5 Food trends retailers need to know about
“Customers will also put more pressure on companies to stop using as much plastic, which will result in innovative and new packaging designs.” James Cadbury, Founder of Love Cocoa
2017 saw veganism and plant-based diets increase in popularity whilst consumers are becoming more environmentally-conscious and experimental in their tastes. Here are some of the top food trends that experts predict will make an impact in this year.
1) Street Food at home
“Throughout 2017, we analysed street food trends on social media so we could see what is going to be popular and what already is booming. The quick answer is woodfired pizza! On Instagram specifically, woodfired pizza had an 80% rise in hashtag use from June this year. We expect that this trend will continue with vegan influences and increased vegetable toppings, especially as veggie ‘meat’ is becoming more popular and widespread”
Luigi Pannozzo, founder of Gazeboshop
Look out for kitchen and dining products that complement a street food upsurge and keep vegan and vegetarian diets front of mind for gifting.
2) Coffee cocktails
According to Tia Maria’s Future Laboratory report, espresso tonic is set to make waves in 2018, adding to the classic recipe of coffee and cocktails, such as the public favourite - espresso martini. They predict coffee cocktails to become the hottest cocktail bar trend in not only 2018, but the coming decade. They predict fusions of coffee in an array of cocktails so it is not the singular ingredient but one component in a machine of alcoholic elegance.
Look for this trend to spread to at-home dining. Amazon currently sells more glassware than any other table top category with glasses for alcohol taking the biggest share of the consumer pound. Gadgets for cocktails seem like a wise bet.
3) The Happy Meal
According to the Fitness and wellness trends for 2018 report by Balance Festival:
“2018 will be the year the ‘Happy Meal’ is reinvented. We’ll soon be checking food labels for serotonin-boosting ingredients, such as tryptophan which is found in bananas, walnuts, salmon and green tea. Great for emotional stability, calmness, good sleep and a general state of wellbeing, serotonin is known as the “happy hormone”. Shorter, darker days and cold weather are all thought to decrease the body’s natural serotonin levels, making it especially important to fuel your body full of them in the New Year – how else are you going to smash through all those resolutions?”
While this trend is very specific – it feeds into the wider truth that consumers care more and more about what goes into their food. Food gifts are no exception and endless ingredient lists full of chemical nasties may not cut the mustard. Think too about packaging, plastic needs to be recyclable and many customers will be looking for products packaged in more environmentally friendly materials.
4) Japanese dude food
According to the Waitrose food and drink report 2017-18, Japanese dude food is pitched to be a big sharing dish trend setter.
In Japanese izakaya bars (a gastropub alternative) gusty dude food is the preferred option over noodles and ramen. This will see meatier, deeper fried tofu and chicken skewer alternatives as people get to chow down on a lot more food than is typically expected. Picture hearty US style dishes with Japanese flavours, it’s a big year for the big-eaters.
Ready meals and meal kits are likely to track this trend. Think about dining accessories or books to ride the wave.
5) Food packaging
“We think companies are going to be more creative with their packaging. As the developing consumer conscience starting to have impact down the shopping aisles, businesses who engage could well see a jump in sales. Customers will also put more pressure on companies to stop using as much plastic, which will result in innovative and new packaging designs.”
James Cadbury, Founder of Love Cocoa:
Don’t get left behind, small retailers can move much more quickly than large chains and this is the time to take advantage. Work with your suppliers to reduce and adapt packaging, and carefully scrutinise the use of all single use plastic in your store.