The emerging food, drink, and consumer trends for spring and summer this year have been outlined in a new report by Estrella Damm.
The brewer claims that its study, undertaken alongside chef Joan Roca, shows how pubs and bars can take advantage of seasonal developments.
It revealed that foraging, local sourcing of produce, reducing food waste, transparency in ingredients, and embracing the plant-based movement can give bars a unique selling point this year and beyond.
The study claimed that, in a world of fake news, transparency and integrity in food and drink production are vital to earn consumer trust. Diners want to be able to trace a product back through an ethical supply chain to where it was produced, setting a new benchmark for advocacy and loyalty, the brand claimed.
The report outlines the rise of forgotten foods through foraging, including wood sorrel, ramsons, and lichen. It also revealed the concept of “hyper-seasonality” where some ingredients are only available for a very limited time throughout the year, and this was associated with “hyper -ocal” cooking styles.
Food waste was also highlighted as particularly important for consumers with operators conscious of wastage offering “root to stem” or “nose to tail” dining, including all parts of the plant or animal, such as celery root, beet leaves, offal, and cod heads. Fermenting, pickling and preserving produce was also done to avoid waste.
It also found that meat was increasingly seen as a treat and consumers were looking for plant-based produce such as nut and plant milk substitutes, mushrooms, root vegetables, and algae.
Additionally, the report found Middle Eastern cuisine, health foods, scientifically-altered food, insect protein, corporate social responsibility, experiential dining, gourmet home cooking and ‘conscious dining’ as other key trends for 2018.
Chef Joan Roca, said: “As chefs, we have a responsibility to raise awareness and encourage new ways of enjoying food and drink, and this year is undoubtedly the year of the planet.
“Our health as human beings is deeply related to the health of the planet, just as the health of the planet is deeply related to health of human beings, and I am committed to promoting this through my work in the years ahead.”
James Healey, Estrella Damm UK country manager, said: “This year has identified transparency and the wellness of our planet as key trends for 2018, which is very exciting for us, in line with our own business ethos, and a key opportunity for food and drinks businesses in the UK.
“Estrella Damm has been brewed using local Mediterranean ingredients and the original recipe since 1876, so it’s great to see that knowing where your food and drinks come from is becoming important to not only us and restaurateurs but also to consumers.”