What We Can Expect On Our Plates This Year

February 04, 2016

2016 Food Trends

Being the Food Porn Tribe Leader on the 6 Tribes App means I need to stay on top of emerging food trends, which is sometimes harder than you might think. A quick wonder around the streets of Soho will reveal a long list of emerging cuisines, new ingredients and revolutionary techniques. Trying to keep at the top of the food game can be a tough job (there's only so much one can eat every day), so I find the app super inspiring as it brings a bunch of mega foodies all together in one place to share pictures and ideas.

When I was asked what food trends would dominating the food scene this year, many of them had a focus on the environment. Finally it seems consumers, rather than PR's and marketing experts, are the ones driving food trends. Even the biggest restaurant companies such as McDonald’s are no longer solely dedicated by the bottom line, with moves such as changing it's supply line to include more cage-free eggs for example. 
 
The food industry is now dictated by what consumers need and want, which is evident to the trends emerging for the new year. A few weeks ago I hosted the #FDbloggers chat on Twitter to get thoughts and forecasts from other fellow foodies, and here's what we predict will be big:



Less Meat and Dairy

With more of us becoming conscious of sustainability in the food industry and the health risks surrounding red and processed meat, many of us are opting for vegetarian options both at home and whilst dinning out.

Restaurants seem to be cottoning onto the trend with the expansion of their vegetarian and vegan options, whilst #MeatFreeMonday (launched by the McCartney's in 2009) is doing better than ever.

And a growing number of celebrity endorsements and an ever expanding list of plant based products has launched the dairy free market into the spotlight. Low in saturated fat and enriched with vitamins, Almond and coconut milk have even managed to get themselves onto the mainstream menu in Starbucks this January! 

 

Pickling and Preserving 

Growing your own is back in favour, with many of us signing up for allotments, creating vegetable patches in our gardens and growing herbs on our kitchen window ledges.

But what do you do come harvest time when you dig up hundred of beetroots? There's only so many you can stomach in your salad...

Much to Kilner's delight pickling vegetables, making chutneys and boiling jam has made a comeback. Last year I pickled lots of vegetables and enjoyed them with my Christmas Ham - the whole family tucked in and it was amazing to think that something I dug up in June was still feeding us come December.  


Make the most of your leftovers

Love Food Hate Waste have discovered that we throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year, the majority of which could have been eaten.

Many of us are now looking for nifty and creative ideas to transform leftovers into irresistible meals.I have a great recipe for a chicken pot pie here which is perfect to make the Monday after your Sunday dinner.
 

Sugar Alternatives

Refined sugar has been stealing health headlines for what seems like years, and there's no sign of that slowing down in 2016.  

With Britain's obesity levels shooting up, and greater understanding of just how bad for us sugar can be, the hunt is on for alternatives.  The average Brit consumes a shocking 1.25lbs a sugar a week, with our friends across the Atlantic consuming on average 22 teaspoon of sugar a day - double the recommended daily amount.
 
For those with a sweet tooth, it can be hard to stay away from harmful sugary treats, so I asked what my food blogger friends top alternatives for refined sugar are. The favourites for cooking were dates, honey, agave nectar and palm sugar, whilst Stevia and Xylitol didn't rank at all. 

Maple Water

Looking for a new drink to revitalise you after the gym? Maple water is the new health trend for 2016.

Low in calories, gluten-free, dairy-free and non-GMO, it contains 46 natural nutrients. With half the sugar of coconut water and more manganese than a cup of kale, it's subtle maple flavour is simply delicious. I spoke to André Pollender, a multi award-winning producer of maple syrup to find out more about the process - you can read more here.