinking in this sector and we look forward to seeing which of these become mainstream in the year ahead.

To find out more, get in touch at hello@underscore.co.uk

References:
https://www.aacs.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/mintel-report-2018.pdf
https://london.eater.com/2018/1/23/16923014/uk-biggest-food-hall-open-on-oxford-street-fulham-victoria
https://www.lsnglobal.com/opinion/article/21875/will-vegans-eat-in-vitro-meat