The future of food in the on-trade revealed

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Onwards and upwards: veggie and vegan food will continue to grow
Onwards and upwards: veggie and vegan food will continue to grow

Related tags: Festival, Meat

Meat-free options, inspiration from food festivals and experience-led occasions are the future of food, according to creative think-tank The Innovation Group.

The group, which is part of global research company J Walter Thompson Intelligence, has released its predictions for food in its Food + Drink Trends and Futures 2017 ​report.

Brian Kateman, co-founder and president of The Reducetarian Foundation and editor of The Reducetarian Solution: How the Surprisingly Simple Act of Reducing the Amount of Meat in your Diet Can Transform Your Health and the Planet​, has been documenting the shifts in attitude to food consumption.

He said: “Interest in the reducetarian movement has exploded. We’re seeing more and more people who identify as part-time vegans and vegetarians.

“In the next five to 10 years, factory-farmed meat won’t be the star of the plate. We’ll see more cauliflower steaks and beds of quinoa, plant-based meats that are indistinguishable from conventional meat, and cultured meat will be the swanky new ingredient in every high-end venue.

“A few years on, cultured meat will be in shops and fast-food chains. Factory farming is already a dirty term, but it will soon be unthinkable that we farmed billions of animals every year in a wasteful, cruel and inefficient process.”

The London Evening Standard ​has tapped into the continued boom in food festivals with its first annual Food Month (June) with a line-up of more than 400 events celebrating food.

Molson Coors announced the launch of a new campaign for Cobra, aimed at celebrating the beer’s food pairing credentials, at the London Food Month,​ where Cobra is the official beer partner.

As well as celebrating food, the initiative will promote awareness of food waste and hunger through its partnership with The Felix Project charity, which works with food suppliers and charities to reduce food waste and food poverty.

Meat alternatives

The 2017 Protein Report: Meat Alternatives​, from research group Mintel, showed that 36% of US Millennials were embracing meat alternatives v just 14% of Baby Boomers.

Kateman said: “Every day, consumers are getting more and more excited about cultured meat.”

He predicted that plant-based and “alternative” protein could represent up to one third of the protein market by 2050.

He added: “Once consumers are presented with an affordable, delicious and convenient option that isn’t served with a side of climate change and animal abuse, they will choose it over factory-farmed meat.”

Millennials are not only experience-focused but also want to share their experiences on social media, with their friends.

Palm Vaults café in Hackney, east London, is decked out in mint green and pastel pink with a menu to match.

Diners can take photos of 'matcha' hot chocolates, rose lattes and blue algae colada smoothies, while admiring the green plants cascading from above.

According to the report, consumers are spending more on dining out and spurning smoking and drinking at home.

Festivals and food

Food festivals are more popular than ever and, in turn, music festivals are upping their foodie game.

More than 30,000 people flocked to spring 2017’s four-day London Coffee Festival, which featured live music and DJ sets that wouldn’t have been out of place at a regular music festival.

Destination pubs should bear in mind that culinary travel experiences have become the key driver for global tourism, as reported by diners across The Pond.

More than two thirds (71%) of US Millennials would recommend a destination based solely on cuisine, according to a survey commissioned by food company Harry & David last year.

Some 82% of US respondents agreed that they are most excited about trying local food and restaurants when travelling.

From one form of simulated experience to another, the number of active virtual reality (VR) users is set to reach more than 170m worldwide by 2017, according to consulting firm KZero, which specialises in the virtual marketplace.

Advances in VR entertainment are providing food and drink brands with a new medium with which to engage customers.

Diageo global future and culture planning director Zoe Lazarus wrote in Campaign ​magazine: “Brands need to be ready to respond to the fact that consumers will start to see the virtual world become every bit as compelling as the physical one.”

Related topics: Menu Ideas, Food trends, News, Food

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