Where Brits are headed in the culinary world
The results are in and it’s official, we’re a nation of foodies – well, sort of.
Coining the term ‘Culinary Magpie’, the latest Great British Chefs Insight report has shown a real resurgence of food trends from 50-60 year ago, with foodies looking to cook things from scratch, whether that’s jams, chutneys and pickles or the more technical coq au vin, we’re willing to get our hands dirty and give it a go!
The modern-day British foodie’s kitchen contains all the bells and whistles that you might expect from a start-up restaurant. The likes of ice-cream makers, pizza stones and spiralisers have become commonplace and it turns out that around 40 per cent of us own specialist equipment needed for pickling, 13 per cent for brewing beer, and an enthusiastic five per cent curing their own salami*.
When it comes to whipping up a quick, nutritious dinner, foodies steer well clear of microwave or ready meals and takeaways are likely to be sourced from local restaurants as opposed to chain stores. The esteemed foodie has the creativity to throw something together based on whatever they can find in the cupboard, with pasta being the main go-to as it’s easy to create but still delicious, so long as you don’t use a store-bought sauce…
While foodies as a whole are a talented bunch, modesty is not their strong point. When surveyed, 82 per cent said they’re much better cooks than their parents, taking inspiration from books (88%) or online (85%)*. Eating out is another important source of knowledge with the majority recreating what they’ve been served in British restaurants or on holidays abroad. Copy-cat cooking is also on the up thanks to the boom of televised cooking shows such as Masterchef and Great British Bake Off as an adventurous 83 per cent cook dishes they’ve seen on-screen.
The famed Sunday roast is still a fighting favourite for Brits, however foodies have taken a truly global approach to eating. More of us are branching out to try exotic meats such as ostrich, kangaroo, buffalo and crocodile. A peek inside our kitchen cupboards surprisingly reveals more fish sauce than brown sauce along with copious amounts of coconut milk, soy sauce and tinned tomatoes.
Overall, the recent survey from Great British Chefs highlights exactly how the world of food has changed so dramatically from as little as ten years ago, when things like fish sauce and spiraliser machines were housed solely in expert kitchens. We’re hoping to see more unusual ingredients becoming readily available in the next five to ten years with an onslaught of eager, budding foodies to match!
The concept of hygge proved to be a publishers’ dream in 2016 with seemingly everyone in Britain subscribing to the Nordic philosophy of wellbeing and simple home comforts. But the benefits of thinking Danishly extend beyond interior design.
A new report (released in March 2017) has identified the top 20 happiest countries to live in, and an impressive four out of the top five are Nordic countries. Food for thought when considering the concept of contentment and the role that has to play in how we live our lives beyond the flickering of candlelight and a well-placed throw.
The World Happiness Report is carried out annually and measures happiness and life satisfaction levels in 155 countries worldwide. The study also takes in to account societal influences such as perceptions of corruption and freedom to make life choices, which lead to the US falling to 14th place this year, as well as factors such as equality, GDP per capita, life expectancy and social support.
The UK rose up the ranks by four places this year, making an appearance at number 19 in the chart, with our neighbours in Ireland entering at number 15.
However, it’s the Nordic countries which take centre stage in the findings this year, and to whom the global audience should turn to as a benchmark for successful living. While not everywhere is lucky enough to call home the breath-taking scenery that makes up much of this part of the world, and which undoubtedly must play a role in the fulfilling lives of locals, there are certain factors that can be shared.
Low income tax, free healthcare and higher education as well as excellent welfare and social support systems are all factors which contribute to reducing the wealth gap, meaning money does less of the talking. Instead, a rewarding social life is higher up the agenda, contributing to a shared higher quality of life. The countries also enjoy a long-life expectancy and peaceful politics – not forgetting of course a great sense of style!
The Top Five Happiest Places to Live in the World in 2017:
Destinations to watch inspired by the big screen
In case you live under a rock, the 89th Academy Awards took place last night with the film world’s glitterati turning out for the culmination of what has been one of the most exciting and surprising awards seasons yet. Although a certain ‘Best Picture’ mis-hap seems to have overshadowed the event, rather than focus on that, our travel team are more interested in taking a look at the locations that played home to this year’s Oscar nominated pictures. Has La La Land inspired a mass exodus to the city of angels? Or is Miami, location for winning film Moonlight, on the bucket list of travellers this year?
La La Land – Los Angeles, California
If the opening scene of the movie, or the now iconic shot of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone doing a ‘Fred and Ginger’ above the sparkling lights of the city, doesn’t have you running for the Hollywood Hills, then there’s a small chance you may be dead inside… From the sun-kissed trendsetters of Venice Beach to the swanky hole-in-the-wall bars in West Hollywood, LA has become a must visit spot for travellers all over the world. The Getty centre is a must-do for all wishing to visit the star-studded city. J. Paul Getty Trust is a billion-dollar trust treasuring art and artefacts from around the globe. A collection of priceless pieces to rival The Louvre, it’s easy to immerse yourself for hours. Finish the day with a picnic on the grass, a glass of vino and the ever-enchanting scenery where blockbuster dreams are made. The city of angels will leave you dazed and dazzled dreaming of your name in lights. Plus, Norwegian has just released its schedule of super cheap trans-atlantic flights to destinations including LA so now there’s no excuse for putting off the dream!
Lion – Calcutta, India
The heart-wrenching story of an adopted boy who tries to find his family will make you love, laugh and cry for sure, but it will also have you yearning for the colourful climes of India. Set between Australia and India, the film is a fusion of two rich cultures. Food, history and cultural immersion are a few of the major draw cards for travellers lucky enough to be heading there. Dev Patel’s character Saroo starts life in the slums of Kolkata, the capital of India’s West Bengal state. Today, the city is known for its grand colonial architecture, art galleries and cultural festivals. There is a saying in India ‘athithi devo bhava’ which means ‘the guest is God’. To get the full experience a home-stay is well recommended, given that Indian hospitality is second to none. Whether travelling for food, soul searching or the spectacular scenery, India needs to be on everyone’s bucket list.
Moonlight – Miami, Florida
Although this masterpiece, which (eventually!) triumphed at last night’s ceremony, is shot in an impoverished area of the city, Miami still shines. The beach plays a major role in leading character Chiron’s journey from boy to manhood. Virginia Key Beach, where Chiron learns to swim, is now a state park and trust, dedicated to preserving natural wildlife and endangered species. Elsewhere, the film’s stunning visuals capture sides of the city rarely visited by tourists. With soft focus shots of housing complexes or long character scenes set against a backdrop of rolling waves, you almost feel you’re there in the warm air. Miami is trending now, not just for its beaches but as centre for art, food and culture, plus with spring break approaching, it’s on Expedia’s top ten list of destinations for March and April. What are you waiting for?
Moana – Polynesian Islands
Ok, this one didn’t actually win, but you only have to look at the poster for Disney’s latest blockbuster, which was nominated for Best Animated Picture, to understand that you want to go wherever it was set. If you’re curious, it was inspired by a number of Polynesian Islands, one of them being Tetiaroa, which looks as paradisiacal as you’d expect. If you want to go there, you’ll have to wake Marlon Brando from the grave, because he actually owns it. Only joking. He did own, it but it is now home to the inconspicuously named The Brando, a new eco-friendly, ultra-luxurious resort. As we write this, on a breezy morning whilst gazing out at Hammersmith Broadway, we wonder why anyone would ever want to go there..?
To see the full list of winners, visit: http://oscar.go.com/winners
As referenced in our summary of 2017 food trends, there are a number of food and drink movements which look set to influence our dining decisions over the coming months. But how does a trend manifest itself in our daily lives and in what situations are we exposed to them? Do we explore at home, on-the-go or head out to get a taste of what’s predicted for 2017? And to what degree do we let the media and social hype influence our preferences for the items we consume on a daily basis?
The focus on healthier and cleaner lifestyles has sharpened and consequently triggered a growing interest in vegetarian and vegan products, naturally heightening the demand on such groceries and the number of people following these diets. As a result, supermarkets are continually upgrading their range of products to include the ingredients vital in vegetarian and vegan diets, formerly only found in health food stores or speciality shops. Restaurants are now not only offering vegetarian and vegan options to a higher degree than before, but are using vegetables in ever experimental and innovating ways to make a diet of the ‘powerful plant’ appealing and attracting, even to men and avid meat lovers.
In London, this became very real and present with the opening of the world’s first ever vegan-friendly chicken shop, Temple of Hackney (Seitan), on a rainy Saturday in January. Hundreds of hungry vegans queued in the rain to sample a vegan version of fried ‘chicken’, made from seitan, which is derived from the protein portion of wheat, instead of meat. This might sound a bit dull, but judging the publicity on social media, (“Just had vegan fried chicken from @templeofseitan and it’s the best thing about 2017 so far!”), you’re clearly the one missing out if you haven’t tried this yet.
Vegetarian butchers are popping up across the world and creatively mimicking the meats sold in traditional butcheries, but without containing animal flesh. This is to supply chicken, ham, beef and seafood which purportedly looks, feels and tastes like the real deal but is solely made from plant protein. We’re not expecting traditional butchers to disappear, but plants will certainly gain further power as many are predicting and the vegetarian/vegan diet could possibly become the single biggest movement of 2017.
Surprisingly, or at least to me, choosing to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet also affects your opportunities for drinks to have with your meal. Don’t panic though, you don’t have to juice all your veggies on top of ‘just’ eating them, but for those new to the movement, be aware that many prefabricated drinks include ingredients not suitable for the vegetarian/vegan you. A small number of orange and red-coloured drinks contain gelatin (derived from collagen obtained from various animal by-product) and will be stated on the packing. So, make sure you look out for the vegetarian friendly and vegan trademarks. Regarding alcoholic drinks, it becomes a bit more complicated as some are clarified using protein from animals. To overcome any issues, you can visit barnivore to find out if your favourite booze is vegetarian-/vegan-friendly or if you need to find a new one.
To be honest, even I, a very active athlete in deep need of and truly addicted to chicken, have considered turning my back to current preferred protein sources found in fish and poultry. Why? Because trying out a plant-based diet, sticking to vegetarian dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner has made me and my body feel so much better. Refreshed and light in another way than I have ever tried before. Maybe you should try it yourself?
Ambitious as a change of diet is or can be, it’s only February, so hard to tell whether all this is just an aftermath of the ‘new year, new me’, ‘veganuary’ and other typical trends around New Year, or if it will gradually become a more common way of eating and potentially ‘drinking’, in 2017. Nevertheless, it seems like there’s plenty of opportunity to expose ourselves to the ‘power of the plant’ at home, on-the-go and when going out for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Image courtesy of http://www.greatbritishchefs.com/features/food-trends-2017
In case you missed it (and I’m certain you didn’t), in 2016 cosiness received a Scandinavian rebrand and suddenly you couldn’t open a magazine without being confronted with the almost unpronounceable Hygge (hue-ga). The age-old Danish phrase is more accurately translated to a comfortable state of being or a warm feeling of contentment, yet in Britain we filtered this down to listing soft furnishings and the most comfortable socks.
In October, The Guardian championed Hygge as a soothing balm for the traumas of 2016, yet come November had cottoned on to the ‘conspiracy’ of the buzzword, at the same time as The Spectator crowned Hygge the most annoying word of 2016 – a sure sign it’s on its way out. So, what’s next?
That would be Lagom, according to Elle – a Swedish word meaning ‘just the right amount’. Or perhaps Sisu, as the Times reports, a Finnish word that means fearlessness and stoicism. Either way, whether we’re ditching knitwear for balance or bravery, it looks like the next big lifestyle trends are migrating from Scandinavia once again.
So, the question remains, why the overwhelming interest in Nordic culture? It could be because they’re just so happy. In the 2016 World Happiness report, the top five countries listed are Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Finland respectively. As a region, Scandinavia seem to have their collective lives together, and that’s pretty appealing. Perhaps it’s just a clever marketing tool? It’s all too easy it seems to find a mysterious-sounding foreign word for an everyday concept. Or maybe it’s just a long-standing notion that the birthplace of Ikea can do no wrong? At the end of the day we’re in it for the kaukokohteisiin (that’s long-haul in Finnish), but at least Lagom is easier to pronounce.
Is green the theme for 2017? Nick Horbowyj, amateur lover of all things interiors, gives his thoughts on how to incorporate Mother Nature’s palette into your home this year.
Green with envy
Firstly, attention must be paid to the 2017 Pantone Colour of the Year aptly named, Greenery. Described by Elle Décor as the world’s brightest neutral, it is said to represent rejuvenation and although the colour of envy may be scary to some, going green will inject life into any room. Paired with pale greys, stark whites and matt black, the colour helps highlight elegance, marrying perfectly with a wide range of styles, from ancient splendour, 70’s revival and extreme modernism.
Taste of the tropics
The tropical trend has been consistent in design since the Rio Olympics, and it’s not hard to see why. Martyn Lawrence-Bullard in Vogue attributes the ongoing trend to runway collections from Marc Jacobs, Prada and Emanuel Ungaro, with hibiscus and palm leaf featuring prominently. The vibrant prints certainly add excitement to interiors however, moderation is important, if you want to avoid your living room resembling a Tiki lounge. Subtle incorporation can be achieved through soft furnishings, such as accent pillows on a neutral sofa.
From print to potted plant, any space can benefit from foliage. According to an article in The Telegraph, this year swap your flowering house plants for evergreens, with ferns taking centre stage. Loved by the Victorians, this plant adds year-round architectural elegance to a room. If you struggle with the responsibility of keeping plants alive, incorporate your ferns into a sealed terrarium – minimal upkeep for maximum leafy impact.
This time last year, Reykjavik, Copenhagen and Croatia were just some of the places tipped as the top destinations of 2016, and many of us at Lucre were lucky enough to spend at least a couple of days (or more, in some cases) exploring what these locations have to offer. But twelve months is a long time in the travel industry and with every New Year comes a host of new trends that will influence how, and where, consumers will be heading over the coming year.
As tech has become more integrated into our day to day lives, cities such as Barcelona, Oslo and Vienna have driven innovation to enhance visits to their cities. Think super-fast public transport, city-wide free WiFi and USB charging points on every street corner… this will become even more important over the next year, with tourism boards doing all they can to entice consumers to choose them over alternative options.
A recent survey has revealed that as many as 69% of UK travellers will be going it alone at some point this year, suggesting that solo travel will continue to rise in popularity in 2017. Last year saw a surge in women-only travel companies, perfect for consumers that are looking for enriching travel experiences. As pockets get tighter, we predict that ‘second cities’ will attract more visitors as cheaper alternatives to the capitals that are a bigger burden on budgets. Krakow and Marseille are just a couple of destinations that are already proving popular this year.
Speaking of budgets, we can’t ignore how the unpredictability of the pound will impact where the holidaymaker decides to visit either. Rather than spending savings on a summer holiday abroad, many consumers will opt for a UK break instead. Tourism at home has already benefitted from things like ‘The Poldark Effect,’ and with everything from our coast to crown appearing on screen in programmes such as Victoria, Countryfile and Game of Thrones, consumers have all the more inspiration to holiday closer to home this year. That said, the uncertainty and lower levels of confidence that have become commonplace will also make it harder for consumers to commit far in advance, making way for last minute bookings instead.
So, where will 2017 take you?
The beginning of a New Year often kicks off with a ‘new me’ attitude among many consumers. It’s always exciting to see what trends are being picked up and which will be left behind. World leading market intelligence agency, Mintel, has revealed its predictions on the six trends we can expect to see in the food industry for 2017, and here at Lucre we’re excited to see how these will evolve.
In Tradition We Trust – More products will specifically link with the past in order to encourage trust among consumers. Rapid change, unpredictability and a tumultuous world are all circumstances said to make many consumers yearn for food with authentic connections to tradition and history to assure some sort of inherent element of trustworthiness. Consumers will therefore seek comfort from modernised updates of age-old flavours, formulations, and formats.
Power to the Plants – Preferences for natural, simple and flexible diets are said to further expand vegetarian, vegan, and other plant-focused foods. A focus on healthier and cleaner lifestyles will motivate consumers to prioritise fruits, vegetables, grains etc in their diets and reinforce the growing interest in vegetarian and vegan products, as well as how to best reap the rewards of these foods. Following this we will see an acceleration in new products that casts plants in star roles and where technology plays a large part to ensure the ample supply of plant-enhanced food that delivers on taste as well as nutrition.
Waste Not! – This year’s focus on sustainability zeroes in on eliminating food waste. Stigma associated with imperfect produce will begin to fade and the consumer’s acceptance of misshapen fruits and vegetables will improve. Attitudes towards waste will change and give way to opportunities to innovate by using materials that would otherwise have been discarded. Attention will thus be focused around innovations commercialising edible food waste and by-products of juicing and other production processes, as well as promoting the idea that inedible production waste can have an afterlife as compost.
Time is of the Essence – Time investments required for products and meals will become as influential as nutrition or ingredient claims. Time is an increasingly precious resource and the time spent on foods that are fresh, nutritious, and customisable will become a clear selling point. This doesn’t mean food always have to be specifically fast, but that healthy products sharing their preparation or consumption time will become popular and find a way into more homes.
The Night Shift – The late evening is tapped as a new occasion for functional food formulations. Technological advances make it harder for people to “clock out” and generates a need for products providing comfort and relaxation to help people calm down before bedtime in order to sleep better, and efficiently restore the body while they rest. We will therefore see more food products leveraging the tea category’s reputation by using chamomile, lavender and herbs in formulations promoted by their use as part of a pre-bedtime routine.
Balancing the Scales – Health for Everyone! Healthy food is not a luxury. Inequality in healthy products is said to persist as lower-income consumers make up a large part of the worldwide consumer base and are at the greatest risk of a food-related health issue, such as diabetes and obesity. As many lower-income consumers already intent on improving their lifestyle, we will experience a greater focus on the affordability of healthy food and more campaigns and innovations concerned with making it easier for lower-income consumers to fulfill healthier eating ambitions.
There are some interesting trends coming through the food industry this year and we’re looking forward to seeing which ones take off and which comes to a grinding halt.
Source: Mintel ‘Global Food and Drink Trends 2017’ Report
At the start of 2016, we worked with professional cocktail mix brand, Finest Call and distributor Cellar Trends to predict what we can expect to see rise and fall in the cocktail industry for 2017. With this, the team of drink connoisseurs and marketing professionals highlighted eleven trends set to take the industry by storm in 2016.
1. Back to basics – classic cocktails with a twist
2. Molecular Mixology – gels, foams, powders, atomisers, smoked cocktails
3. Regional inspired cocktails – British Classics, Asian, Caribbean
4. Unique spirits – Pisco, Cachaca, Mezcal, Digestives such as Amaros & Bitters
5. Unique ingredients – vegetables and shrubs, dried and smoked fruit
6. Low calorie cocktails
7. Apertif based cocktails – spirit-heavy cocktails with less fruit and sweet ingredients
8. Disco cocktails – fun cocktails but still high quality
9. Homemade ingredients – gin infusions, barrel ageing
10. Serving vessels – theatre will remain a key trend
11. Rise of premixed cocktails and cocktail solutions
With the year all done and dusted, we took the chance to see what predictions triumphed in 2016:
2. Molecular Mixology – we saw ‘Molecular Gastronomy’ hit the UK food scene a few years ago and only recently did we start to see this tipple down onto the cocktail industry. The Alchemist recently expanded its offering to Liverpool providing drinks bubbling in dry ice, whilst London’s Breaking Bad style bar saw customers step into a chemistry-inspired cocktail lab where they are offered Nitrogen Cavitation to infuse their drinks.
4. Unique spirits – consumer’s appreciation for ‘hand-made’ products is continuously growing and 2016 has seen more artisan products making their way into cocktail menus. Bars such as the Cocktail Trading Company in Brick Lane, London opened recently with a specific focus on unusual and rare spirits from around the world. Like the sound of that? Then ‘APairOTeef’ might be up your street, a refreshing mix of Pisco, Cardamom-pear infusion, white balsamic and sparkling wine.
9. Homemade ingredients – craft has been and will be for a while a key element within the food and drink industry. From the explosion of small-scale breweries to the sourcing of local ingredients, mainstream to independent bars are tapping onto this trend. Only recently did restaurant and bar chain, Missoula, launch their new menu featuring their brand new ‘Steeped’ section offering a fresh selection of premium spirits infused with familiar tastes of Vanilla, Earl Grey Tea and Jasmine.
With 2017 already set to be a big year in terms of food and drink, the enthusiasts here at Lucre are excited to see what there is in store.