UK: Waitrose identifies key food and drink trends
In a newly released Food & Drink 2016 report, Waitrose has identified four broad trends highlighting how what we eat is increasingly becoming a way of expressing who we are and tips a number of trends to watch for the year ahead. [Great insights and presentation from the retail coal-face. Ed]
1. Express your health
Almost three quarters (71%) of Britons see healthy eating and looking after ourselves as part of who we are, according to the Waitrose research. For the majority, eating sensibly is part of their daily routine, rather than something they do episodically or reactively.
People are embracing simpler ways of cooking and this is driving demand for see through packs so they can judge the quality of ingredients for themselves.
2. Hip food
In the past month, one in five Britons has posted a photograph of the food on social media. Unsurprisingly this activity is most popular with the Instagram generation: 1 in 3 18-24 year olds has shared food photos.
However, there is a downside to digital dialogue. A quarter of people, predominantly 45-54 year olds, are concerned that social media prevents us from living in the moment and engaging with eating companions.
3. The conscious consumer
The survey also found consumers are increasingly concerned about the impact of their food and lifestyle choices have on the environment.
80% of shoppers consider how and where their food is sourced when shopping and 46% of shoppers say they discard fewer leftovers than five years ago. A third of shoppers also freeze more than five years ago to save time and money.
4. In is the new out
The research also found the lines between eating out and eating in are blurring. 39% of shoppers see eating out as less of a treat than they used to, and with informal grazing becoming more popular at restaurants, the experience is converging with eating at home.
Key attractions of eating at home include the ability to "set the atmosphere and be ourselves", cited by 61% of those polled and the fact that it is invariably cheaper (54%).
Top trends for 2017
Looking ahead, Waitrose highlighted the following as trends to watch:
Polynesian food: Hawaiian Poke, marinated raw fish salad is tipped as a likely must-eat snack.
Gourmet meal kits: With pre-measured prepped ingredients and recipe are designed to appeal to convenience seeking foodies. Waitrose has just launched meal kit bags to meet this demand.
Lighter eating: Waitrose expects more people to swap heavy sauces for lighter, fresher and brighter ingredients.
Vegetable yoghurt: Now popular in the US, yoghurts infused with carrot, beetroot, sweet potato or tomato could be heading to the UK.
Watermelon water: Championed by Beyonce, could cold pressed water melon juice be 'the future of clean, natural' hydration?
Perfume inspired cocktails: Cafe Royal this year tied up with Givenchy to create 10 fragrance led cocktails. Could these scented cocktails be coming to a bar near you?
Occasional extreme indulgence: As people eat more healthily, the need grows for occasional extreme indulgence. Invented in Australia and celebrated on Instagram, a 'freakshake' is piled high with brownies, cream, cookie dough and marshmallows.
The full Waitrose Food & Drink 2016 report can be downloaded here....