The future trends of food and drink

Tim Firmager
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The Innovation Group report, based on a survey of 1,003 UK and US individuals, provides the latest trends of food and drink – in which we learn that fat is back, ethical eats are enormous, food porn is the new norm, and cannabis connoisseurs are on the rise.

‘Today’s food and drink consumers are more sophisticated than ever before,’ said Lucie Greene, Worldwide Director of the Innovation Group.

‘Our research shows that both US and UK consumers are placing increasing importance on food and drink as an experiential luxury and reflection of their personal identity. We also found that Millennials, despite their well-documented economic challenges, are demanding higher-quality food, visual stimulation, and technologically enhanced experiences.’

The report features qualitative reporting that delves into the latest future-facing food and drink trends, as well as case studies of the best food and drink innovations. Key trends include:

  • 1. Flexitarians are the new omnivores – Plant-based products are becoming indistinguishable from meat, while small-scale meat producers increasingly market their wares to vegetarians. We are all ‘flexitarians’ now.
  • 2. Delivery futures – Ordering takeaway on smartphones is old news—get ready for curated delivery, delivery-only restaurants and even zero-cost delivery by self-driving car.
  • 3. Fat is back – Discourse around fat is changing. Far from being off the menu, it’s back and is being positively encouraged by brands and chefs in new products and ingredients.
  • 4. Food porn is the new norm – Awash in food imagery on social media, consumers are gravitating towards surprising and compelling images that aim more for the mind than the stomach.
  • 5. Cannabis connoisseurs – A wave of marijuana legalization in the US has freed beverage startups to experiment with THC infusions, as well as non-intoxicating hemp concoctions. The majority of consumers surveyed across Millennials, Gen X and Boomer generations agree that marijuana will be as socially acceptable as alcohol over the next decade.
  • 6. Health meets hedonism – Health-conscious Millennials are having their cake and eating it too when it comes to alcohol, gravitating toward healthier mixers and mashing up exercise with hedonism.
  • 7. Not your mother’s ‘Tom Collins’ – The cloying cocktails of the 1970s and 80s were long considered passé, but they are making a comeback as mixologists reinvent them for sophisticated, modern palates.
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About Tim Firmager

Tim divides his time being a Digital Consultant in The City and as a food and travel writer across the globe. When he's not working as one of the Lifestyle Editors here at Vada, he's planning his next trip, or on the lookout for the latest food crazes or unusual foods in London's markets.