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Summer food and drink trends from Mintel

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Features Trends food and drink trends food trends mintel summer food trends

Vegan barbecue and snacking with beer are among four food and drink trends we can expect to see this summer, according to a new international report from Mintel. 

2018 Summer Food & Drink Trends provides insights into consumer behaviour, Mintel said in a news release.

Here are four trends the research firm is predicting based on its information gathering:

Barbecue: It’s getting vegan in here

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 U.K. to cut, limit or reduce how much meat and poultry they are eating; 28 per cent of adults have done this over the six months to March 2017. Similarly, in the U.S., 33 per cent of consumers plan to buy more plant-based food products in the next year.


“Vegan options are on the rise, with several U.K. retailers such as Sainsbury’s, Tesco and just recently Waitrose launching extensive vegan lines in their stores. Flavour-bursting new varieties of vegan alternatives made from innovative ingredients like Indian jackfruit, which due to its texture and flavour is becoming an increasingly popular meat substitute, will be the star of the vegan barbecue this summer,“ said Melanie Zanoza Bartelme, global food analyst.

Ice Cream: The best of all worlds

The mythical beast that is better-for-you ice cream, characterized by low sugar and high protein has officially arrived in the U.K. Having outsold ice cream giants like Unilever and Nestlé Dreyers to become the best-selling ice cream in the U.S. over a four-week period in July 2017, Halo Top launched in the U.K. earlier this year. Among U.K. ice cream eaters, almost a third say that “low sugar” would encourage them to consume more ice cream.

“Ice cream brands which claim to offer health benefits have historically been hard to find in Europe. As consumers look to balance their diets with an occasional treat and a boost to their mood, more ice cream brands will emerge which aim to combine indulgence and health,” Alex Beckett, associate director, Mintel Food & Drink.

Snacks: Go bold or go home

New Mintel research indicates snacks that 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 of U.K. beer drinkers would like to see more information about matching food with beer. Similarly, many consumers are looking for bold and interesting flavours: half of Brazilian snackers agree that unusual/exotic flavours of salty snacks are appealing, while 36 per cent of U.S. consumers say they would buy more crisps if there were new flavours to try.

“When it comes to snacking, this summer will see strong flavours and textures that are specifically designed to go with alcohol that, no doubt, will be popular during the World Cup and barbecues alike. Snacks that have strong textures and flavours hold up particularly well with beer and other alcohol and, thus, will win in popularity this summer,” said Ayisha Koyenikan, global food and drink analyst.

Soft drinks: Goodbye sugar, hello flavour

Amid government regulations like the U.K. sugar tax, consumers are getting weary of old favourites like soft drinks, 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 of U.K. consumer agree that sparkling flavoured water is a good alternative to fizzy drinks.

“The desire for unsweetened beverage options, along with consumer demand for more exotic flavours and unusual ingredients, is driving a trend toward more and more creative sparkling waters. Recently, innovation in this space has reached new heights. This summer, expect to see less lemonade and more truly original mineral waters with natural flavours far beyond lemon or cucumber,” said Jenny Zegler, associate director of Mintel Food & Drink.

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