Summer food and drink trends revealed

Summer food and drink trends revealed
Credit: Shutterstock.com/ Anna-Mari West

The big trends for food and drink this summer put the emphasis on big, bold flavours but with an emphasis on low, fat and sugar, according to the 2018 Summer Food & Drink Trends from Mintel.

Vegan barbecue

Although barbecue selection has become more diverse with the addition of fish and cheese in recent years, vegan barbecue might not have been a consideration for a meat-eater – until now.

There has been an increase in speciality vegan products, such as black bean chipotle, catering to changes in consumer tastes.

A clear trend has emerged for consumers in the UK to cut, limit or reduce how much meat and poultry they are eating – 28% of adults have done this over the six months to March 2017. Similarly, in the US, 33% of consumers plan to buy more plant-based food products in the next year.

Better for you ice cream

The mythical beast that is better-for-you ice cream, characterised by low sugar and high protein has officially arrived in the UK.

Having outsold ice cream giants like Unilever and Nestlé Dreyers to become the best-selling ice cream in the US over a four week period in July 2017, Halo Top launched in the UK earlier this year. Among UK ice cream eaters, almost a third (32%) say that ‘low sugar’ would encourage them to consume more ice cream.

Snacks with bold flavours

Research from Mintel indicates that snacks which are designed to be a companion to beer are poised to do especially well this summer.

The combination of alcohol and salty snacks is nothing new, yet just under half (46%) of UK beer drinkers would like to see more information about matching food with beer.

Similarly, many consumers are looking for bold and interesting flavours: 50% of Brazilian snackers agree that unusual/exotic flavours of salty snacks are appealing, while 36% of US consumers say they would buy more crisps if there are new flavours to try.

Low-sugar soft drinks

Amid government regulations like the UK sugar tax, consumers are getting weary of old favourites like soda, cola and lemonade.

Bold flavoured sparkling waters is a recent trend bringing naturalness and flavour to the soft bring market, and presents an alternative to sugar and artificial ingredients.

They seem to be a natural alternative for a large number of consumers: over half (53%) of UK consumer agree that sparkling flavoured water is a good alternative to fizzy drinks.