Food trends in 2017 and 2018: from barbecue sauce to vegan pizzas
The year 2017 has seen an abundance of innovative proposals in the food and beverage sector: ideas, projects and actions aimed at improving the quality of products, making them more practical and, ultimately, more attractive to consumers, who are demanding more and more in terms of quality and sustainability.
Some of the most innovative products have been presented on special occasions for the food sector, such as the World Food Innovation Awards 2017. This UK event, which counts on the support of the International Food & Drink Event (IFE) (the most important trade fair in the sector in the United Kingdom), has handed out awards in 2017 for new flavours and concepts presented by companies from around the world, such as energy bars made with cricket flour and burgers made entirely with vegetables.
In the former case, the company Jimini’s has opted to introduce insects into food, something the UN itself has predicted. In fact, a quarter of the world’s population already includes insects in its daily diet, especially in Latin America. On the other hand, this is a risky bet because of the initial cultural shock it may cause among consumers.
Nonetheless, companies like Grub have been commercializing with the consumption of insects since 2015. According to data published by the consultancy firm New Nutrition Business, this sector will move about 65 million euros in 2020, which is why many food industry entrepreneurs have moved into this line of business.
In comparison, foods such as 100% vegan hamburgers, nuggets and meatballs, like those sold by the French manufacturer ICI&LA, have found a bigger space in consumer shopping bags around the world. The texture, flavours and aromas of this type of products have attracted those consumers who prefer healthy foods that also have a lower impact on the environment, as is the case.
This trend suggests that veganism will continue to conquer shopping baskets and restaurants worldwide in 2018. In fact, next year Purezza will open the first pizzeria in London to feature a menu consisting exclusively of vegan foods.
In 2017 the food and beverage sector has also seen the need to identify the flavours that consumers like best. For example, the publication Food Business News predicted that, in the summer, products with fresh organoleptic notes would yield the main role to anything that reminds us of a family barbecue, with flavours reminiscent of what is cooked on a grill.
Along these lines, Kevan Vetter, executive chef at McCormick, a multinational food condiment company, affirmed that one of the flavour trends in restaurants and supermarkets would be barbecue sauce, which would replace tomato sauce and ketchup as a dressing.
Undoubtedly, barbecue sauce has found a place in the gatherings of family and friends where meat takes the centre stage. Furthermore, this dressing, which is mostly used on hamburgers, is generally available at all restaurants and establishments that sell this typical American product.
According to Comax Flavors, floral flavours have also been a trendsetter and gained popularity during 2017, with proposals of floral combinations such as cranberry with a touch of hibiscus, vanilla with orange blossom, and raspberry with lavender. Various new products with these kinds of interesting combinations have been launched, such as delicious, crispy rice cakes with dark chocolate, orange and orange blossom.
On the other hand, with the coming of the new year fresh predictions are being made about trends in food and beverage consumption. According to the British chain of supermarkets Waitrose, Indian food will come into its own again, not the usual strong sauces and chicken tikka masala but smoked and grilled delicacies.
And with the rise of veganism, vegetable proteins will become another trend, as more and more people replace meat proteins with those provided by legumes, seeds, soybeans, sprouts and algae, according to the supermarket chain.
Brunch and Japanese foods will also figure in our everyday lives. In the latter case, the proposal will consist of the abundant food typical of the southern United States combined with the rich, surprising flavours of Tokyo. So consumers can start looking forward to yakitori skewered chicken and fried tofu.