With people becoming more concerned about the environmental impact of food, cooks predict an uplift in local and seasonal eating.
Chris Bavin, who returns to on screens on January 2, says “I believe we will see the food focus move to seasonal eating, with more home-grown ingredients and produce from the UK popping up in supermarkets and other retailers. I think there are a couple of main drivers behind this, the first being a less predictable import market and potential increased costs, the second more awareness about our food miles and carbon footprint.”
Chef Matt Tebbutt also sees the ‘local seasonal’ trend on the cards. “I think it will become much more important for a wider section of the population. I’m hopeful this will give much-needed support to small producers and local farmers.”
Think salmon or octopus salami swordfish ham and shellfish sausages. “This is a re-imagining of charcuterie using seafood instead of meat. A trend that started in Australia, it incorporates pickling, and ageing,” says a representative of Waitrose. “It’s likely to become more popular as chefs and enthusiastic cooks begin to add value to fish in ways they’ve done with meat for years.”
Plant-based and flexitarian eating
According to the Vegan Society, the number of vegans in Britain has quadrupled to 600,000. They say statistics indicate vegans and vegetarians will make up a quarter of the population, and flexitarians (who follow a mostly plant-based) half.
These flexitarians could have a big impact on restaurant menus according to Michelin-star chef Paul Welburn from The Oxford Kitchen. “I think will see a huge increase in restaurant guests who don’t live a vegan lifestyle requesting vegan dishes because they want to make flexible changes to their,” he says. Chris Green adds “by the end of next year I foresee more of us will adopt a flexitarian. Meat will no longer be, but rather consumed in more conscious measures.”
This is already affecting the quality of meat people choose, according to Tor Harris, Partner and Head of Corporate Responsibility at Waitrose. “We’re seeing a more considered approach to meat. Because some people are eating less of it when they do eat it they want to make it count; they want to really enjoy it.”
Fruit and sodas
“Dry will be a thing,” says MasterChef, and Tim Anderson. “In America, like flavoured seltzers, hop, nitro cold brews and fermented teas have been popular for years, and we’re starting to see similar products here,” he continues. Low and also on the rise. “This has been a big point of discussion over the past couple of years: big flavours and low ABVs”, says Rich Woods. He sees “more and more and creative approach to that has previously been reserved for their siblings.”
In the market, “we’re seeing a resurgence of sweeter, fruity flavours,” says Siobhan Payne, Festivals Director at London. “But there’s a twist – a grown-up fruitiness – think fruits such as figs and cranberries,” she continues. And the cocktail of choice. “Make way for the return of the Cosmopolitan. Delicious, and tapping into the trend for re-imagined disco and fruity flavours.”
Cooking with fruit syrup reductions
From pomegranate molasses to date syrup, these sugar alternatives have been making their way onto supermarket shelves for a while – and now people are experimenting with more flavours.
“Syrupy reductions from fruit sources like monk fruit pomegranates coconut and dates are one way to add concentrated, unique flavors into recipes for desserts, meat glazes and marinades. Sweet syrups made from starches like sorghum and sweet potato can be compared to the deep flavors of molasses or honey and can be used for baking and sweetening beverages,” say a Whole Foods representative.
But– fruit syrups are free sugars just like sugar, and so should be eaten in moderation.
Humble they may be but alternative flours will be popular according to cooks and foodies. “Recipes that use a wide variety of flours including coconut flour and chickpea flour,” says chef, author and presenter, She also predicts a trend in “adding wholemeal flour or ‘atta’, which is used in cooking and is high.”
The range of alternative flours is huge. “Flours such as almond, coconut and cassava are on the rise, and there may even be new introductions, such as cauliflower, green banana and cashew flour,” say Annabel Wray and Victoria. “Our clients love vegetable and fruit flours as they opt for low-carb and grain-free in line with their goals. Food suppliers will also be looking to launch new products containing these alternative flours.”