What will we be eating and drinking in 2018?
Here’s some of the food and drink trends tipped to take over:
Persimmons, often referred to as Sharon Fruit, are tipped to be the fruit of the year. They add a sweet taste when baked in cookies and cakes, but can also be used in salads and alongside meats too.
The demand for high protein foods continues and, with more of us choosing a flexitarian diet, it’s no wonder there’s such a buzz around new plant-based proteins. Natalie Mitchell, Head of Brand Development and Product Innovation at Waitrose, comments: “Whether with pulses, shoots, grains, seeds, soy or even algae, everyone from tiny start-up companies to big brands is looking for clever new ways to add a plant-based protein punch.”
It used to be associated with bland foods from the F-Plan diet in the '80s, but thanks to lentils and other pulses shedding their dull reputation, fibre is well and truly making a comeback, predicts Natalie.
“In 2018, fibre will be fashionable again - this time in the form of vibrant, colourful vegetables, fruits and wholegrains, as the nation looks to keep their gut health at the top of its game.”
Ultra Violet is Pantone's Colour of the Year for 2018 - and it doesn’t just stop in the world of design. Think figs, aubergines, purple carrots and purple broccoli.
Indian street food
Natalie says: “Forget heavy sauces and chicken tikka masala, this trend is about leaner food which is smoked, grilled or seared. Food trucks selling puris stuffed with zingy vegetables and drizzled in chutney could become a common sight. The cuisine lends itself to hybrids, such as spiced burgers or lamb keema tacos. It’s Indian food like you’ve never seen it.”
Japanese ‘dude food’
This is all about indulgence, says Natalie. “Gutsy sharing dishes favoured in the country’s izakaya bars are set to become a big thing. Whether it’s yakitori skewered chicken or deep-fried tofu in broth, the trend will combine the hearty ‘dude food’ of the southern US states with the unctuous, rich and surprising flavours of after-hours Tokyo.”
Cognac and tonic
Posh tonics are all the rage but rather than mixing them with gin, 2018 will be the year of the C&T – Cognac and Tonic.
It’s not just about aged whisky anymore. Natalie explains that sales at Waitrose have flipped, with non-age specific malts now making up 60% of sales at the supermarket.
“Innovative distillers like Glenfiddich are modernising the art of blending and also using flavoured casks, attracting younger customers to the world of malts,” she adds.
With sales of Campari, Aperol and vermouth on the rise, aperitifs are the drink of choice for millennials and looks set to grow in 2018.
“This trend is here to stay as Vermut, a red sherry Vermouth, which is made in Spain, is tipped to be the pre-dinner drink of 2018,” Natalie adds.
This previously forgotten grape variety is back and predicted to be popular with wine lovers. Described as a halfway house between Picpoul and Muscadet, this wine was sought out by Waitrose wine buyer, Daphne Teremetz and has flavours of ripe lemon, pear and apple.
Having fallen out of favour with winemakers as demand for Sauvignon Blanc increased, this unique grape is making a comeback for 2018. Daphne comments: “It's a great grape with loads of flavour and I think it will be popular with customers who like crisp, unoaked, dry styles of white wine.”