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Trends at Food and Drink Expo 2018

Food and Drink Expo is one of the key dates in the UK food and drink calendar. With so many companies under one roof, it’s a great opportunity to spot the latest trends in the industry. Here’s a few things I spotted:

Functional drinks

It’s not enough for a drink to rehydrate you, it has to benefit your body in other ways too.

Functional drinks included Equinonx Kombucha, made from green tea, cane sugar and a live culture of bacteria and yeast which is said to work wonders on the mind and body.

Willy’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) with The Mother is a recent launch from Will Chase, the man behind Tyrrells crisps and Chase vodka. ACV emphasises the health benefits of the Mother, a cloudy substance containing bacteria and enzymes that are said to help with weight loss, arthritis, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and energy. 

Other functional drinks included the luxury looking Alive Beverages whose Supabalance smoothie claims to help you find peace, calm and clarity and the Polish tea drink Dzeramais with immune boosting health claims. 

No sugar, no sweetener drinks

With the recent introduction of the sugar tax and increasing scepticism surrounding artificial sweeteners, beverages with no sugar and no sweeteners might seem like the logical next step.

Products included Virtue sparkling energy water, which comes in berry and lemon and lime flavours and No and More, with flavours including cucumber and mint and watermelon and melon. 


Low fat and low sugar

Continuing the health trend, products that are both low in fat and sugar were well represented.

Boka’s cereal bars are the first in the UK to have four green lights for fat, saturated fat, sugars and salt. 

Wheyhey’s salted caramel ice cream is sugar free and contains no artificial sweeteners (but does contain xylitol).

Taking on the chocolate spread establishment is Jim Jams, a spread that contains 83% less sugar than leading brands.

Premium low alcohol / alcohol free

According to Kantar Worldpanel, sales of beer and cider with less than 1.2% alcohol grew by nearly 30% in 2017 compared with 2015.

Big Drop Brewing Co from Ipswich have been nominated for best drinks producer in the Radio 4 Food and Farming Awards for their range of craft beers that are all less than 0.5% ABV. 

Chastity no sin gin is a small batch alcohol-free gin. Their Seduction gin is a London Dry style with juniper, coriander, liquorice, angelica, rose petal and hibiscus flower.

Pulses, seeds and grains

Food writer Tony Naylor says that pulses, seeds and grains are on the rise with British farmers turning back towards these crops.

On display was Quoats, instant porridge pots made with British quinoa, oat and flax. Henry’s Super Oats pots are available in flavours like beetroot, ginger & turmeric, coconut & hemp.

Snacks included Nuto popped lotus seeds and Hippeas organic chickpea puffs, which has financial backers including Leonardo DiCaprio.


Pushing flavour boundaries

Flavour boundaries continue to be pushed by companies looking for a point of difference.

The Chocolate Smiths range of Bizarre bars includes flavours like maple bacon and cheese & crackers. Stateside Treat Emporium make American-inspired chocolate bars in varieties such as Ice Cream Float and Key Lime Pie.

Continuing the theme is Mr Fitzpatrick’s vintage cordials whose flavours include blackcurrant & liquorice and sour cherry, red grape & hibiscus.


Alternative proteins

Whether it’s for ethical, environmental or dietary reasons, alternative protein sources continue to grow in profile.

Pembrokeshire’s Bug Farm Foods displayed their insect-based products including chocolate chip cricket cookies, buffalo worm powder and yellow mealworm powder. 

Novofarina showcased their 100% yellow pea flour which is high in protein and gluten free.


Natural colours and DIY produce

Other products which may be a sign of wider trends included Exberry’s natural colours made from fruits, vegetables and edible plants. 

Ross and Ross’s DIY bacon curing kit demonstrates that people are increasingly willing to get hands on with their produce. 


Contact us 

If your company is looking for support with new product development which capitalises on the latest trends then get in touch with the ZERO2FIVE team on 02920 416306.