Pig Trotters, Plant-Based & Pink Gins - Our trend tips for Summer 2019

As we all know, the world of food is constantly changing. What was popular last month seems to have taken a back seat the next, and it can be hard to stay on top of what’s popular - we know! Don’t worry. We’ve put together a little list of food and drink trends that we predict will become (or remain) hot throughout the summer months of 2019!

This is a bit of a long one, but read on to see if you think our predictions will be on trend this summer!

Is Offal the New Steak?

We’re going to start off with one to split the opinions. We know this isn’t for everyone, but in recent years there has been an upturn in the popularity of offal - and often wasted parts of the animal - being used in dishes. Gone are the days of getting squeamish over sweetbreads or put off by pigs heads, the new wave of diner is ready to jump in for the full experience.

Ox-cheek nuggets - Credit: Smokestak

In many of the top-end restaurants in the capital, you’ll be hard pushed to find a menu excluding the likes of bone marrow in some shape or form, and as part of the zero-waste revolution, chefs such as Lee Tiernan of Black Axe Mangal are making use of the lesser demanded cuts, serving intriguing and hearty dishes such as deep fried calf brains in a cherry pie batter or grilled lamb hearts. Not for you? How about ox-cheek nuggets with anchovy-spiked mayonnaise from Smokestack?!

They may not always sound the most inviting but these cuts of meat are full of flavour and super versatile as well as often being cheaper and readily available from your butcher, meaning you could add them as a special to make more margin. Failing that, they are definitely a talking point!

Vegan, Meat and Dairy-Free

Because offal can be a little too much, we now head to the opposite end of the spectrum. We all know that the popularity of vegan food has skyrocketed in recent years, with even non-vegans getting in on the trend and opting for meat-free or plant-based options when they’re available on the menu.

The rise in awareness of different dietary requirements that stemmed from the popularity of veganism has, in turn, inspired more and more restaurants, cafes, and takeaways in the UK to introduce a range of dairy-free options to their menu; with bigger brands like Pret a Manger even opening up dedicated Veggie Pret stores to fill this niche. This means they’re able to cater to the 3.5 million vegan Brits, along with the five in 100 lactose intolerant people in the UK!

Experimenting with soy, coconut, almond, and oat options means that restaurant owners are still able to produce the same food and drink as they did before - just replacing the animal products. Dairy-free milk options (for coffees, milkshakes etc) are actually predicted to become so popular that the sector is predicted to rise globally by 43% over the next four years! So if your restaurant is yet to stock up on the meat and dairy-free alternatives, perhaps it’s time you thought about it in time for summer!

Cocktails and Mocktails

Undeniably, 2018 was the year of the gin. Gin bars, gin festivals, gin menus and the like were all the rage last year - but we think that the trend is still just beginning. With an ever growing range of different flavoured gins and a variety of tonics to experiment with, we think this refreshing beverage is sure to make its comeback in the summer of 2019, with new brands, bold flavours, and new ideas making it onto menus and store shelves. The trend became so influential in 2018 that even cider giant Kopparberg wanted a slice of the action, releasing their very own Strawberry & Lime Pink Gin just in time for the outdoor terrace and beer garden weather!

After all, who wouldn’t want to enjoy an ice cold G&T in the summer sun!?

 
 
Really Social Media gin and tonic
 
 

“What if I fancy that G&T but I don’t want any alcohol?” We hear you cry…

Well our next trend might be surprising to some people. It’s the ever growing demand for low or no alcohol options to be available on drinks menus. Brands like Seedlip gin are taking advantage of this downturn in alcohol consumption to introduce like-for-like alternatives, focussing on gin-related buzzwords such as ‘distilled’ and ‘botanical’ to persuade the gin connoisseurs amongst us that this is the real deal; with non-alcoholic cocktails using Seedlip Grove even costing £13 at The Savoy’s American Bar, despite the distinct lack of alcohol (although still a snip at around half the price of a standard cocktail!). Mocktails, sub-0.5% ABV craft beers and novelty soft drinks are all growing in popularity and are predicted to be a big hit this summer, since the UK’s younger generation are dialling-down their alcohol intake, making their nights out more sophisticated and a lot more memorable! So is it time to cut back on the cocktails and invest in a few more mocktails for summer 2019? We think so!

Zero-Waste Revolution

Of course, another trend is the population’s growing concern for the environment. Even large restaurant chains are making the switch from plastic to paper straws, setting the example for smaller food and drink businesses to follow in their footsteps and become more aware of their environmental impact. Consumers are currently favouring businesses that make a conscious effort to be more eco-friendly, meaning restaurants, bars, and cafes are recycling more, and on a mission for zero (or less) waste.

This trend has also seen chefs trying to limit the amount of waste they create, meaning they’re now using broccoli stems, cauliflower stems, and even potato peelings in their cooking to avoid throwing it away. Even culinary god, Raymond Blanc, is in on the act with the advice to find recipes that can utilise all elements of the produce. Speaking of his pumpkin soup, “the skin is used for the stock, the seeds we toast and use as garnish and the flesh for the soup. Delicious!” It’s a big thumbs up from us!

Is it a Bird, is it a Plane, no… It’s Superfoods!

superfood

We’re not sure if many people know exactly what a ‘superfood’ really is - but it sounds good, right? So no wonder ‘superfood’ salads, containing a range of seeds, grains, nuts, and seasonal veg are on the rise. Especially during the summer, we predict that the health conscious population of the UK will be partial to these refreshing, healthy dishes containing ingredients we consider to be, well, super!

In addition to this, more and more restaurants are experimenting with different ingredients in their sweet treats, which means they’re no longer all that sweet. Have you ever heard of avocado brownies? Even red velvet cake is made using beetroots! It’s creations like these that mean chefs can cut back on the sugar content in their desserts, using healthy fats like avocados, pumpkin, sweet potato, and beetroot to replace the refined sugars and butter. A great way to appeal to those who want to ‘cut down on carbs’ and increase their intake of vegetables without forgoing life’s indulgences!

So what do you think of our predicted trends for this summer? Will you be trying pigs trotters or introducing more non-alcoholic options to your summer menu? We can’t wait to see what you make of our top tips for summer 2019. Let us know which one you think will be most popular!

Whatever happens, we know that each of these ideas can help your restaurant with its marketing, especially when shared on social media!


Author: Lauren Watchorn