DRIER …with less chance of MEATBALLS

It started with fermented, pickled and gut-friendly foods, detoured into coconut everything and ended with vegan burgers that ‘bleed’. But 2018 was that kind of year.

Trends, as we know, can be fickle beasts, hard to predict and even harder to maintain. Even more so when it comes to the food and beverage sector where consumers’ fickle palates, supply and demand and social media crazes can see flavours and cuisines dip in and out of fashion.

So what can we expect in 2019? According to research firm Mintel, plant-based food will be the taste on everyone’s lips. In their Global Food and Drinks Trend 2019 report, Mintel said the trend for non-meat products was more than just a fad. Last year, for example, sales of plant-based foods in the US rose by 8.1 per cent, compared to the year before. It’s a similar story here, with the New Zealand Restaurant Association reporting an increase in customers seeking “humane eating experiences that promote sustainability to animals as well as the natural environment”. Expect to see, for example, mushrooms, particularly large, ‘meaty’ ones

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