It’s been the year in which ‘clean eating’ became dirty, avocado fans have taken things too far, and ‘flexitarianism’ is the norm. Throughout it all, our sister company Flavour Feed has been tracking every twist, turn and trend in the world of food. With just a few months to go until the end of the year, here are some of the defining trends, fads and innovations of 2017 so far.
We replaced ‘clean’ with ‘flexible’
If 2016 saw the rise of clean, 2017 has very much seen its downfall. Consumers have begun to reject the dogmatic and over-inflated claims made by the movement and are instead seeking a more balanced, realistic way to eat sustainably and healthily. Even the former ‘queen of clean’ Deliciously Ella is distancing herself from the term, while naysayers like the Angry Chef are gaining popularity for their no-nonsense mythbusting of claims surrounding movement.
Flexitarianism gave us a happy medium
With veganism up 350% over the last decade, and more people turning vegetarian than ever before, the pressure is on to cut back on meat and animal products which some people believe are unsustainable food sources if we continue to consume them at the rate we currently do. For those who won’t quit but still want to do their bit, ‘flexitarianism’ (AKA ‘reductarianism’) is a popular, and far less dogmatic, option.
We reached peak bowl food
The ever-popular bowl food trend crowned its king in the form of the Hawaiian poke bowl. Part sushi, part buddha-bowl, the superfood-rich portions of raw fish, kimchi or slaw, rice, avocado, and whatever else you fancy have become a firm favourite for city lunches in New York and London, thanks, in part, to their incredible levels of Instagrammableness.
Junk food became posh…
It all started with the literally-named Gourmet Burger Kitchen, but nobody could have predicted just how much the fancy fast food trend would gain momentum. In 2017, the gentrification of greasy takeaway extended from burgers into the finger-lickin’ world of fried chicken, with millennials’ rejecting chains in favour of artisanal, high-quality outlets instead. Meanwhile, fine-dining chefs are ditching the kitchen and taking up spots in kiosks and market stalls to bring a luxe spin to street food, with spots like Kerb and Flat Iron Square becoming favourite hangouts for food-lovers.
… and so did takeaway
Fast food is even better when it comes to you, right? The UK certainly seems to think so, as demand for gourmet takeaway has grown exponentially in 2017. Deliveroo is leading the curve (with orders growing by 650% in 2016), specialising in local independents, while Uber Eats is going after a different market by bringing big chains like McDonald’s to your door for the first time ever. Meanwhile, Ocado is testing a driverless delivery vehicle, and Tesco rolled out same-day delivery. Waiting for food has never been less fashionable.
Flavour Feed is a dynamic subscription platform that brings you the latest food trends, news and updates in real time as part of a series of bespoke newsfeeds. Created by myself, innovation chef David Swann and retail-insight authority Richard Savage, and supported by a panel of experts including nutritionist Kiki Bosch, butcher James George (of Turner & George) and food historian Marc Meltonville, it’s used by restaurateurs, marketers and foodie entrepreneurs to stay on top of this notoriously fast-moving industry. You can sign up or learn more here.