One of our hottest tickets of the year is the Future Laboratory’s Food & Drink Trends briefing and this year it didn’t disappoint. Our AD Laura Oakley was there to get the low-down.

Dining preferences amongst consumer groups diverge dramatically and the younger the consumer, the more health conscious they are. Due to early exposure to Digital, Gen. D demand ingredient transparency, checking food labels (67% agree that healthy eating is trendy). One fifth of 16-24 year olds are teetotal and two thirds say that alcohol is not important to their social lives. We will continue to see the rise of low alcohol cocktails and ready to drink cocktails.

Alternative foods continue to ramp up with the rise of the ‘flexitarian’ diet - people are eating meat in reduced quantities and veganism has increased by 350%. Don’t be surprised to see the first commercially viable cultured meat (or lab-grown) being introduced to the market!

'Convenience Food' term takes a whole new meaning – it’s no longer about cellophane-wrapped sarnies, but more about technology enabling consumers to access food in more convenient ways. 'Fast food' no longer necessarily means a calorific fried meal - restaurants and takeaways are going more fresh and healthy to keep up with trends – fast food doesn’t necessarily mean unhealthy – it just means fast. Food for thought indeed!

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