In the food and drinks industry, people are constantly trying to predict the next big thing and beat the competition to market. We saw plenty of newly established and soon to launch brands at this year’s Food Matters Live and we’ve pulled together the biggest food trends from the event, plus the things to look out for on the food and drink scene in 2019….

Insect protein
With the launch of edible crickets in Sainsbury’s, it wasn’t quite as surprising to see a stand promoting their bread made with cricket flour. What was surprising was the sheer volume of products and stands that are turning to insect proteins and flours. It’s set to be a huge trend for 2019, so I’m a Celebrity might have to step up it’s eating challenges, because perceptions around eating insects are about to undergo an overhaul!
Expect to see: cricket cookies and protein bars.

Fermented food trend

With the links between gut health and mental health, and the rise in awareness of the two, a shift has begun; away from the usual fizzy drinks and towards drinks with gut health benefits. Which explains why you could hardly move at Food Matters Live without bumping into a Kombucha brand. Even Rugby legend Jonny Wilkinson is getting in on the action, with his brand No.1 Kombucha. It’s not just the benefits people are enjoying though, it’s the taste too, with sensory experience brand IFF extracting the elements that create the fermented flavours and balancing out their alternative drinks.
Expect to see: a whole lot more ready to drink Kefir and Kombucha options.


Alternative healthier chickpea snacks
Healthier choices.
‘Is it healthy?’ was a question that got asked relentlessly throughout the day. ‘It’s healthier’ was the general response. The message from nutritionists of late has been to choose better and snack companies have well and truly responded. Why choose between kale and crisp when you could have something in between? Not Kale Crisps though… They’re neither tasty nor satisfying. We’re talking about snacks made with alternative flours, with lower levels of saturated fat and salt, with heaps of flavour and natural ingredients.
Expect to see: new snack options shaking up the sector.

Conscious eating
Free from has been on the rise over the last few years, with supermarkets upgrading from a small amount of shelf space to dedicated aisles of free from products. The shift in attitudes around where ingredients come from has been growing along side it. It started with eggs, with many consumers rejecting battery car eggs in favour of free range and organic. Now we’re looking at sustainably sourced, dairy free coffee drinks and snacks that have a positive impact on the environment, rather than taking anything away.
Expect to see: more info on how ingredients are made and sourced

Less meat, but not meatless
Confusingly, one of the biggest exhibitions was from a company called Meatless, who don’t (as you would expect) make vegan or vegetarian foods. Instead, they make 50/50 options, like burgers and chicken nuggets supplemented with vegetable fibres. You might be thinking that cheaper burgers and the like are often bulked up with filler ingredients, but the idea here is transparency around those ingredients, and only adding things that benefit the taste while improving the overall health appeal of the products. This is one for meat eaters who want to reduce their meat intake without giving it up all together.
Expect to see: more flexitarian products and recipes.

Spotted any food trends you think will take over in 2019? We want to hear it so leave us a comment below.