You’re probably all ‘fooded’ out as you read this, and I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and New Year, filled with all your favourite indulgencies, and are enthusiastically looking forward to all that 2017 may hold for you, not least all the delicious food and drink which will be presented to us.
Here we are then…another New Year, so it’s time for us to look to and try to predict what the new trends in food will be for 2017. I’m going to put my neck on the line here with my prediction, which is that I believe 2017 will belong to; raw, plant, wellness and botanicals. I’ve also read a lot about ‘purple power’ so it will be interesting to see where we head with our taste buds as the year unfolds, and if watermelon juice gives coconut water the predicted run for its money.
So, where do the trends come from, and how can we tap into them? We can see a link to what we are offered in the supermarkets to what is being served up to us in restaurants and eating out in general which includes the exciting street food and pop up restaurant scene, and we are all continually ‘eating with our eyes’ as we browse through an abundance of food images on social media daily, no wonder then that supermarkets look to these sources when they are looking at what will trend.
So, what of the purple predictions of how colourful our plates are going to look? Purple cauliflower, black rice, purple asparagus, elderberries, acai, purple sweet potatoes, purple corn and cereal are all tipped to make their way to our favourites this year, I’m personally all for this, and hope this does come to fruition, what’s not to like when you have vibrant colours on your plate with the added bonus of all the antioxidants and health benefits in there.
The seam running through my predictions of raw, plant, wellness and botanicals is that of my belief that aspirations for leading a cleaner and healthier lifestyle are evermore gaining traction. There is a rise in vegetarian and flexitarian eating which is great news for product innovation in this sector, the demand for animal product alternatives is growing, and I think will continue.
This is coupled with a greater demand from consumers of transparency in their food, which runs through all aspects from the ingredients, to production, supply chain and the actual brand. Consumers are ‘falling in love’ more with smaller brands, and love their ability to better understand their needs and values, so trends in food run deeper than the food and ingredients, but through to the core of the producer, and how consumers perceive them.
I predict that botanical, and non-alcoholic drinks, will be an area where further growth will also come, and ‘mock-tails’ becoming more popular. I have a long-standing interest in functional foods, and think that these will play a bigger role in wellness drinks with ingredients such as Kava and Turmeric becoming heroes.
Something which I would like to see us moving faster toward in 2017 is affordable options to everyone looking to improve their diets and lifestyles, where producers and retailers can get their heads together and low income doesn’t equal poor choice and where healthy food and healthier products are widely available to all.
In summary my ‘hot picks’ are;
- Plant Based
- Non-alcoholic drinks
- Watermelon Juice
- Coconut products still gaining strength
If I was to pick wild cards in addition to my hot picks for 2017 they would be cold brewed coffee, and savoury do-nuts… I’ll check back in Jan 2018 to see if that ‘crystal ball’ prediction was right! Here’s to a happy, healthy, and foodie filled 2017.