Top food trends

Gut Food

Fermented and preserved foods have been with us for centuries and now, along with probiotics, they are gaining more exposure and gathering popularity for the health benefits they bring.

Plant-based eating

Food producers and environmentalists are encouraging us to try new forms of protein, and meat alternatives such as quorn and soya-based proteins are moving up in the dietary mix. When big business chains like Pret a Manger start opening Veggie Pret stores focused on organic, natural, non-meat options, you know this is a trend that is here to stay.

Drinking

Apparently you no longer need a drink to enjoy yourself. Mocktails are big and the inventiveness of mixologists is maintaining momentum with vegan and free-from mocktails now on the menu and some airlines are bang on trend and adding inflight theatre by mixing signature specials.

Bespoke choices

As eating out is now more of a luxury, many consumers have real favourites for when they do pay out. Airlines can tap into this with partnerships that allow passengers to order from their favourite fine dining establishment for bespoke consumption onboard. Watch out for brand partnerships and tech solutions from Ifleat

Vegetarianism

The number of people committed to cutting out meat is rising faster than ever before for both health and ethical reasons. More people than ever before are switching to vegetarianism and veganism, and with the growth of products meeting this market, increasingly meat eaters too are picking up vegetarian choices and recognising the benefits both in terms of taste
and variety.

Spice it up

Hotter and spicier foods are gaining in popularity ans it’s not just the heat consumers crave, but variety in flavourings. They are getting to know the chilli in all its different types, tastes and subtleties. Hotter chilli and stronger coffee and tea, all seem to be the hallmark of today’s preferences as perhaps our palates get less sensitive and crave a bigger hit.

Second life eating

This trend is being driven by the ‘waste not want not’ environmentally-conscious consumer. Its focus is on all that fruit and veg that goes unsold in supermarkets and encourages caterers and consumers to embrace ‘ugly’ mis-shapen produce and use it to make good-quality juices and soups. When it is too good to waste, these ingredients can be used creatively and taste great. They are perfect for airlines and are a simple way to give a great back story to the catering offer. In the UK, for example, Rejuce (rejuce.co.uk) is leading the way with a successful range of cold-pressed juices made from ‘ugly fruit’ and ‘wonky veg’.

Free-from

Gluten-free and free-from foods in general are here to stay. Choice has increased dramatically and as airlines see demand increase many caterers are now doing Special Meals really well. They have certainly moved beyond pasta and fruit salad.

Nootropics

Never heard of it? This is food for function, chosen to improve memory, creativity, or motivation, and in some cases eaten as supplements or shakes as a meal replacement. Some ranges, such as Huel, are positioned as ideal for those that are so constantly on the go they can’t find time to eat!