Changes In The Food And Drink Industry To Come In 2018

As consumer and dietary trends change over time, what we purchase from the supermarket also varies. So, what should you be adding to your shopping list in 2018? Suttons, online gardening retailers and advocates of grow your own vegetables, investigates:

Alcohol — the healthy option
Drinking alcohol regularly is a way of life for many people. Perhaps it’s when socialising with friends or drinking a complementary glass of wine when you’re out for a meal. However, we are becoming more health conscious and calorie counting doesn’t go well with a taste for liquor…

To address this issue, many bars and restaurants are expected to offer a healthier option on the drinks menu. This new trend allows us to drink and be sociable without consuming extra calories. The low-calorie option amongst alcoholic drinks has been a rising segment for many years and will continue to grow as we increasingly monitor what we eat and drink.

Currently in stores, there is low-calorie beer available but could this range expand? Now, 78% of bars offer cocktails which is up 12% on 2016 — driven by social media and people’s willingness to post photos of their fancy drinks. Zach Sasser, a head bartender, predicts that ingredients such as beetroot juice, kale and pureed carrots will be popular. “Going into this health-conscious age that we live in, I believe integration is inevitable,” he says.

When it comes to drinking cocktails, more mixologists are discussing the potential of adding healthy ingredients to increase their nutritional value. In one survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association, 700 chefs were surveyed on what they think the latest culinary trends may be. They said that the relationship between the bar and the kitchen is to become stronger. Can we expect vegetable-infused cocktails in 2018?

The rise of the mushroom
Research has shown that it could be the ‘adaptogenic’ compounds in mushrooms that will make them a popular item in 2018. These compounds assist in anti-stress and anti-cancer treatments. In fact, Food Navigator found that year-on-year sales of food products that include medicinal mushrooms have risen between an outstanding 200-800%, depending on the variety.

Reports from Grand View Research revealed that the mushroom market is predicted to exceed $50 billion (£37 million) over the next six years. Making its way into the food and drink sector through mushroom-infused coffees and mushroom smoothies, many cafes and retailers are already profiting from the trend.

We’re expected to see the magic ingredient in other sections of the supermarket too — in hair and beauty products! Different species of mushrooms are chosen for their varying properties — for example shiitake mushrooms are known for their richness in antioxidants and high vitamin D content, and the reishi mushroom is selected for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Cutting out meat
The amount of people ditching meat and turning vegetarian or vegan has grown drastically in recent years. In fact, the number of vegans in the UK has risen by 350% in the past decade — predominantly driven by the younger market, with half of those opting for this diet falling between the ages of 15 and 34. Some people are enjoying the best of both worlds with a flexitarian diet — primarily vegetarian with meat and fish occasionally.

Many consider a non-meat diet to be super healthy and free of fatty foods — but vegetarians want to indulge too! With so many people transforming to a ‘flexitarian’ diet, there is a new market for vegan fast food. This may include seeing more of plant-based ‘meat’, such as the innovation that Leonardo DiCaprio has invested in called Beyond Meat. This could come in the form of burgers or fried food. Expect to see other indulgent food too, such as extravagant vegan desserts.

New proteins
Healthy smoothies and yogurt based breakfasts have been big in 2017 — it’s likely that you would have seen them featured on your Instagram feed. Finely ground tea leaves, matcha and powdered super vegetables such as kale, spirulina and spinach have been popular too — their texture making it easy to add to soups, smoothies and salads. Registered dietician, Abbey Sharpe, explains their popularity: “I think people love a quick way to get in their healthy-eating fix, and powdered substances are seen as an easy way to pack in the nutrition.”

In 2018, experts predict that we’ll see more of plant based proteins. One of the newest forms of this is pea protein which has many benefits including its neutral taste — making it favourable for regular consumption.

British-grown food
With the potential effects of Brexit in many minds, it’s likely that we’ll favour home-grown produce this year. Brexit is already changing our views on food shopping. In April 2017, one in five said that they were more likely to buy British food after leaving the EU to support the economy. However, this was dependent on pricing, and if prices rise, many will go for cheaper alternatives.

We’ve already experienced some rising costs. For example, vegetable prices rose by 6.6% in 2016 and this was explained by climate problems in Europe which led to shortages in some items. Can we risk facing these soaring prices again? Many think not. Instead, keen and amateur gardeners are heading to their back yards to plant their own vegetables and it’s expected that this trend will continue.



  1. kris mc12:54

    interesting stuff. Everything in moderation I say :)

  2. Very interesting post

  3. The drink bars need to do more choice in soft drinks. Not everyone drinks and the majority of bars don't offer a good choice

  4. Education is the key - its surprising how many think that a few bags of crisps and a couple of bottles of wine a a week are good for you