Following a 3 day visit to explore London, our marketing team reveal their findings on the latest food & bakery trends to hit the capital.
- Exotic flavours abound; Coconut is a really key flavour just now seen everywhere from fresh coconut water being sold on stands, to coconut cupcakes, macaroons and yoghurts. Sometimes on its own but also with other flavours such as mango, cherry, vanilla and banana. Other exotic flavours widely available were mango, passion fruit, banana/banoffee and ginger. Again these were either one their own or paired up.
- Home-grown and Citrus fruits; these traditional flavours are perennial favourites such as blueberry, raspberry and rhubarb, lemon, orange and lime. The novelty here was that they were often combined in more original and creative ways. Lemon & Blueberry and Orange & Poppy seeds.
- Floral & Tea; There was a significant increase in floral notes such as rose & rosewater, lavender and borage flowers as decoration. This floral trend was continued in the distinctive bergamot flavours of Earl Grey and the fresher notes of green tea which were also popular in bakery products
- Waffles were everywhere – street food, cafes and coffee shops and on restaurant menus. You can have them plain, with ice cream or sauces etc., customised to just the way you like them.
- Meringues; these are really gaining market share with large/small, coloured/plain, flavoured all widely available at top and mid-range stores. Naturally gluten free, these came as spiced nut, lemon, caramel & pistachio for example. Similarly Macaroons in a variety of sizes, colours and exotic flavours such as green tea, Earl Grey, maple pecan, passion fruit & mango, rose & strawberry, pear, ginger & champagne. These are spreading to the top end supermarkets such as Waitrose and M&S food halls so firmly on the bakery agenda.
- Artisan breads – The flavours have had a real explosion and the quality of the offer is outstanding compared with even a few years ago French crusty, ancient seed, corn bread, sourdough are the commonly found, not just in bakeries but also in cheesemongers, butchers, delicatessens, supermarkets and cafes. These were both plain loaves but others had a wonderful array of flavours such as cheese & leek, orange & hazelnut, olive & lavender to name a few.
- Quiche – A surprising revival of the quiche, featured in menus in cafes, street food and delicatessens; many now without the hard pastry crust.
- BBQ, Slow cooked/pulled meats – It started off with pork, now there’s chicken and beef as well available in restaurants, street food and cafes.
- Foreign Influence: Sushi – Lots of sushi bars and restaurants. In one fish monger they were giving customers the opportunity to make their own sushi from a variety of products in-store. Lebanese foodalso seems to be on the increase, both in number and profile of a number of Lebanese restaurants in London and in Edinburgh and Glasgow. One to watch…
- Gourmet Burgers – The popularity of the gourmet burger is still growing especially with new establishments like Shake Shack and 5 Guys recently opening their doors in London. The queues for these restaurants were so big they have crowd control bollards outside the door to contain the people queuing down the street.
- Value for Money – Allegra reported that over half of consumers look for meal deals when they eat out. The vast majority of cafes, restaurants, supermarkets are offering meal deals particularly for breakfast and lunch offerings. Some offered 2 courses for a set price or daily deals.–
- Customisation – as described above customisation is spreading widely. Consumers are seeking value for money, and they want to choose how their food is made; sauce/no sauce, type of meat/no meat, toasted/baked/grilled etc. are common options.
- Gluten free – the gluten free market is still expanding. There are sauces, baked goods and menu items. Delicatessens are being asked for gluten-free products, signage is more prominent and supermarket ranges are growing.