Food trends 2016

Categories: Reflections and opinions

Five people within the food industry give their predictions for 2016

Shane Holland, chair of Slow Food UK
I think we’re going to see a lot more pasture-fed meat—we can already see that starting to filter through—as well as a general tendency to eat less meat. People are going to be increasingly looking at where their food comes from. It has been bubbling away for a little while now, and that’s going to increase and become slightly more mainstream.

Also, there is a trade and investment agreement called TTIP going on between the EU and US, and if that is finalised, which is looking likely, it will have a huge impact on British farmers.

Dr Morgaine Gaye, food futurologist
This year will see seaweed being used in so many different ways. Nori sheets and flavoured seaweed snacks are already with us, but we will see many more uses and food pairings using seaweed. I also think we’ll see much more nut milk—as fresh beverages, but also used in raw desserts. And bowls: from desserts to salads, food in restaurants is going to be eaten out of bowls in 2016—infinitely better.

Petra Barran, founder of KERB, the street food organisation
I think the street food scene is going to mature and, in the long term, secure an established place in London. It will evolve from being a trend to being part of the fabric of the city. But if London is going to continue to be an interesting and thriving place, we need to get more joined up across the board.

We would be crazy not to work together to make sure the city remains at the forefront of the world’s culinary stage. But that is going to have to involve an acceptance that there’s a need for change.

Matt Jones, founder of Bread Ahead Bakery & Bakery School
Britishness and sourcing locally—once people have seen it in action they really buy into it and realise there’s a massive difference between that and mass distribution. There’s been interest in it for a while, but it is becoming more accessible.

Alternative diets are also a huge thing. Gluten-free is increasingly common, and I think the next big ‘fad’ will be around dairy. We’re also seeing a rise in London of small bakeries, which is great. It’s good for the economy, it’s good for our tastebuds. There are 10 million people in London, and I’m not going to feed them all, so I am all for that!

Sam Bompas, co-owner of Bompas & Parr
In 2016 we are looking at the ongoing saladisation of the meal. Many of our closest friends, lovers and influences are becoming vegan-curious. It’s a bit like being bi-curious, in that you don’t have to change your regular lifestyle that much. You get all the social éclat and psychic income of joining the growing band of meat renouncers, but without the dietary and vitamin challenges.

We are also seeing an increase in people eating solely for pleasure or solely for nutrition. This is set to become more acute over the next few years, as eating becomes a prime leisure activity. And the next big ingredient? Bananas. Rare banana cultivars (not the commonplace Cavendish variety) are very zeitgeist. And we are currently obsessed with flambé!