With 2021 giving way to 2022 we thought we’d have a little look back to some of our favourite foodie hi-lights plus a flavour of what’s going to be served up next…
- The year started with Veganuary
2021 began and we were still in lockdown, looking for something to focus on a record-breaking 500,000 of us chose to pledge eating only vegan food throughout January. With even greater numbers expected to participate in this annual monthly challenge in 2022 veganism has definitely made the move into main-stream. Check out @weareveganuary on Instagram for inspiration along with the wealth of vegan friendly products available throughout retail and foodservice. We will be looking hungrily to plenty more new products launching throughout this January coming. #Veganuary2022
2. Flexitarianism & Plant-Based Eating
Looking to develop your vegan and plant-based options, give us a call, to see us how we could support you with your research needs.
3. Sustainability, Climatarian & Ocean Flexitarian
In November the 26th UN Climate Change Conference took place with much food for thought… do you know the carbon footprint of your morning croissant? Unfortunately, neither did they. With a Sustainable Food Strategy high on the agenda (and the menu) 70% of us have been feeling the ‘Greta Effect’. We want to understand how we can help mitigate climate change, lower carbon emissions, reduce our personal carbon footprints. Choosing a Climatarian lifestyle, a holistic approach of how we live, shop, cook and eat is a significant way of helping achieve this. What will we replace current choices with? One of the many topics of discussion regarding alternative food sources centred on ocean vegetables, coining the term Ocean Flexitarian. Algae has been hailed as a food of the future. With more than 70% of the earth covered in water we need to dive a little deeper, its not just fish that live in the sea, we know about sea weeds and sea moss, what other edibles lay, like undiscovered treasure, beneath the surface?
4. Motherless Meat & 3D Printing
With the prediction by global consultancy AT Kearney that by 2040 most meat would not come from dead animals, businesses have been furiously researching the potential of lab grown Motherless Meat. Eat Just is one of a growing number of start-ups working to develop cell- based versions of every animal product and after approval of their ‘chicken bites’ product from the Singapore food regulatory authorities back in December 2020 you can now order a ‘trio of cultured chicken dishes’ at restaurant 1880 or perhaps you’d prefer to order a Katsu Chicken Curry to your door via delivery app Foodpanda? Both products made using Eat Just’s innovative cell-based chicken. (Source: Future Food – Sign up here for monthly updates).
What about printing ‘new meat’? Plant based whole cuts to replicate the taste and texture of high-quality animal meat. Israeli company Redefine Meat, uses 3D-printing technology to replicate the taste of beef and lamb, their products, endorsed by leading European chefs, were launched in November of this year. The range of New-Meat products include beef and lamb cuts, as well as premium-quality burgers, sausages, kebabs, and ground beef.
Eshchar Ben-Shitrit, CEO and Co-Founder of Redefine Meat said: “We’ve achieved a level of superiority in taste and texture that surprised even some of the most recognized chefs in the world, and our unique technological capabilities enable us to replace every part of the cow for the first time… eliminating cattle as a means of production.”
5. Eating Out, Open Table Top 100
Luckily as the year continued, we were allowed to eat out again! Open Table helpfully listed their annual Top 100 favourite places to dine, the list was not ranked this year but compiled from close to a million reviews left by diners, criteria including hospitality & service level, menu creativity and ‘experience’. British Food holds sway at top spot as the most highly represented cuisine, followed by Modern European. The list features all genres with breakfast, brunches, lunches and dinners included, go Chinese, Ethiopian, Italian, Tex-Mex, Japanese, Polish… A few of the favourites: looking for traditional service in a contemporary setting as well as fabulous food? Head to Claude Bosi at Bibendum, more outstanding food at Core by Clare Smyth and Frog by Adam Handling, Covent Garden. Go global at the Restaurant at the Refuge, Manchester; try the Greyhound at Beaconsfield if you fancy a little gastro pub dining. Afternoon tea your thing? If you’re down near Leigh -On-Sea check out the spread at Mad Dogs & Englishmen. See the full list here
Image: Sunday lunch platter at the Restaurant at Refuge.
6. Best Bar in the World
As it is nearly Christmas though how about a drink? We would like to say congratulations to the Best Bar in the World: London’s Connaught Bar inside Mayfair’s opulent Connaught Hotel has just been named the best in the world for the second year in a row at The World’s Best Bar Awards.
With the handcrafted drinks costing between £20 and £24, the bar was praised for staying ‘true to its principles of presenting artful, modern drinks with graceful service’. Judges said: ‘Under the masterful leadership of Agostino Perrone, the venue’s Director of Mixology, Connaught Bar stays true to its principles of presenting artful, modern drinks with graceful service in an elegant setting.
7. Social Eating
With such beautiful venues it’s little wonder we have become obsessed with posting out our experiences across social media channels, we love this Social Eating trend. According to a Waitrose poll 31% of us have taken to posting food and table pictures more often than previously, no doubt due to a lack of other ways to socialise during the pandemic but we just can’t stop ourselves. Move over weather, tablescaping has practically become the new national past-time! It’s not just colourful Instagram photos either, Tik Tok has become one of the biggest influences on our current cooking and eating habits, apparently three-quarters of all 18-24 year olds searched Tik Tok for food inspiration and hacks during lockdown, no coincidence that this same age group became the most adventurous pandemic cooks also. A recent feta pasta recipe was viewed 947.9M times! Other popular posts included pesto eggs, whipped lemonade and chlorophyll water.
8. Health & Immunity
Whilst we may be having plenty of fun on Instagram and Tik Tok we are a little more serious about our health. Whilst immune health naturally took centre stage in the pandemic, we couldn’t get enough of foods naturally full of immunity boosting goodness; gut health and mental health are also areas of focus for consumers. Functional ingredients have been gaining attention and with the lines blurring between grocery and supplement aisles we are literally eating our way to good health.
Would you like to understand this market further? Get in touch to see how we could support you.
9. Street Food & Food Trucks
Street food has pushed its way right up to the top of culinary innovation, and we, it seems, cannot get enough of it: from burgers to baos, pad Thai, jerk chicken, fresh fried churros and stacked cheesecakes, you name it, you can have it. Street food encourages us to try an array of new flavours without breaking the bank. New style traders with their jazzed-up food trucks are offering us sophisticated and satisfying ‘on the go’ snacking. Regional cuisines are premiumised with the use of fresh, often organic or locally sourced ingredients giving us the authenticity we crave. Global cuisines – Chinese, Indian, Asian, Greek, American, Korean, Vietnamese… entice us with fragrance and spice allowing us a peak in at food heritage from around the world.
The British Street Food Annual Awards returned this year with the finals, held in Hull in September, crowning Janet’s Authentic Northern Chinese as the 2021 Champion. Check out her instagram account – @janetskoreanchinesepontypridd
10. Food Halls
Event and mobile Street Food proving so popular branched itself out, found ‘static’ venues, converting itself into Food Halls. The halls feature an ever-changing array of pop-up traders, we are spoilt for choice with the variety of offer; with large bars and communal dining areas they satisfy all our needs. Some of the best to visit include: GPO Food Hall & Bar, Seven Dials Market, Herbert’s Yard street food venue, café, market & community space, Birmingham; Kommune (Instagram @kommune_ch), & Cutlery Works Sheffield; Mackie Mayor (Instagram @mackiemayor) food hall & communal dining, Manchester.
11. Flavour Trends
The year’s ongoing travel restrictions have left us searching for adventures in our food, with the opportunity to try so many different cuisines under one roof at the Food Halls we are becoming more experimental in our food choices with new flavours creeping onto our radars. Emerging cuisines include Peruvian, an exotic collation of flavours incorporating Japanese, Spanish & Arabic influences. Pacific Rim is making a re-appearance with a focus on healthy dishes in particular the colourful Hawaiian Poke Bowl; and a continuing interest in Nordic style with its freshness and simplicity as well as the use of age-old cooking methods like smoking, salting, preserving, pickling and fermenting.
12. A Christmas Treat…
Stuck on ideas for a last-minute Christmas present… well how about whisking your loved ones of to the Grand Velas Los Cabos resort in Mexico and treating them to a slap up… taco! A pretty special taco we have to say, tuck into Kobe beef, Almas Beluga caviar and black truffle brie sat in a gold-flake infused taco shell, accompanied by a salsa of dried Morita chili peppers, premium anejo tequila and civet coffee beans… at just $25,000 per taco what better way to say Happy Christmas to your loved ones!!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our 12 Foodie Facts of 2021 and if you would like any information on how we can help you with your business requirements please do send us a message.