Vegetable yoghurt, foodie meal kits and watermelon drinks are set to be the hot new trends of 2017, according to Waitrose’s fourth annual Food and Drink Report.
Published today (2 November), the report found that food is “today’s hottest currency”, with one in five Britons having posted a photo of food on social media in the last month.
Social media has “fundamentally changed our relationship with food”, the report said, with 44 per cent of respondents saying they make more effort with cooking if a photo of it may be posted.
Hawaiian, or Polynesian, food is also set to take off over the next year, with meals including Hawaiian poke – a raw fish salad marinated with lime, soy and sesame, and often served with rice. The report also predicted that the US trend for vegetable yoghurt, which infuses the flavours of carrot, beetroot, sweet potato and tomato into yogurt, will be the next import to the UK.
Waitrose managing director Rob Collins: “As a nation we’re expressing ourselves through food as never before. From healthy eating, to the explosion of food photography on social media, to our desire to entertain others through cooking - food is today’s hottest social currency; through it, we tell others about ourselves.”
The report is compiled using data from millions of in-store and online purchases, alongside new consumer research and insight from Waitrose buyers.
Healthy eating is ‘who we are’
Britons now see healthy eating and looking after ourselves as “just a part of who we are”, compared to the calorie counting, effort and sacrifice of the past, the report found.
Over half (60 per cent) of Britons said the food they eat is naturally lighter than five years ago, e.g. swapping potatoes for aubergines in cooking (up 18 per cent this year).
Meanwhile, healthy products and trends including seeds and grains, coconut flour, cactus water and seaweed – and a ‘veggan’ diet (vegan but with eggs) are all top food trends of the year.
Food waste message is getting through
Almost half of Brits now throw away less food than before, with a third using freezers more often. Nearly half say shopping more frequently for smaller baskets of food has helped manage waste at home, while sales of Class II (or wonky) vegetables, and food storage containers, are all on the rise.