The UK is a very food-centric place. This is all the more impressive when you consider where we’ve come from. Historically, as a nation, we were not known for our culinary prowess. While lumpy gravy and granny’s overcooked veg are fairly stereotypical, we didn’t cover ourselves in gastronomic glory in the pre-war years.
Things are very different now. How and where we eat, who we eat with and what we’re eating are all hot topics and subject to frequent change. As our society changes, so too do our habits, so what food trends can we expect to be on our plates in 2016?
Sustainable food and reducing wasted food
It’s not just the UK who are becoming more aware of the need for sustainability in the food we eat. Expect to see increased use of vegan and vegetarian ingredients along with fiery flavours and sauces to get the taste buds going. Indian flavours are due to make a big impact in 2016, and any cooking that starts with sustainability in mind is sure to be a hit.
Sharing platters and communal eating
The trend of eating on the run will continue to gain pace. Our busy lives mean that slaving over a complicated three-course feast and then sitting down for a good couple of hours (followed by mountains of washing up) is out. Relaxed and informal meals with clean, fresh flavours and simply presented group-eating are the order of the day. Fuelling this need for easy to prepare and quick to eat meals will be a host of fresh and pre-prepared foods that can be served with minimum hassle.
Millennials want high-quality and well cooked food but without needing to leave the house. The Italian restaurant sector has long seen the wisdom of providing both eat-in and eat-out menu options and now the whole restaurant sector is catching on. Companies like Deliveroo now operate as the order and transport fulfillment partners to a range of traditional restaurants chains like Las Iguanas, Wagamama and Carluccio’s, as well as local independent restaurants, who are happy to provide the same chef-cooked food menu to home diners. This follows on from supermarket partnerships with “super chefs” like Heston Blumenthal and Jamie Oliver. Expect to continue to see high quality chef-made food in the fresh and frozen aisles of supermarkets.
While this is just the tip of the iceberg, 2016 will see quality being prized over quantity. People are becoming increasingly aware of the food on their plates and what its production means: not just for them, but for the whole planet. This is countered by the changes the modern lifestyle is having on our eating patterns, with fresh, quick and uncomplicated being the watchwords.
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