Food trend predictions for 2018

19th December 2017 (Last Updated January 3rd, 2018 11:19)

EHL Ingredients predicts that vegan and gluten-free food ingredients are set to dominate menus in 2018 as consumers diversify their eating habits to suit modern lifestyles. Tasneem Backhouse, joint managing director at EHL Ingredients, shares the following predictions on food ingredient trends for the year ahead.

Food trend predictions for 2018

Veggie vibes

Consumers of all ages are becoming increasingly experimental with their food choices, with a surge in those following a vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian diet. Veganism is shedding its fuddy-duddy image as a new wave of fashionable, younger consumers adopts the animal-free diet and research by the Vegan Society reveals that there are now around 542,000 vegans in aged between 15 and 35.

EHL’s ingredient blends are perfect for spicing up plant-based dishes, with Indian, Mexican, Middle Eastern, North African, Creole and Mediterranean cuisines growing in popularity within street food and pop up markets, restaurants and at-home dining. Chefs and caterers can add these blends to roasted vegetables, pulse-based dishes, pies and pasta, tacos and wraps, soups and stews to offer tasty and appealing vegan options.

“Vegans of all ages are embracing an animal-free diet so it’s important to provide tasty and nutritious foods to meet this demand. Adding spices and blends brings colour, flavour, texture and taste to dishes, accompaniments and on the go snacks, so it’s essential to offer quality, authentic foods for today’s well-travelled and culturally diverse consumers.”

Going for gluten-free

There is a rise in food allergy sufferers in the UK and around one percent of Britons suffer from coeliac disease (gluten allergy), with around 12 percent of adults choosing to follow a gluten-free diet. To feed this demand, dining outlets are under pressure to bring high quality, differentiated, gluten-free products to the table.

“Consumers are looking for authentic flavours and textures in free-from foods and our new gluten-free range offers chefs and caterers quality, versatile, ingredients to create traditional favorites and innovative dishes for consumers to enjoy.”

Tasneem concludes: “2018 looks set to bring more exciting food trends as tastes and preferences develop. Social media influencers, bloggers, health and fitness enthusiasts, and celebrity chefs play a huge role in encouraging consumers to follow certain diets and food trends. The vegan and gluten-free markets are growing and they really present an opportunity for us, and for the food industry as a whole, so we are working hard to source and develop ingredients to ensure those adhering to these diets don’t have to compromise on flavour.

“We’re always looking out for the next big food trend and our new product development team is constantly working on sourcing new ingredients and developing new herb and spice blends to suit the ever changing tastes and preferences of British consumers.

“Operators, chefs and caterers can capitalise on these emergent trends to ensure they are meeting demand and making products more readily available, increasing convenience and choice for consumers in 2018 and beyond.”

EHL’s products are available in bulk to caterers and chefs, dining outlets and operators. EHL stocks around 50 blends and seasonings and over 200 conventional and organic ingredients, including herbs and spices, beans, lentils and peas, herbs, nuts and dried fruits, seeds and flakes, grains and rice, oils, vinegars, salts, sugars and syrups, as well as other ingredients such as flour, honey and fruit concentrates.