It’s that time of year when everyone starts looking into their crystal balls and making predictions about what 2016 will hold, and the thing that we’re most interested in? Food, of course!
We’ve read the magazines and scoured the internet to bring you a round-up of what we think will be the five biggest food trends of 2016.
1. Alternative everything
From new sources of protein, to plant based scrambled egg and innovations in gluten-free, the ‘alternative’ market is set to become mainstream in 2016. Already this year, we’ve seen a growing hype around these so-called ‘healthier’ options as people become increasingly conscious about what they put in their bodies and the effect that food production has on the planet.
2. The rise of the ‘flexitarian’
You heard us, ‘flexitarian’, the part-time vegetarian who has reduced their meat consumption because of health, sustainability or animal welfare concerns. This trend will challenge producers and manufactures to develop better meat alternatives and adhere to more animal-friendly processes as the consumer’s conscience grows. We can’t wait to see what weird and wonderful things they come up with!
3. Internet power
Online grocery shopping might not seem new anymore but we are still on the cusp of an e-revolution as companies start to challenge the way we think about food shopping and delivery services. Products like Amazon Fresh, Deliveroo and Burger King delivery, along with the dramatic rise of Apps has made food purchases fast, impulsive and convenient.
In the same breath, you can also consider the power of social media – whether you’re tweeting #foodporn or sharing a disappointing review, social media has made us even more obsessed with what we’re eating.
4. Clear label
More transparency around, and a focus on, simpler products free from additives will take the 2015 ‘Clear label’ trend to the next level in 2016. The biggest area for new product development at the moment is reportedly organic food, suggesting that this trend will continue to be key next year.
Likewise, consumers are getting more suspicious not just about how and where their food is grown, but how it is processed. Established practices will be put under the spotlight as consumers seek out unprocessed products and return to ‘natural’ processes like fermentation which claims a host of health benefits.
5. Dining solo
Busy lives and longer working hours mean that more consumers are living in single-person households or eating out alone, on-the-go. The stigma surrounding solo dining is dissipating and savvy restaurants and supermarkets are starting to capitalise on this US-led trend. The purchasing power of single people in America is estimated at $1.9 trillion – not something to be ignored any longer!