Responsible consumption a key trend for 2018

By Finn Scott-Delany

- Last updated on GMT

Responsible consumption a key trend for 2018
Responsible consumption has been identified by MCA as one of the over-arching growth trends in eating out, with consumers demanding more health, craft and sustainability products.

Responsibility is defined by MCA as “the surging force sweeping along consumers, swaying operators and shaping menus”.
This is manifested in reduced consumption of red meat and alcohol, rising vegetarian diets, and an increased interest in local artisanal produce.

Goat’s meat and gut-friendly fermented produce such as kimchee are tipped is some of the new food trends in the early stages.

“This is the year consumers and operators are starting to take responsible consumption seriously," says MCA market analysis manager Peter Linden. "This includes lower beef consumption, growing interest in vegetarian and vegan diets, falling alcohol consumption, rising demand for local produce and the surge in popularity of nose-to-tail and root-to-stem eating. When combined with the rising importance of affordability, responsibility – in regards to health, the environment and personal finances – is the key trend in 2018.”

Goat’s meat, with its sustainable and lean credentials, was identified as ‘warm’ on MCA’s trends framework, meaning it is still in its embryonic stages in terms of adoption, and could yet prove to be short lived. Vegan friendly meat substitute jackfruit is described as ‘hot’, meaning it is prominent in urban areas but has yet to achieve mainstream appeal.

Authentic and fresh pasta, as exemplified by Padella and Pastaio, is earmarked as an emerging trend, meaning it has reached a greater critical mass. Meanwhile activated charcoal coloured buns were said to have peaked.

Analysts at MCA said adventurousness was the most prominent trend motivating consumers when taking into account all cuisines, while the responsibility trends of health, craft and sustainability were the fastest growing.

The analysis was presented at a debrief MCA’s at Food Strategy Forum, which presented a Menu and Food Trends report. Forum members heard that craft cider has gone from warm to hot, thanks in part to BrewDog’s acquisition of Hawkes. Instagram-friendly food had moved from hot to established, with the caveat that some concepts focused on social media valued style over substance and proved to be short-lived.

While home delivery has become established, juicing was found to have peaked, as consumers opt for more fibrous ways to consumer fruit and vegetables. Undifferentiated American BBQ and Italian cuisine is under pressure according to MCA, while Peruvian, West African and Portuguese cuisines were found to be on the up.

Drinks-wise, augmented reality beverages are in the warm category, juicy easy-drinking New England IPAs are hot, bottled cocktails emerging and premium tonics established. Raw water, meanwhile, has peaked, the analysis found.

Please contact Laura Bicknell on 01293 610343 or email laura.bicknell@mca‑ for the full table of contents and pricing information of the 2018 Menu & Food Trends report from MCA.  ​                                                    

Related topics: Trends & Reports

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