Earlier this week, I was invited to Bidfood UK’s 2019 UK food trends event at the Bidfood Business Support Centre in Slough to discover the foodie trends set to take the UK by storm in 2019.
- 1 Who are Bidfood UK?
- 2 Top 10 Food Trends for 2019, According to Bidfood UK
Who are Bidfood UK?
One of the UK’s biggest wholesale food suppliers, Bidfood UK supplies over 13,000 food and drink products to over 40,000 commercial food suppliers and public service organisations throughout the UK. Customers include schools, hospitals, care homes, hotels, pubs, restaurants and contract caterers.
Despite operating on a national scale, Bidfood attaches great importance to customer and supplier relationships at a local level, with 23 depots dotted throughout the UK.
This is the fifth year that Bidfood’s Insights team have published their annual food and drink trend predictions, and the materials, support and information they provide just keeps getting bigger and better. The aim of this forward thinking programme is twofold – firstly internally, to shape Bidfood’s new product development and innovation pipeline, and secondly to help their customers to grow through relevant and effective trend advice and support, helping them to stay competitive.
Top 10 Food Trends for 2019, According to Bidfood UK
Bidfood have identified ten trends predicted to be popular in 2019.
1) Telling a Story (MT)
With the emergence of Brexit, we’ve become far more interested in where our food comes from and how it’s prepared. This is driven by a need to provide for ourselves and develop products worthy of export to countries outside the EU in order to bolster our economy, alongside a demand for food that’s both safe to eat, and locally sourced.
Instead of craving mass-produced food, we now desire food made with love and care – not only for ourselves, but also for the environment. Similarly, flavours need to be layered in order to ensure vibrant, exciting dishes with varied textures and tastes.
According to the ‘Telling a Story’ trend, 2019 will see us eating food with clear origins and food worth waiting for, such as slow-cooked dishes; smoked, charred, burnt and/or blackened foods; artisanal produce; pickled or fermented ingredients and new ways with dairy, with variations like curds and labneh being used to offset rich flavours and satisfy. Think corn-battered Cajun shrimps, kimchi, red velvet prawns in beetroot crumb and cured mackerel with compressed apple and horseradish.
2) Gourmet Get-Together (MT)
The political uncertainty surrounding Brexit also has us longing to share food with friends and family, with a preference for fun, comforting dishes. As with the ‘Telling a Story’ trend, the taste and texture of our food remains very important to us and we seek easy-to-eat food that’s also good for us, with a sneaky treat every now and then.
We’re looking for hearty portions, extravagant foods and a touch of luxury. Furthermore, we want to play with our food and put our own twist on classic dishes by introducing new ingredients. We may even choose to serve certain foods in bowls, as this is generally seen as a comforting way to consume both nostalgic and new dishes alike.
Expect re-invented classics like beetroot hummus, winter-spiced brioche pudding and porridge or risotto made using ancient grains; overfilled sandwiches, toasted or sweet, perhaps even filled with ice cream; new ways of presenting popular finger foods like chicken wings, tacos and deep-fried delicacies; creative takes on Bloody Mary cocktails using different spirits, tomato juices and garnishes, and more street food on restaurant menus.
3) Good For Me, Good For You (MT)
This year, the UK has seen increasing consumer awareness around sustainability and environmental concerns, spurred on by public documentaries like Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II. We’ve become more aware of the damage we’re doing to our oceans and the wider environment, and we’re now committed to reducing all kinds of waste.
According to Bidfood UK, this Good For Me, Good For You trend will see us digging into more meat-free meals, with vegetables becoming the stars of our plates and meat or fish simply seen as side dishes, alongside a tendency for vegetables to substitute meat altogether. We’ll be consuming lesser known cuts, like dairy cows and ‘trash fish’, and focusing on using the entire animal, for example by using chicken carcasses to create rich stocks and using offcuts in tartares, slow-cooking and soups.
Meanwhile, our love for eggs will continue into 2019 and besides using free-range hen and chicken eggs, we’ll also be looking to experiment with quail, goose and duck eggs.
This trend translates into dishes like vegetarian mock duck, falafels, cauliflower steaks and Mexican orange jackfruit lentil stew, which we were lucky enough to sample during Bidfood’s event. In addition, there will be a continued commitment to using compostable and reusable coffee cups, paper straws and reducing food waste.
4) Awaken My Senses (MT)
Fuelled by our obsession with social media and all things digital, we want to eat food that not only tastes good, but also looks aesthetically appealing and ‘Instagram-worthy’. If our friends aren’t going to be jealous of what we’re eating, we’ll be less likely to eat it. What’s more, we’re becoming increasingly passionate about experimenting with our food to come up with new flavours. Rather than practicing the ‘less is more’ approach, we’ll be seeking out over-the-top, edgy foods and we won’t be afraid to blur the boundaries between savoury and sweet,
In 2019, we’ll be Awakening Our Senses by eating food in all colours of the rainbow – like the Buddha bowls and unicorn-inspired cup-cakes, freak shakes and hot chocolates made popular throughout 2018 – right through to the blackest of black foods like charcoal lattes, black rice and squid ink pasta. Meanwhile, edible florals will play a big part in enhancing both the flavour and the appearance of the food and drink we consume.
These four ‘mega trends’ cascade across six cuisine trends compromised of key cuisine trends and core ingredients which look set to dominate the food scene next year…
5) Great Britain
In line with the ‘Telling a Story’ and ‘Gourmet Get-Together’ trends, 2019 will see UK consumers craving Great British comfort food and locally sourced ingredients in the wake of uncertainty around Brexit and disasters in the food chain. Eating British enables us to be confident about the provenance of our food, while also supporting producers and farmers on both a local and national scale, enabling them to develop quality export items to ensure a stable future outside the EU.
Next year, we’ll be tucking into more seasonal produce like British tomatoes and asparagus; quality British food and drink like locally sourced fish and chips; savoury pastries filled with British meat, game and vegetables; local free range or organic eggs on restaurant menus; and locally foraged game, leaves and herbs.
Similarly, we’ll be seeking out both regional British and classic British dishes from Yorkshire puddings, Welsh rarebit and Scottish haggis to Bury black pudding, British beef and traditional herbs such as rosemary and lovage.
We were lucky enough to sample Bidfood’s take on the Great British food trend – a Yorkshire pudding wrap stuffed with slow-cooked brisket beef, roasted vegetables and horseradish sauce.
6) Americas Discovered
American food has always been a big hit among us Brits, but nowadays, we’re more likely to go for regional and authentic recipes. This cuisine trend falls under Bidfood’s ‘Gourmet Get-Together’ and ‘Awaken My Senses’ mega trends.
As many of us are now travelling more often, we crave international cuisines and exotic flavours. Where American foods are concerned, Latin American cuisine is growing increasingly popular due to its clear provenance, spicy chilli heat and zesty citrus flavours.
However, we are now seeking to adapt the cuisine in order to make it more healthy and lighter than before, with local ingredients like tiger nut milk, Dulce de Leche, avocado, quinoa and achiote becoming increasingly popular, while stereotypical Tex Mex cuisine is being replaced by authentic Mexican recipes.
In 2019, Brits will be munching on southern American dishes like chicken, biscuits and waffles, dishes that combine both sweet and savoury flavours, pancakes coloured with fruit or red velvet and sharing platters boasting flavour and texture. To wash all that down, sip on a margarita served frozen or on the rocks with tequila or mezcal. Touching on Bidfood’s ‘Good for You, Good For Me’ mega trend, we’ll also be keen to consume raw foods and minimise waste with dishes like ceviche, escabeche and aguachile.
7) Modern European
Mediterranean foods are a staple part of the UK food and drink scene, and this trend is here to stay for 2019. Not only is the Mediterranean diet viewed as being extremely healthy (in line with the ‘Good For Me, Good For You’ mega trend), but it’s also seen as an incredibly authentic cuisine.
For 2019, our preference for Mediterranean cuisine will see us hunt down country- and regional-specific foods, especially those from Italy and Spain. Classic French cuisine is also on the rise, with many of us starting our day with croissants, pain au chocolat and brioche, and eating cherished French classics like coq au vin, bouillabaisse and beef bourguignon for our family meals.
Where Italian food is concerned, we’re likely to be found sharing antipasti platters and nibbling on finger food like arancini and bruschetta with balsamic vinegar, as well as experimenting with the likes of selenio rice. Meanwhile, popular Spanish options include paella and cured meats like chorizo and Calabrian sausage (nduja).
8) Asian Appetites
As street food becomes more mainstream (‘Gourmet Get-Together’ mega trend) and we develop an increased passion for travel (‘Awaken My Senses’), Asian cuisine will enjoy a resurgence in the UK in 2019. The cuisine has always been popular within the UK, but wheres previously we’ve opted for mainstream Indian and Chinese food like tikka masala and korma, or sweet and sour and egg-fried rice, 2019 will see us demand more authentic, regional Asian dishes, pan-Asian fusion cuisine and modern Indian cuisine.
Authentic ingredients like yuzu, miso, matcha, soy sauce, turmeric and coconut will manifest in dishes like bao buns, Bingsu (Korean) and Thai rolled ice cream, soy chicken with hoisin mayo and Malaysian chicken curry. In addition, Asian fusion cuisines like Asian-American, Asian-French and Asian with Korean, Sri Lankan and Japanese will dominate restaurant menus.
9) The Middle East
Regional Middle Eastern ingredients like rose, za’atar, harissa, freekeh, dukkah, za’atar and labneh have become more and more familiar in the UK in recent years and many of us are now starting to fall in love with the cuisine. According to Bidfood’s predictions, we’ll be eating lots of Persian, Iranian, Afghan and Lebanese cuisine.
In particular, shakshuka has become a popular breakfast dish in the UK, no doubt driven by our love for eggs and our ever-growing obsession with Instagram.
As a relatively healthy cuisine, traditional Middle Eastern food aligns with several of Bidfood’s mega trends, especially ‘Good For Me, Good For You’.
Boasting an exciting range of tastes and textures, not to mention unusual ingredients, Afro-Caribbean cuisine ticks several boxes when it comes to UK eating habits and fits well with Bidfood’s ‘Awaken My Senses’ mega trend. While jerk spice and rice n’ peas have already become established parts of Caribbean cuisine in the majority of the UK, lesser known Afro-Caribbean dishes are only just beginning to gain traction.
2019 is set to see the emergence of traditional foods like jollof rice, plantain, salt fish fritters, breadfruit, goat and cassava.
The Afro-Caribbean food trend was tastefully illustrated by Bidfood’s development chefs in the form of slow-cooked goat with potato and beans.
The Bidfood website contains further information on the food and drink trends predicted to be popular in 2019.
What are your thoughts on Bidfood UK’s predicted 2019 UK food trends? Leave your thoughts in the comment box below.