The new decade has begun – the renewed energy of a new year brings a host of exciting and innovative food and beverages for us to try and enjoy. Understanding food trends enables us to evolve our provisions for students and align offers with market developments. So, what can we expect to see over the coming months?
- More gluten-free baking alternatives: Gluten-free is nothing new, though the vast array of options continues to expand. Ever had cookies cooked with banana flour? How about a cake made from chestnut flour or protein balls baked with tigernut flour? The world of gluten-free baking continues to expand, and we can expect to see the integration of alternative gluten-free products.
- Gut health upgrades: Probiotics (healthy bacteria for the gut) have been an integral part of food trends for the past few years, with the addition of kefir and kombucha into the mainstream. We are continuing to see the expansion of gut-healing foods enter the supermarket shelves, with collagen powder, bone broth (stock) and supplements containing digestive enzymes. Gut health is imperative for the absorption of vitamins and minerals and has also been linked to positive mental health.
- Protein matters: We are all well aware of the boom in meat-free diets. These lifestyles continue to thrive and, as such, new and innovative products are continuing to enter the market to fill the gaps and satisfy this growing need. While soy has often been the dominating meat substitute, we can expect to see alternatives such as nuts, seeds and even avocado replacing the humble soybean.
Similarly, we will continue to see alternatives such as the ‘impossible burger’ in the mainstream, which minimises the taste and texture of meat but is entirely vegan. This type of food appeals to ethical vegans, who enjoy the taste of meat but do not believe in the methods of procuring real meat from animals. This shows that student meals should continue to be cognisant of changing and individual philosophies and needs.
What do you expect to see this year? Let us know on Twitter: @RP_Consultants