Keeping up with the constantly-evolving customer needs is challenging. But identifying those important food trends ahead of time is key in making sure your business is ready for new opportunities, whatever the future brings. This is why we’ve identified these summer food trends and created a series of recipes to support operators.
The importance of good health and mindful eating has become more apparent over the last year. 33% of UK adults ate healthy food as a method of dealing with stress, which has intensified in response to the pandemic¹
While the definition of health remains highly personalised, overall wellbeing will include both physical and mental health. It is key to offer balanced, nutritious* seasonal products as part of any summer food menu, that are full of goodness*, are tasty and packed with flavour.
Plant-based alternatives have become a mainstream, not a trend
Motivations for consuming less animal-derived products vary, but the pandemic has reminded us of the need to embrace eating patterns that support human* and planetary health ². Over half of adults eat meat substitutes in the six months to August 2021, furthermore six in 10 users eat meat substitutes at least once a week³.
Households with children are also more likely to eat plant-based food at least once a week than those without children, lending further weight to the segment’s long-term growth prospects³.
The great outdoors
Casual dining trends can expand the barbecue opportunity. With some travel bans still in place, social distancing, and a whole lot of adjusting to the next normal, barbequing has returned to its former glory in 2021. The outdoor cooking scene is expected to see further growth over the 2022, becoming more adventurous – both the cooking styles and ingredients.
The plant-based grilling food trend inspires summer veggie innovation allowing flexitarians, vegetarians, and vegans to appreciate unique flavours grilling imparts on plant-derived foods.
For example, Classic steak and chips gets a unique upgrade with the Vegan Sensational Burger. Easy to reshape once defrosted and with an incredible meaty taste and texture, give your vegan customers a mouth-watering dish.
Seasonality can add uniqueness to salad and vegetable offerings
Seasonality can play an important part in consumer choice as it is strongly linked to associations with quality and authenticity. Consumers increasingly expect the start of a new season to bring new, seasonally inspired products that offer fresh and exciting flavours.
Vegetables with a seasonal link like cucumbers, corn and broccoli can combine with flavoursome dressings to create the brilliant summer side dish.
Following the months of uncertainty brought on by COVID-19, consumers are looking for comfort and fulfilment.
The global travel shutdown will make consumers yearn for food flavours and new food trends that offer escapism, a kind of virtual tourism for the taste buds.
This yearning to travel is a mindset with which foodservice operators should empathise when adding dishes to their menu. This is already evident in world cuisine, which has become more mainstream because of consumers' desires to explore new flavours and learn about different cultures, giving us more reason to expand and improve our summer food menu.
*GARDEN GOURMET® range is high in protein and source of fibre, mostly meet UK 2024 salt targets, non-HFSS. Protein contributes to the maintenance of muscle mass when consumed as a part of a balanced diet and part of a healthy lifestyle
¹ Source: Mintel
² Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report, 2019 - Available at: https://www.ipcc.ch/srccl
³ Kantar Profiles/Mintel, August 2021