- Functional Foods
Understandably, we’re now paying even more attention to how we can protect our health through diet and educating ourselves on what vitamins and nutrients our bodies need. Expect functional claims, nutrient and vitamin call-outs to become a lot more prominent on pack.
Taste the trend: Freshly Fermented’s delivery service gives you all you need to create your own gut-health boosting Kombucha from scratch.
- Low Waste Recipes
Food waste is a big issue – the UK throws away 6.6 million tonnes of household food waste each year and in the US it’s more then 40 million tonnes. Food bloggers and chefs are stepping up to tackle the problem, starting from home, with recipes that make ingenious use of peelings, seeds and veg past their best.
Taste the trend: @maxlamanna’s ingenious banana peel pulled ‘pork’.
- South East Asian ingredients
With vegan recipes taking over the world, it’s all about the power of the condiment to elevate those veggies, and South East Asia offers up a treasure trove of flavour enhancing ingredients. Waitrose reported that staples such as Chinese Rice Vinegar sales were up 194% last year, and Mirin Rice Vinegar up by 188%. And if you haven’t got a crispy chilli oil in your cupboard, you need to get some, immediately.
Taste the trend: @tiffy.cooks for the most salivating, easy Asian dishes on Instagram.
AKA eating insects. Not a new idea to the 2.5 billion people in the world who regularly eat this protein rich, highly sustainable food source, but one that we need start-up power to convince a squeamish European and North American crowd to embrace. We’ll also start to see more supply chains embrace insect-derived products as eco-friendly solutions for fertilisers, feed and ingredients.
Taste the trend: If you have a veg patch, try Hexafly’s organic, eco-friendly plant-fertiliser.
- Nostalgic Classics
Lockdown earlier this year saw consumers turn to familiar classics for comfort – 76% of UK consumers cooked a traditional-style dish during lockdown, and 37% of revisited dishes from their childhood. Now we’re remembered how good they are, we’re not going to give them up easily. Expect this trend to continue into plant-based, with classics reformulated into vegan-friendly choices. Oh, and PSA, we’re not feeling bad about comfort food choices anymore – food guilt is so last decade.
Taste the trend: We’re not quite convinced about 2020’s relaunch of the UK’s infamous ‘Turkey Twizzlers’, but we might be persuaded to taste Pukka Pies new vegan Steak & Onion pie.
- Transparency & Traceability
Consumers are increasingly wanting to know more about where their food comes from and Covid-19 has only furthered interest from a safety point of view. Brands are starting to be more open about where they source ingredients from, using technology to provide that transparency. Blockchain for example is helping retailers to trace the food they sell, with trials to give consumers this information through scanning QR codes on pack.
Taste the trend: Scan the QR code on Napolina brand tomatoes to understand the journey of the product through the supply chain.
- Plant-based – but make it healthier
Now that plant-based is mainstream, consumers are becoming increasingly savvy on the health credentials. Top of the priority list is high protein (wanted by 41% of consumers), but also important is clean label – 25% of consumers say no to artificial preservatives, and 22% to artificial flavours.
Taste the Trend: We’re going to be cheeky here and recommend the classic Strong Roots Spinach Bites – they’ve got your vitamin A, your fibre, and they don’t contain any spooky Frankenfood ingredients.
- The next meat alternative
Plant-based is massive, it’s growing and it’s here to stay. The big question is: what’s next for the category? One ingredient making big waves is the humble chickpea – protein packed, malleable and flavour friendly, we’re going to be seeing a lot more of it. Food labs are also paying attention to fermentation as a technology to produce alternative proteins and the ingredients that can help meat alternatives feel so real.
Taste the Trend: The inimitable @iamtabithabrown has some ingenious uses for the chickpea (try her chickpea tuna sandwich).
- Last but not least – food for everyone?
This shouldn’t be a trend, but it is – last year Food Banks saw a huge increase in demand for their services as Covid-19 restrictions hit the economy. The UK’s Trussell Trust gave out a record 1.9 food parcels from Apr-Sep-20. Nearly 8.5 million people in the UK struggle to get enough food. But it’s not just access to food that’s the issue – it’s access to nutritious food. Strong Roots research has found that there are 6.5m people from low income households in the UK currently living in Veg Poverty – the inability to access or afford your recommended daily portion of 5 fruit and veg a day. At Strong Roots, we’re working to change that with our social mission for the year: Make Veg Poverty History.
Find out more about Veg Poverty and what you can do to help at Strongroots.com/makevegpovertyhistory.