During 2016 there was an underground movement forecasting that ‘Plant Butchery’ would storm the food service industry over the coming years.  Whilst this concept (food theory) took shape in 2017 it really exploded into the main stream in 2018 and it is widely recognised that plant-based food concepts will continue to nurture and grow.

It is not too early to make predictions for 2019 as food is a fashion and the fashion industry always works at least 12 months in advance!

1. Three becomes Four: Traditionally we have been told to eat three meal a day – ‘Eat Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince and Dinner like a Pauper. But due to new lifestyles ‘The Rulebook’ is beginning to be torn up. The fourth meal time is not so much about gluttony it is about adapting our meal times to our hectic schedules. In 2019 more people will be adding one more meal time to their daily routine – this is likely to be either between breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner.  This additional meal time is likely to a light healthy choice – probably eaten at the work station.

2. Instant Food: This is not about ‘just adding boiling water’ but how Technology will evolve in to the food service industry. New opportunities will arise for customers to access their food choices. This will make ordering meals and beverages way more convenient, quick and efficient.  Advances in mobile ordering, delivery services, kiosks/pop up kiosks, order for the ‘pick-up’ or order to your table technology is going to become very popular in 2019 and beyond – no kettle required!

3. Zero Food Waste: This has been quite topical now for several years. However, moving forward the topic will not be treated so lightly.  The food industry is addressing this challenge of food waste and developing a technology to increase the shelf life of fresh foods by up to three times.  The process is called Hydro Protective Process (HPP). This green and health friendly technology destroys microorganisms in food products by dipping a packaged food product into a cold-water basin with hydrostatic compression …. Sounds geeky but it is proven and already used by food companies in North America. These HPP foods will be recognised by a blue sticker identifying that the process has been undertaken.It is anticipated that this will be become increasingly popular since foods will be preserved for much longer and could become prevalent in the UK.

4. Food Recovery: Again, fighting the war on unnecessary food waste, chefs, dietitians and food retailers will be giving a thousand and one ways to safely reuse leftovers and to serve them in an appealing fashion.  Faded vegetables, overripe fruits and tired fresh herbs will not be automatically discarded but turned into great food recipes ….. with the given know how. So, we will all be able to create taste sensations by recovering those food items that have ‘gone over!’

5. Fermented Foods: These food types have been kicking around now for while but 2019 will be the break through. Different brands of kombucha will be marketed and retailed; restaurants and casual dining spaces will start to retail bespoke fermented foods.  As an example, we will see more kimchi, pickles, sauerkraut, tempeh, kefir and many other foods fermented, cooked and offered to the consumer.  The idea of consuming the least amount of processed food types and substitute with food types with increased probiotics which will not only be good to the palette but improve the immune system will rise.

6. Naked Food:  The virtue of raw foods will become more and more popular both within the media, restaurants and the food service industry. Vegetables, meats, starchy foods, nuts will all be viewed and tasted with a vintage angle. This trend started mainly in California and popularised by the Hollywood stars!  From a health and well-being point of view the lack of cooking helps preserve nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, lipids, minerals and vitamins….. nude does not always mean rude!

7. Food Label Transparency:  Over the past few years the government have required food manufacturers to provide clearer list of information on food packaging that is retailed within our shops – enabling healthier food choices.  Further transparency on provenance and how products are made, transported or genetically manipulated will be a hot topic and pressure, from the consumer, will be placed on government to enforce new laws on labels on food packages.

8. Food with no Secrets:  There is an increasing demand by consumers to avoid nitrites, sulphites and carcinogens.  These are often not transparent, so the food industry will be introducing new foods that are free from ingredients that considered to be harmful to health and not stealthy hidden on the label.  Food manufactures who ignore this movement do so at their own peril.

9. ‘Bowled’ over: A few years back it was in vogue to serve ‘bowl food’ for hospitality guests … this practise has now fortunately been recently relinquished – fish and chips, cottage pie …. what were we thinking of?! However, the bowl is making a main stream comeback. Whether it being a poke bowl, a ramen bowl, a pasta bowl, a buddha bowl, a cereal bowl or a smoothie bowl we will all be eating from one ….. so long as the presentation is delightful.

10. The Sugar Saga: There was a time when the fight was against fat but more recently the number one public enemy is sugar.  This targeted focus will not slow down in 2019.  Recent studies show that a high sugar consumption significantly increases the risk of cancer and has a very negative impact on metabolism – particularly if sugar is added in processed products. Look out for other natural sweetening alternatives.

11. Allergenic Movement:  The number of people with allergies or food intolerances has increased extraordinary quickly over the past 5 years and the food industry has been extremely agile in line with this evolution.  So, we are all now witnessing an explosion of new food type products resulting from the innovation and research development.  Milk-free ice cream, gluten free breads and biscuits being made without ingredients such as nuts, eggs and even flour …. where will it stop? Expect further exciting developments for 2019.

12. Spice Me Up:  With the increased use of spices, expect further mixology of the already super spices such as turmeric, acai, green tea, ginger, cardamom and cinnamon.  Not only do they contain great properties that are beneficial to health, spices will continue to enhance and push the boundaries of food and drink.

13. I’m a Celebrity: As the global population grows new sources of protein need to be identified to sustain demand. Insects appear a more and more sensible choice on many levels.  Low in fat, they exist in large quantities and are abundant.  Many countries already use insects as part of their stable diet and the Western World is beginning to wake up and realise this potential ….though a strong hearts and mind program needs to be adopted to change cultural habits.  It is not unusual now to see insect powders being retailed in certain shops to enhance drinks or food dishes. Expect an increase in availability, not a revolution ….. just yet. 

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