The New Year is upon us and those of us in the food business are seeking some direction on how best to navigate a course through the potentially turbulent waters of 2017.
This year promises to bring the triggering of Article 50 and the serious negotiations detailing just how the UK will withdraw from the European Union. If this is causing a little overactivity in the anxiety department, especially with regard to the prospects for post-Brexit food inflation and food procurement, here are some of the restaurant food trends which we at YourPSL think are poised to be Big, with a Capital ‘B,’ in 2017.
TheFoodPeople.com, with its global network of food trend watchers, anticipates something voguish happening to what might seem like the run-of-the-mill. Everyday foods are about to undergo major makeovers. Carbs are about to make a big comeback in the form of innovative new pasta dishes and fabulous “next generation” artisan breads (reversing the wrongful demonisation of these foodstuffs that characterised the latter half of the last century), and TheFoodPeople are firmly convinced that in 2017, ‘Health is the New Wealth’. Expect exciting innovations in (and rising demand for) vegan cuisine, raw foods, natural gluten-free and dairy-free dishes, foods that enhance gut health, foods that heal, foods that are activating and hydrating, and “Nootropics” (foods like berries, nuts, fish, chicken, pork and legumes that contain ingredients known to enhance cognitive functioning).
Furthermore, for desserts, expect a shift away from “sweet” to “sweet enough. The post-WW2 surfeit of (and dependence on) refined sugar will face a big challenge in 2017 – a pudding’s deliciousness doesn’t have to rely upon turbo-sugariness.
That doyen of restaurant trends and master of the art of food management, Michael Whiteman (he of the renowned consultancy business Baum + Whiteman), has some intriguing forecasts for 2017.
He’s been assiduously gathering information on the evolving nature of restaurants for the last decade, and this year he anticipates several disruptive innovations, like “no seater” restaurants, the entire purpose of which is to employ chefs who can deliver top-drawer food directly to the dining rooms of consumers.
Beyond these service innovations, Whiteman sees consumer appetite for vegetarian food growing in 2017 – something that those of us concerned with food procurement might usefully take note of. Intriguingly (and perhaps to the relief of many), he envisages a long-overdue fall in the consumption of kale and a concomitant rise in the launch of “vegetable butcher shops” like Toronto’s YamChops and Minneapolis’ Herbivorous Butcher.
However, those of us with un-mollifiable carnivorous tendencies won’t be neglected. London’s pioneering artisan butchers, providing the very best of best quality meat, are set to spread significantly.