Lisa Yearwood, head of marketing at London-based bar and restaurant operator Drake & Morgan, outlined a series predicted trends in the eating and drinking-out sector at the Future Pub Conference.
In terms of food, Yearwood predicted a “farm to fork” approach, with impeccably sourced, seasonal meals ideal for sharing and ‘grazing’. Alternatives to standard breads, such as flat breads, wraps, waffles and rice cakes, are predicted.
There will be greater use of “odd parts” of animals such as offal, gizzards and ox tail’s, plus more hand-made vegetable and fruit pickles and/
She said Korean food “may be the new Thai” as more Korean restaurants and food trucks enter the market, and doughnuts with “fancier fillings”, from maple bourbon to savoury varieties stuffed with smoked bacon, will also become popular.
Other trends include the rise of comfort food as “gastro-nostalgia will start to bore”, growth of later drinking and dining and “round, small things” such as arancini, falafel and meat balls.
Food trucks will become less popular as operators turn to restaurants, and the “burger bubble” will burst as newcomers “strain for differentiation”.
She added: “The leading independent bars and venues will be Peruvian.” She said the country is the source of the world’s most exciting ceviches and it continues to grow momentum over here.
Similarly, South American cocktails such as the Pisco Sour are seen as a growing trend, along with beer cocktails, micro distilleries, and more “exotic” bitters. Locally-brewed craft beers and tank beers served on site are predicted to be a growing trend.
Smaller, artisan Champagnes are set to replace bigger brands, and “foraging” will make its mark on cocktails with wild herbs and flowers.
Other cocktail trends include: pre-made bottled cocktails, vegetable-based savoury and sour cocktails, cocktails carbonated on-site, tea-based cocktails, and healthier cocktails using ingredients such as guarana, acai, goji, and hibiscus. Self-service and “hard softs”, where alcohol is added to shakes and smoothies, is also predicted as a trend.
In terms of design trends, Yearwood predicted a rise in smart relaxed informal areas, casual sharing tables, and more vintage decor. There will be greater use of lighting for different occasions, more “interactive” interiors such as “alive tiles” that change colour and pattern with temperature changes.