The annual Waitrose Food & Drink Report for 2017-18 has been released — and it gives us an idea of what our eating habits could look like in the not-so-distant future.
The research combines a survey of 2,000 consumers, Waitrose sales stats, and the predictions of in-house experts to analyse shopping, eating, drinking, and cooking habits.
Last year the report predicted that Hawaiian poke, lighter eating, gourmet meal kits, vegetable-flavoured yoghurt, botanical cocktails, watermelon water, and “extreme indulgences” would be the big hits in 2017 — and most of them proved to be true.
Here are the 5 biggest food trends set to hit in 2018, according to Waitrose:
Japanese ‘dude food’
According to Waitrose, the time for miso and noodle soup is over. Now, we’re turning to the indulgent side of Japan’s cuisine.
“Gutsy sharing dishes favoured in the country’s izakaya bars are set to become a big thing,” according to the report. “Whether it’s yakitori skewered chicken or deep-fried tofu in broth, the trend will combine the hearty ‘dude food’ of the southern US states with the unctuous, rich, and surprising flavours of after-hours Tokyo.”
Indian street food
It’s all about smoked, grilled, or seared delicacies over heavy sauces. According to Waitrose we can expect dishes like scallops in pickled ginger, or “puris stuffed with zingy vegetables and drizzled in chutney” in the near future.
“The cuisine lends itself to hybrids, such as spiced burgers or lamb keema tacos,” according to the report. “It’s Indian food like you’ve never seen it.”
The fourth meal
Forget breakfast, lunch, and dinner — more and more people are now trying to squeeze a small fourth meal into their day, and this is set to continue in 2018.
“This is not about gluttony, rather it is about adapting our eating schedules to our busy lives,” the report states. “If dinner’s particularly early one evening, why not have a mini cheese on toast before you go to bed?
“If you’re going to the gym after work, why not have an energy-boosting salad mid-afternoon? Whether it’s a healthy snack or an indulgent treat, we expect to see more of this in the future.”
The end of the trolley?
Shopping days of the future will be all about the experience, according to Waitrose.
“The future of supermarkets looks likely to be an experiential retail space — immersive hubs where shopping is only one of the activities on offer,” the report reads. “After all, who’d have thought 10 years ago there’d be supper clubs and wine bars in supermarkets?
“But with fewer of us doing a weekly ‘big shop’ could this mean the supersize trolley’s days are numbered? If recent trends continue then it looks likely.”
“The demand for high-protein foods continues, and with more of us choosing a flexitarian diet it’s no wonder there’s such a buzz around new plant-based proteins,” according to Waitrose.
“Whether with pulses, shoots, grains, seeds, soy or even algae, everyone from tiny start-up companies to big brands is looking for clever new ways to add a protein punch.”
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