With only a few months left of 2019 and 2020 in touching distance, head of process at Integrated Food Projects, Ed Keenan, gives his predictions for the top food and drink trends for the industry next year. In the first of two parts, this blog will cover ten trends that we have already seen develop over this year, but with expected growth in popularity over the next 12 months.

This year we’ve seen an ever-increasing rise in trend in plant-based products being manufactured and consumed. As this continues I expect to see some more unusual plant based ingredients appearing on the menu:

  1. Sugar-free fruit juice – You heard me right; as people begin to finally understand that the sugar in seemingly healthy fruit juice is bad news for our health, manufacturers will begin converting these free sugars into complex carbohydrates (fibre) which are good for us. This can be done without any change to the actual product ingredients.
  2. Salads grown in supermarkets – Food miles for fresh produce sold in bulk in the UK’s high streets is a hot topic. Supermarkets can reduce the food miles for their stock and grow salad products vertically under LED in cabinets within the inside of the shop itself.
  3. Raw milk equivalent (non-thermal process) – A widely debated topic, I expect to see ‘raw’ milk processed through HPP or PEF at some point over the next few months.
  4. Five or less – Products with five ingredients or less are expected to rise in popularity next year. Consumers are now reacting to messages about ultra-processed foods, so the fewer ingredients, the better.
  5. Cannabis foods – We have already seen the rise of CBD vape liquids and oils on the high street, but I expect to see more CBD food and drink items appearing on the shelves of major high street retailers. Moving away from health shops, I think more ‘mainstream’ stores will be inclined to stock these products to keep up with consumers’ demand.
  6. Beauty boosting foods – Foods that are specifically targeted at areas such as skin, hair and nails are set to be a big trend next year. Brands that focus on vitamin boosting and collagen-infused food products will continue to fill more shopping baskets, and I even think major beauty brands will enter the food and drink sector very soon.
  7. Whey as an ingredient – It is already used in breads as a replacement for gluten and eggs, and sometimes as an alternative to cream. We’ve even seen some Michelin starred restaurants leading this charge, so expect to see way more whey in our diets very soon.
  8. Seaweed – Perhaps gaining popularity due to its high levels of potassium rather than sodium salts, it doesn’t have the same impact on blood pressure. Seaweed will become a common salt replacement having already established its dominance over kale as a snack food. We will also see an increase in packaging derived from seaweed, in a bid for the industry to reduce plastic waste.
  9. Rum – Both whiskey and gin have had their time in the spirit-spotlight and it’s now the turn of rum, so expect to see rum houses popping up in city centres. I also expect a craft rum explosion to happen in 2020.
  10. Personalised nutrition – Think of the likes of Huel or Soylent, but something that is bespoke to you based on your health or goals or even blood tests. Individuals are becoming more and more aware of what they are putting into their bodies, so, easy to consume, and bespoke products will have their time next year.

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Integrated Food Projects have partnered with Kettleby Foods on a number of high-profile multi-million pound capital projects since 2003/4, helping the business to develop and grow. Throughout that time they have provided cost-effective and efficient solutions on development projects both at our existing ready meals production facility and also in creating a new satellite facility. The projects at our existing facility were managed without impact on our ability to service our own clients, and all projects have been delivered within budget, in a timely fashion and to the requisite standards of safety and quality. Their team work ethos and professional approach ensure successful projects and I would utilise Integrated Food Projects in the future without hesitation.

- Jarrod Thorndyke, Production Director

I have worked with Integrated Food Projects on many capital expenditure projects since 2004, the latest being the development of the new plot of land adjacent to our main site. They successfully employed a project delivery process to ensure the integration of a leased modular building solution with the development of the site infrastructure to improve logistics and Health and Safety. Their staff are always positive and enthusiastic and have fostered a team-work approach ensuring another successful project delivered. I look forward to working with them again in the near future.

- Engineering Manager, Major UK Ready Meals Manufacturer