7 Major Food Trends That Will Affect Your Business in 2017

From a growing interest in street food to the rise of new “flexitarian” diets, we continuously work with our customers to keep up-to-date with latest consumer food trends and cooking styles as they enter the market.

Here are the latest trends you need to know about…

Street food

Street food has reinvented the way consumers eat and interact with food producers. As dining has become more informal, consumers now want a quicker and easier eating experience. The food service industry continues to adopt this street food culture, as sharing and tasting dishes has become the norm and consumers look for more fun within their food choices and dining experiences.

Pulses and ancient grains

As you may or may not know, 2016 was the international year of the pulse. Pulses and ancient grains have been used for their great nutritional value. They are used in the massive trend of free from products and are an alternative source of protein. Used whole or as pulse flours, expect to see the rise of Teff, an Ethiopian grain, which retains its nutrients during the milling process.

Vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian

Once, veganism was considered something of a minority. However, these days, consumers are embracing a healthier lifestyle and more diverse diets. “Flexitarian”, Vegetarian and Vegan diets are growing and consumers are demanding new products to suit their chosen diets. This is reflected in the number of vegan food products launched in Europe between 2014 and 2017. According to Mintel, there have been over 6,000 new launches, with Germany taking the top spot and the UK coming in second.

Burgers and BBQ

Charring, burning and smoking are the cooking techniques of the moment. The gourmet burger and barbecue phenomenon has been in full swing for some time, and yet the popularity of the burger and barbecue doesn’t appear to be wavering. Burger innovation appears to be limitless, is taking on other food trends and continuously evolving.

“Free-From” products

Consumers now expect a wide range of free-from options and the food industry is not disappointing. According to the latest data released by Nielson’s annual analysis of supermarket sales, “Free-from” product sales increased by £122.9m, or 18.9%, in 2016. The growth of “free-from”, especially “gluten-free”, means it is now worth £772.2m a year. Expect this market to continue to grow as manufacturers focus investment in “free-from” NPD.

High protein & high fibre products

High protein products have increased greatly in popularity in the last few years. With consumers increased interest in Health & Nutrition, protein is now appearing in unusual and unexpected places as food manufacturers are enriching their products with extra protein. Warburton’s was the first major manufacturer to develop high protein bread which is also high in fibre. Expect NPD in high protein to extend to new product areas.

Raw sensation

This trend is all about how raw foods feel and taste. Consumers are seeking out raw foods for freshness, texture and crunch – there is often nothing more satisfying than the first bite into a carrot stick. There is something pure and simplistic about uncooked foods, reminding us that we can choose to steer clear of processes and cooking techniques if we want to.

This trend differentiates itself from the health-focused movement of those not wanting to eat food cooked over 42 degrees.

Manufacturers can answer this trend by creating these textures in their products to meet the Sensory Experience they require.

You can find out more about consumer texture preferences and the importance of Sensory Experience here.