2019 is fast approaching and as the countdown towards the end of the year begins, thoughts are already turning to what we’re going to be up to next. Helpfully, Waitrose have just published their annual trend report that doesn’t just look back on what we’ve been chowing down on all year – hello miso, sourdough and jackfruit – it also predicts what’s on the table for the future.
Here are the top food and drink trends for 2019:
It’s official: an ice cream is for year-round, not just for summer! This year supermarket ice cream sales hit £1bn, and with street food influences flooding in from the Far East – think Thailand, Hong King and Taiwan – new producers and parlours are producing new textures, colours and flavours that just happen to look great on Instagram too. Ever tried a taco ice cream? Or a bubblewrap waffle filled with gelato? It’s never been cooler to be seen with a cone.
West African cuisine
The British fondness for spice is well-known, and next year we’re taking it to new heights with flavourful food from West Africa. From Ghana to Senegal, Nigeria to Mali, vibrant dishes like tangy chicken yassa or tasty jollof rice are easy to cook and made to share.
Forget salty, sweet or sour – next year we’re all going to get a bit bitter. The taste is already popular in drinks like the negroni or Aperol Spritz, while high-cocoa chocolate and kale are also part of our mainstream meals, and the trend for charring food in restaurants to get a distinctive tang is increasingly widespread.
Inventive and alcohol-free cocktails
Demand for alcohol-free drinks is higher than ever in the UK – almost a third of 16 to 25 year-olds say they don’t drink alcohol. Waitrose predict booze-free ‘spirits’ will be big, adding complex flavours to your tipple, while the trend for living more sustainably will also find its way into your glass, with the use of vegetable rinds and fruit peels reducing waste. They also tip savoury flavours like pickled onion or beetroot, aquafaba – chickpea water to be used for vegan foam – and the use of gut-friendly kombucha as a mixer.
A step beyond the FitBit, Waitrose believes that the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to benefit our health and diet is just around the corner, using smartphones, laptops or Alexa-style devices. As the use of phone-based GP services increases across the UK, and NHS England publishing its code of conduct for the use of AI this year, a revolution in personalised dietary advice is on the way.
And the biggest trend of all? ‘Being mindful’, according to Waitrose partner and managing director Rob Collins. ‘As we become increasingly mindful of our own health, the wellbeing of our family and that of the planet, we’re reshaping how we shop, cook and eat.’ It’s why the supermarket have also committed to reducing plastic use and are improving ranges to fit flexitarian, vegetarian and vegan diets.
Sounds delicious to us!
Feature by Miranda Thompson