Lucy Pedrick, Insights Manager at Bidfood, provides her thoughts on what will be hot in the kitchen throughout the upcoming year
It will come as no surprise that the year ahead is set to be filled with an array of world cuisines. There's a growing interest in international travel and enthusiasm for tasting novel food continues to capture the nation. While diners still love traditional fare, it's safe to say the new wave of sought-after flavours hail from further afield. In fact, 39% of diners now choose to eat Thai cuisine regularly and a further 20% opt for Japanese dishes.
To meet consumers' ever-evolving demand for new and exciting cuisines, operators need to continue to monitor food trends closely. To help with this, Bidfood has identified the key trends that will shape menus over the next 12 months. Here are three brand new themes set to capture the nation's interest:
The desire to try new, authentic global foods is reflected in the growing interest for cuisine from the Middle East and North Africa. In line with this movement, operators are offering a mix of traditional Middle Eastern ingredients and spices, cleverly fused with well-known Western dishes. To tap into this movement and give menus an added flair, try incorporating the likes of beetroot hummus and baked harissa tortilla triangles onto menus.
Think shoreline fish, quality meat and local produce reflecting dietary choices from Scandinavia and the Balkans, right through to the east and west of the Mediterranean. Bringing cooking back to its very basics by creating simplistic and fresh meals is a great way to meet this trend. Why not try a simple recipe of pork and potato dumplings finished with fresh dill or chives?
No stranger to menus and certainly adored by many, Asian cuisine will again feature highly in 2018. The Asian taste experience has had a real boost, as consumers look for deeper, bolder and richer flavours from across the continent, including sesame oil, miso paste and lemongrass.
As well as classic dishes, such as dim sum and spicy noodle soup, new and innovative concepts are being incorporated onto menus. One growing trend is Korean and American fusion food, which combines the culture and tastes associated with both cuisines, with dishes such as Korean-inspired tacos growing in popularity. The new year provides the perfect opportunity to refresh menus and give them that extra punch. Incorporating upcoming trends is key for operators looking to stand out in an already crowded market and gain new sources of inspiration for future flavour combinations.
• Street eats Kerbside dining remains exciting to consumers who like to eat their way around the world in a less traditional manner.
• Better me As consumers become increasingly health conscious, they are looking for food choices that are nutritious, well-balanced and support a busy lifestyle and exercise regime. In fact, the likes of vegan and free-from options are coming to the fore, with sales of free-from food increasing by 36% in 2017 and a further
542,000 Britons now following a vegan diet.
• Day-part dilemma All-day dining hits the spot for consumers who want to eat what they want, when they want.
• Grab and go As consumer lifestyles become faster-paced, there is a larger demand for immediacy and portability across foodservice.
• Americas discovered
•Great Britain There's still love for home comforts but with a modern twist, while new ingredients and regional tastes are increasingly coming to the fore.
View Bidfood's 'Food and Drinks Trends 2018' at www.bidfood.co.uk/2018-trends
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