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Trend Analyst on #BringBackThePlate!

Food & Drink

We asked Senior Trend Analyst and Cultural Strategist Nicola Cooper a few questions around food serving trends that we see these days - like these seen on Twitter Page @WeWantPlates of having your food served up on a chopping board, piece of log and more. Here's what she found:

Why do you think these kinds of alternative serving trends are taking off?

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Our dietary preferences have changed so dramatically. More and more consumers are becoming aware of what they consume, the origin of their food, whether it is organically or ethically farmed and health is a defining choice.

It is no longer about quantity rather the quality and care which is placed on what we eat. This translates into the presentation even the most ‘basic’ foods have been highlighted as hero’s due to banting, plant based and food choices which results in many chefs, restaurants and food based services reinventing the way in which we see these items.

According to the Institute of Food and Technology (IFST) TOP FOOD TRENDS FOR 2016 AND PREDICTIONS FOR 2017

60% of people claim the food they eat now is fresher and lighter than it was 5 years ago

39% of people take greater care over how they present food on their plate than they did 5 years ago


What influences these kinds of trends in foodie circles?

This is really influenced by sociological, environmental circumstances. Due to technology consumers have access to information far more readily than we have been in the past. Consumers are aware of the dietary implications as well as the environmental implications of their diets, this in turn affects the choice of food, as well as how food is packaged – using more natural elements such as glass jars, or wooden presentation boards affirms the context of the food, the concept of earth bound product and indicates easy recycling.

According to Forbes.com some of the top Food Trends for 2017 include

#1: VEGETARIAN COMFORT FOOD

#2: ARTISAN BUTCHER SHOPS-PLUS-RESTAURANTS

#3: BREAKFAST, UPDATED

#4: KALE NO MORE

and the highlighted presentation for food is BOWLS, BOWLS, BOWLS

Are we likely to see the trend curb where the norm is mostly followed – i.e. for food to be served up on plates. And if so, when is this likely to happen? Will there be a time when the traditional – in this case plates – comes back into fashion/on trend?

Remember when layering and piling food was a trend? Towers of combinations presented in an uncomfortable and impractical manner?

Most trends including food presentation trends have a life span of approximately 2 to 3 years.

Trends are usually started by innovators, influencers and gatekeepers, they then translate to the early adopters, then middle adopters, late adopters and laggards before the full dissipation of a trend.

This takes approximately 3 years, however it could take longer to dissipate in a more conservative environment where consumers are a little more cautious to adopt new trends – especially within the food industry.

* Instagram and Twitter: @NicolaCoop
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