Bidfood UK’s Top 10 Food Trends for 2019

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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.

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.

BidFood Mexican Orange Jackfruit and Lentil Stew

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.

Bidfood's Yorkshire pudding wrap, against the backdrop of the Union Jack flag

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’.

10) Afro-Caribbean

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.

Bidfood 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. 

Bidfood Top 10 UK Food Trends for 2019 #Bidfood #FoodTrends #UKFoodBidfood's Top 10 British Food Trends for 2019 #British #Bidfood #Food

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34 Comments

  1. Helen
    December 19, 2018 / 1:24 pm

    Oo this is so interesting! My brother is a chef and would find this really helpful for his work going forward 🙂

    • December 19, 2018 / 3:16 pm

      That’s great to hear Helen, please feel free to send him the link to my post. I’d love to hear his thoughts on these trends.

  2. December 19, 2018 / 9:57 pm

    Love that the 2019 foodie trends includes Afro-Caribbean foods too and other ones seem interesting

    • December 20, 2018 / 6:26 pm

      I was delighted to hear that too. I adore Caribbean food.

  3. December 20, 2018 / 2:23 pm

    It’s amazing to see how good trends have changed due to political issues such as brexit and the need for us to understand more about where our food comes from. I’ve definitely seen a sharper rise in newer cuisines like southern American flavours in my local supermarket

    • December 20, 2018 / 5:40 pm

      I really enjoyed understanding more about how the foods we eat can relate to a political and social context – it was such an eye-opener!

  4. December 21, 2018 / 11:54 am

    This was such an interesting read! I will have to save this for later too, because there were so many interesting ideas and ingredients. I love Middle Eastern food and would love to try out more Asian appetizers too. I’m getting hungry just reading this.

    • December 21, 2018 / 12:56 pm

      I adore Middle Eastern food too <3 since I went to Qatar a few months ago, I've been eating lots more Middle Eastern dishes. There a few great takeaways near my house.

  5. December 21, 2018 / 12:51 pm

    What great info on upcoming food trends! I have def seen the meat-free trend increasing in popularity, although I am not a party to it. Glad to see asian street food becoming more popular too. Locally sourced food also seems to be trending. Great article!

    • December 21, 2018 / 12:55 pm

      Thanks Danielle, I’m so glad you enjoyed finding out about the latest food trends as much as I did 🙂

  6. Gloria Duggan
    December 21, 2018 / 3:10 pm

    There are LOTS of interesting trends for sure. Some sound great, and some not so much. From this list, there should be something for everyone to enjoy…no matter what your tastes are.

    • December 21, 2018 / 5:44 pm

      Glad you found the post interesting Gloria. I agree, there are certainly a few trends that I love, and a few others I’m not so keen on.

  7. December 21, 2018 / 7:08 pm

    What an informative post! I have been trying the meat free thing, aiming to become vegan in a few years so I can relate with the ever changing food trends

    • December 22, 2018 / 5:02 pm

      Oh nice! I can definitely see how becoming vegan can be a gradual move. I have a friend who wrote a cookbook called The Occasional Vegan and I can relate to that concept a lot too.

  8. December 21, 2018 / 10:32 pm

    I love the emphasis on storytelling with food! I feel like that part of the food scene can be underrated. Thanks for sharing and cheers to 2019!

    • December 22, 2018 / 4:59 pm

      I think storytelling will be a huge trend next year in marketing all kinds of products, not just food. It is a great way to sell something

  9. December 21, 2018 / 11:31 pm

    Such a great read. Thanks for sharing such good information on the top food trends for 2019.

  10. December 22, 2018 / 1:02 am

    I enjoy going to an event like this because it really opens up your horizon about food and it’s always interesting to learn something new/trending.

    • December 22, 2018 / 4:56 pm

      It was so insightful for me as a food blogger! I had such a good time – and I especially loved sampling some of the predicted trending foods!

  11. December 22, 2018 / 1:18 am

    Lots of new things to watch out for this 2019 which include food trends. I’m really glad to see that Afro-Caribbean and Asian are on the list.

    • December 22, 2018 / 4:56 pm

      I love Caribbean food so that was like music to my ears too! Hopefully I’ll be eating lots more of it next year.

  12. December 22, 2018 / 4:52 pm

    What an amazingly useful post. Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

    • December 22, 2018 / 4:54 pm

      So happy to hear you found it useful 🙂

  13. December 22, 2018 / 8:41 pm

    I love all of this information. I am not from the UK and it is fun to read about the different trends! Thanks!

    • December 23, 2018 / 4:14 pm

      Glad you found this post insightful 🙂

  14. December 23, 2018 / 12:55 am

    I heard about this event and it seems like sucha great one to attend! It was great to read more in your post – quite exciting!

    • December 23, 2018 / 4:13 pm

      Thanks April, glad you found it interesting to find out about the latest food trends.

  15. December 26, 2018 / 4:10 am

    This read was super informative! Hoping these food trends are fairly similar in the US because everything sounds wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

    • December 28, 2018 / 5:56 pm

      Thanks Krista, I’m glad to hear it was a good read for you 🙂 I don’t doubt that some of these trends will be popular in the US over the coming year too!

  16. December 27, 2018 / 10:37 am

    So much interesting info in this article. Here in Italy there is definitely a move towards healthier food options such as organic produce and shops now stock more ‘foreign’ produce but this is mostly because of the growing immigrant population rather than a reflection of change in Italian eating habits. Italians mostly eat Italian food and it’s rare to find home produced non Italian meals.

    • December 28, 2018 / 5:51 pm

      That’s an interesting observation. I am still yet to visit Italy but I hope to experience the food and drink for myself one day!

  17. Renu Agrawal Dongre
    January 2, 2019 / 1:33 pm

    Such an interesting read and so many ideas. I am bookmarking this to read again in future and get back to this. Thanks for sharing

    • January 2, 2019 / 4:36 pm

      Thanks Renu, glad you enjoyed the post.