Trend: The Future of Food and Drink

September 28, 2016

A recent food and drink analysis by trend forecasters The Future Lab identified 5 key trends enabling brands and consumers to collaborate more fully in deciding how, where and when we eat and drink.

Rising awareness of ingredients, manufacturing and sourcing methods seems to be driving expectations from consumers that every dish should come with a side order of health and wellbeing.

However, according to Chris Sanderson, co-founder of The Future Lab “People are tired of being told what to do. One day it’s no fat, then gluten, then sugar. Clean eating is the latest dietary trend set for a backlash.”

It’s hardly any wonder given the multitude of self taught 'experts' peddling misinformation and the emergence of semi-professional scare mongers in the form of evangelical health food bloggers. You know a trend has reached its zenith when a parody Instagram account such as Deliciously Stella appears from nowhere and creates a voice and community all of its own.

According to the Future Lab, clean eating will give way to these 5 trends which will shape the future of the industry:

Countertop Connoisseurs are using the latest home technology to professionally prepare everything from craft beer to tea in the comfort of their own kitchens. US brand Juicero successfully raised $70 million recently in a bid to disrupt the home juicing market (think Nespresso for juice), allowing consumers to drink fresh raw juice on demand without any of the hassle or mess associated with juicing.


Gastronomy Fetish

As creatives become more open about blending erotic exploration with culinary culture, The Future Laboratory argues that they are influencing the way food is depicted both linguistically and visually.  According to The Future Laboratory, going forward, brands will need to explore the sensual aspects of culinary culture through linguistic choices and artistic expression, in order to shape consumers’ perceptions of their products. 


Delivery only Dining

The rapid expansion of the casual dining market is being driven by the increasingly time-poor UK consumer. Kiss goodbye to the humble unhealthy takeaway of days gone by and enter a new era of fine dining delivered to your door, courtesy of Michelin starred restaurants and high end catering companies such as our partner The Panthers Whiskers.

Culinary Diplomacy is creating new food-based global cultural networks.

Companies such as Google have been quick to respond to this trend with Everyone Speaks Food, a recent pop-up by Google Translate aimed to show how consumers are connected by food, by forcing customers to order their meals using the Google Translate app.

Regenerative Consumption is enabling consumers to buy food and drink that heals the planet rather than degrades it.

As consumers continue to become more informed about the origins of the products they are buying, businesses are being forced to create ways for the consumption of their products to be part of an ecological solution to save our planet, says The Future Laboratory.

The Future is fresh...... (and sober)

Over the past 10 years, consumption of fresh foods grew by 20% globally to more than 100bn portions per year.

Global sales of alcoholic drinks, however, entered negative territory for the first time in more than a decade.

According to Heineken, millennials are also looking to moderate their alcohol consumption, with 75% deliberately drinking less on nights out.

Botanic Lab is all about making great drinks that you can enjoyed at any time of day and without judgement. In particular we have aimed to address the lack of innovation in soft drinks, firstly with the launch last year of our sophisticated alternative to alcohol KOLA+ and more recently with BOTANICS cold pressed, our new diffusion line aimed particularly at those choosing to abstain from alcohol in a social environment. In developed markets consumers’ drinking habits are evolving to appreciate tipples of a lower ABV that offer a slight buzz, but without the same risk of hangover.

Some producers such as our kindred 'spirit' Ben Branson, founder of Seedlip, have dispensed with alcohol altogether . Seedlip, like Botanic Lab, uses botanicals to create sophistication and adult flavours for those choosing to abstain from alcohol. The tincture, which was developed from a historical English herbal remedy, has a potency of flavour that invites mixing with tonics and in non-alcoholic cocktails.

The UK’s impending sugar tax, which will take effect from 2018 will drive innovation and experimentation in the low sugar segment according to Donald Marron, a tax specialist at the think tank Urban Institute,

The tides are already turning. British think tank Demos has reported a big cultural shift among teenagers, with 66% saying they have cut down on sugary drinks because of health considerations. Yet half of UK hospitality operators stock fewer than 10 different soft-drink brands, while only 7% stock more than 20, according to research by Big Hospitality

People power has never been a stronger force in shaping the future of global food and drink as technological advances and shifting consumer expectations force brands to adapt fast, or fall away.