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What’s Hot? Food Trends Worth Watching


What’s Hot? We take a look at the trends heading our way.

Thinking about what you can do to attract more customers over the coming months?

As caterers you’ll already know how difficult it is to predict what consumers will choose from your menu on any given day, but it is useful to look to the future trends that might influence how you plan your menus.

Certain types of cuisine seem to be gaining popularity – Sri Lankan and Middle-Eastern for example – which offer something a little different, but not TOO different (in the case of Sri Lankan, sufficiently different from Indian) or something we’re familiar with (we’re all aware of hummus from the Middle East).

But thinking more widely than specific cuisines, there are certain trends that are really having impact on consumer choices.

These are healthy eating, plant-based eating, sustainability and accessibility of food to go.

The four trends are intertwined. Plant-based eating is healthy eating (provided it’s done properly); sustainability (of the Earth’s resources) is enhanced by switching to plant-based eating; accessibility of food to go has impacts on sustainability (because of its need for packaging) and healthy eating can be compromised if the food to go is what we might think of as ‘junk food’.

Sustainability means keeping the planet in good shape – reducing carbon emissions and recycling and reducing waste. To reduce global carbon emissions from cattle, many are advocating eating less meat and following a diet that seeks to replace some or all of the meat content with plant-based foods. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re joining the 3.5 million people in the UK who identify as vegan, or even becoming vegetarian, but maybe choosing a ‘flexitarian’ diet where they regularly eat meat-free meals. The trend is definitely growing and with recent data suggesting that more than a quarter of evening meals in the UK are now meat-free it’s important for foodservice operators to take note.  Ensuring you’ve a range of tasty choices for those who fancy something a little more plant-centred when dining out will bring more customers into your foodservice outlet.

You can read more about the importance of including plant-based dishes on your menu here.

With busy lives and little time to stop and eat (whatever happened to the lunch hour?) accessibility of food to go has become increasingly important. Whilst it’s relatively straightforward to offer healthy eating options, providing food for customers to grab and go at any time of day can have a huge detrimental impact on the environment, because takeaway food has to be served in some type of container rather than on a washable (and therefore recyclable) plate or in a cup.

Thankfully we’ve woken up to the vast quantities of non-biodegradable objects choking our planet and an increasing number of consumers are demanding recyclable, eco-friendly packaging for their food on the go. With great alternatives now readily available there’s no excuse for using anything other than environmentally responsible packaging. One of the best materials we’ve found for takeaway containers is bagasse, a by-product of the sugar cane industry. It’s 100% natural, and renewable, recyclable, compostable and biodegradable. Our range of innovative, sturdy products includes plates, trays bowls and boxes, suitable for hot and cold food to go – plus we also have a selection of fully compostable cups and sandwich boxes. And if you want to extend your eco-friendly credentials, why not tie into the trend to ‘reuse’ and encourage your customers to either buy one of your reusable hot beverage containers or bring their own?

Whatever you choose to do, don’t forget to shout about it! #zerowaste

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