A TASTE OF 2018
Restaurants and chefs have played a major role in shifting everyday eating habits for some time. In 2018 we will continue to see UK food professionals set the pace. Here are some ‘flavours for thought’ that could set this year alight.
Waste not, want not
Over the last two years, there has been a bubbling faction trying to tackle food waste. Organisations like Wrap UK have been active in educating consumers about food waste and sustainability. This will see the mindset of limiting food waste, enter more into people’s everyday thinking when making eating decisions. Ultimately leading to changes in their eating habits.
There are an estimated 200,000 tonnes of food waste produced by restaurants each year. Although 2018 might not see the balance fully tip into a cultural norm – it has the potential to be a pivotal year. There are already some well-established names doing great things in this space But also, some nimble start-ups cutting new paths; Bean and Wheat close to London’s Liverpool Street station is a very good example and use preserving techniques like pickling to minimise wastage and maximise flavour.
There was lots of “sciency” chatter in 2017, but now it really feels like the tide is turning on meaty meat-free alternatives. Restaurant’s like The Diner based in London are leading the way with the launch of their separate Vegan and vegetarian menus which contain special delights like vegan pancakes, vegan mac and cheese, and southern fried seitan. It has been very popular, a sure part of this was because it’s new but there is an undercurrent amongst many carnivores that mixing it up a bit is good for their gastric health and the planet.
In 2018 it will be interesting to see how restauranteurs respond to the Silicon Valley taste technicians. Developing exciting and innovative, meat-free menus could have a real impact on consumer eating habits.
More than one in five now say they do not drink alcohol at all – around 10.6 million people – up 2 percent since 2005. The proportion of people who admitted drinking on five or more days a week has almost halved since the ONS began recording the data in 2005, from 16.8% to 9.6% in 2016. This is giving rise to more and more restaurants and bars looking to create more thoughtful alcohol-free options for diners.
Floral flavours such as lavender, orange blossom, elderflower, and violet are expected to blossom next year. These could tempt consumers to spend more on non-alcoholic options rather than defaulting to the standard fall-backs. Additionally, the introduction of tea pairing menus could offer real changes to consumer eating habits. Encouraging people to enjoy food and tea together.
The restaurant with infinite covers
Deliveroo is arguably one of the world’s newest super brands. It has transformed the food people can get delivered in over 150 cities across the globe. Whilst enabling over 25,000 restaurants to connect with consumers in new ways. This has brought challenges, and new tax rules on packaging will create even more. However, in 2018 with the growth of the home market, they can gain a firmer grip on how consumers experience their offers at home. There is so much opportunity for restaurants and chefs to capitalise on these changing eating habits.
The further roll-out of Deliveroo’s editions kitchens will be one to watch in 2018 and could give restaurants the opportunity to reclaim and redefine their eating spaces as the delivery offer can be cooked in more logistically savvy locations.
A royal feast
In 2011, Prince William’s and Kate Middleton’s marriage brought on a half billion pound consumer spending spree. And although Prince Harry and Megan Markle’s marriage may be less important to the throne it is still set to be one of the year’s highlights and will create a range of opportunities for the UK hospitality industry.
Megan Markle is already setting trends – the coat she wore in her first public appearance sold out within hours. This frenzy will inevitably see the food served come under media scrutiny. It could set alight a series of micro foods, flavours and drink trends in 2018.