In a world with so many different tastes, fad diets and instagrammable food options, it is getting harder and harder to predict what food trends to expect each year. Putting those caveats aside, we do have a pretty good idea of what food trends are here to say and soon to be widely adopted. Gourmet dog food menus, CBD oil cafes, intimate open-planned restaurants and even more meal boxes are among the movements worth watching this year, particularly in Scotland. Let’s take a peek at what’s new on your plate this year.
#1 Flexitarianism is the next big food movement
Ever heard someone say, “I’m vegan but I have chicken on occasion”? So, you’re not vegan. You may actually be a flexitarian – which is totally fine by us. Then what exactly is a flexitarian? According to Webster, the term is defined as a person “whose normally meatless diet occasionally includes meat or fish” aka someone who predominantly follows a plant-based or vegetarian diet but welcomes a bit of meat on their plates on the weekend. Unsurprisingly, flexitarians receive a lot of flak from their vegan and vegetarian cousins, who believe they are “cheating” on their diet, but this is not the case. Flexitarians incorporate a healthy balance of mainly whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables with roughly 20% of meat-based protein. A balanced vegetarian diet has been shown to lower the risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, stroke, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and even cancer.
Food retailers like M&S have adapted their product ranges to suit more meatless options, including a no-chicken Kiev. Fast food restaurants have also caught on and have released plant-based burger options such as Burger King’s Impossible Whopper and Nando’s Sweet Potato & Butternut burger and Portobello Mushroom burger. Thinking about catering to rising flexitarians at your restaurant? Try diversifying your menu with more plant-based options.
#2 Open-planned restaurants are evolving
We all know that open-concept restaurants have been on display for a while now, so no new trend there right? Wrong! Customers continue to enjoy the transparent nature of this dining format and most chefs are proud to show off their culinary skills in front of their live studio audience. It also forces the kitchen staff to stay on their toes and conduct themselves more professionally compared to closed-door kitchens.
Open-planned kitchens are getting more creative than ever before. The Table in Edinburgh has taken open-planned dining to another level and makes you feel like home with much better ingredients. This 10-seater restaurant encourages engagement with their chefs and features a multi-course tasting menu over a marble countertop. Before opening The Table, owner and Chef, Sean Clark spent 10 years training and working at some of the best restaurants in Edinburgh, Milan, Rome and London. It is definitely worth experiencing if you can get a reservation.
#3 Gourmet Dog Food Menus
Hot diggity dog! The only thing better than treating yourself for a nice dinner or an evening at the pub with your pals is having your furry friend beside you. Some restaurants, particularly in Scotland, have gone dog-friendly+. They realise that four-legged foodies are just as deserving of a good meal as their owners, and they’ve answered the call by creating customised dog menus for hungry hounds. Going way beyond mere dog biscuits (although those are great, too!), Scottish restaurants such as The Pond in Leith, Edinburgh and The Winged Ox, Glasgow have featured dug-friendly menus.
At The Winged Ox, your pooch has a choice of savoury sausage or tasty roast chicken with rice. And if he or she has a sweet fang, there’s an option to add a nice scoop of ice cream to round out the gourmet canine meal.
#4 Home meal kits with pre-measured ingredients will be even more massive
Arguably the rise of the lazy home cook to a professional chef, the increased popularity of home meal kits are predicted to grow even more in 2020. HelloFresh, Berlin-based meal-kit firm, is one of the most popular home-delivery services for fresh food. Sales have surged over the last few years and HelloFresh has more than 2 million customers in 11 countries, including Germany, the UK and the US. But you are not limited to HF. There are several subscription meal box delivery options in the UK we should expect to see more of this year, such as:
- Boxd Fresh
- Feast Box
- Riverford Organic Farmers
- Mindful Chef
- Abel & Cole Recipe Boxes
- Simply Cook
- The Spicery
So, whether you live a busy lifestyle that makes it difficult for you to cook a Vindaloo curry from scratch or whether your culinary talent is non-existent, there are many companies out there literally at your doorstep.
#5 CBD oil in food is a thing
Market research commissioned by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) suggests that the CBD (cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive cannabis plant extract, touted for its potential to alleviate pain and anxiety) market is currently one of the fastest-growing wellbeing product categories in the UK and can be worth almost £1 billion by 2025. But could you believe that CBD oil has become so popular that it can now be found in your hummus, ice cream and even your gin! Claire Watson, a Scottish businesswoman, has plans to set up a CBD café in Stirling, the first of its kind in Scotland. In an article with The Daily Record, she said, “We are offering CBD products, a healthy menu with vegan options where everything will be cooked in hemp oil – even on the kids’ menu…For me, hemp is about healing, love, and connecting people, and I want to provide a place for people to come and discuss the benefits of hemp for healing themselves, whether that be for chronic pain or mental health issues.”
Currently, the science around CBD oil in food and beverages is inconclusive, but CBD is a hot ingredient you should expect to see in your local shop and amongst some of the more trendier dining establishments in the near future.