10 food trends for 2017

We consulted a panel of industry experts to bring a forecast of what’s going to be big in the food world in the year ahead. Read the BBC Good Food report and stay ahead of the curve.

Being in the thick of the food industry, we always like to look ahead to what’s coming next. This year, we assembled our very first Good Food trends panel – a group of food and drink industry experts plus our own team – to predict what you’ll be buying, cooking and eating in 2017. We’ve picked 10 highlights, and given you tips on how to try them for yourself so your finger stays well and truly on the foodie pulse.  

Top 10 food trends for 2017

Taco fever

Tacos

According to our trends panel, hyper-regional food will continue to set our tastebuds ablaze in the next 12 months. From Nordic bakeries to niche Cuban and Filipino restaurants, we expect authenticity to be the order of the day. As for star dishes, tacos have been all over our Instagram feeds recently thanks to the likes of Breddo’s Tacos, Neil Rankin’s Temper and Taqueria, so now’s the time to get well-versed in the fine art of tortilla wrangling.  

Try it yourself… 

Our taco recipes all use ingredients that are easy to source, but if you want to add a touch of extra authenticity, make your own Mexican mole (pronounced ‘mo-lay’), a thick, rich, chocolate-spiked sauce. Our pulled pork with mole is served with soft corn tortillas in the taco fashion.
 

Low and no-alcohol drinks

Mocktails

We know that Generation Z drinks less than the generations before them, and that they value quality in what they do drink, so we predict non-alcoholic drinks will become more niche next year as a result. Expect to hear much more talk of turmeric shots, charcoal-activated water, cold-pressed juices and non-alcoholic ‘spirits’ like Seedlip

Try it yourself... 

If you want to build on Dry January and cut back on alcohol all year round, use mocktails and inventive non-alcoholic drinks as substitutes. 


Sea vegetables

Nori sushi bowl

We’ve seen an exponential rise in veggie and vegan cooking in the last few years, with ‘vegetarian butchers’ and their ilk around to remind us that vegetables should no longer be consigned to a side order. One sub-genre we expect to see more of is sea vegetables like healthy dulse (seaweed), which can be used as a salt substitute, to add a briny tang to food or for snacking. 

Try it yourself… 

If you browse the right aisles you can probably find seaweed products in your nearest big supermarket. Nori is used extensively in Japanese cooking, so check out the world food section to find these pressed seaweed sheets. They’re traditionally used to make sushi, alternatively crush them into shards and sprinkle onto salad, ramen or rice bowls. 


Pickles and ferments

Kimchi

Health trends move fast, whether that’s the hottest vegetable of the moment (cauliflower, in case you were wondering), a trendy piece of kit or a buzz phrase, like ‘gut health’ – the term that’s set to be at the heart of the health world in 2017. What this means is more yet more pickling and fermenting, so kimchi, kombucha and Yucatan pickles will remain foods du jour. Gut-friendly foods like these are thought to help with irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, fertility, immunity, low energy and libido. 

Try it yourself… 

Our quick kimchi recipe gets better the longer it's kept. The vegetables are mixed with rice vinegar, fish sauce, chilli paste and sugar, so all ingredients you can easily source. Serve it as a side dish, with rice or noodles.
 

Zero waste

Garden glut chutney

Minimising food waste is something we’re 100% behind, and now thanks to restaurants like Silo in Brighton, the war on waste is gaining traction. Add to this companies like Rubies in the Rubble, who make jam from rejected fruit, and California’s Fog Point Vodka, which extraordinarily is made from net-caught fog moisture, and we’re starting to see some real pioneering. 

Try it yourself... 

As well as cutting down on personal food waste and cooking smart with any leftover ingredients, make sure you buy in season and make the most of large gluts of produce – particularly in late summer when things like courgettes and marrows are in abundance.


Insta-ready food

Insta worthy food

Our 2016 BBC Good Food Nation Survey found that 40% of millennials have posted photos of their food on social media channels. Producers and restaurateurs are getting in on the act, whether that’s in the form of rainbow bagels, black burger buns or blue algae coffee. 

Try it yourself...

Your food doesn’t have to be a lurid shade of novelty to look Instagram-worthy. Read our guide on how to take the best photos for your social media channels and pick up expert tips from seasoned pros including Clerkenwell Boy, Dan Doherty and Symmetry Breakfast. 
 

Smart tech in the kitchen

Coffee roaster

From smart frying pans to camera plates, kitchen equipment is looking more and more sci-fi. We love the sound of the Totali-Tea device, which monitors your sleep and will provide you with a cup of tea with added caffeine if you’ve had a bad night, the Coravin wine preservation system, that allows you to siphon wine out of bottles without popping the cork, and the IKAWA coffee roaster that works off your iPad. 

Try it yourself...

Stay up to date with the latest kitchen gadgets by bookmarking our review section.


Insects

Insects

Chefs like Heston Blumenthal have been advocating eating insects for some time now, but the concept has never quite taken flight. However, as sustainability is increasingly on our radar, the idea of reducing our intake of traditional protein sources like red meat is ever more attractive. Add to this the fact that insects now come in pulverised powder form – this ‘flour’ can be used in pancakes for instance – and it almost sounds appetising. With Thomasina Miers's Wahaca chain and some health food shops now selling insects, this could be the year the worm turns (pun intended). 

Try it yourself...

If the idea of munching on whole, dried insects leaves you feeling cold, check out Crobar’s range of energy bars and cricket flour. 
 

Portuguese food 

Portuguese

Lisbon is one of the hottest European travel destinations of the moment, as people make the most of reasonable flights and the promise of beautiful food including the legendary Portuguese custard tart. The PCT is already the pastry of the moment in London, thanks to Nuno Mendes’s Taberna Do Mercado and I Love Nata, a new chain exclusively selling pasteis de nata, but salt cod, rice pudding and spicy sausage are among other Portuguese classics worth checking out. 

Try it yourself...

Have a go at making Portuguese custard tarts at home – our recipe was provided by the great Nuno Mendes himself. 
 

Healthy snacks

Healthy snacks

According to our trends panel, a continued blurring of mealtimes will mean more of us opt to graze instead of eat three meals a day. Picking and sharing small plates are on the rise, as are healthier snack solutions, so expect to see lower-sugar and high-protein bites. 

Try it yourself...

Put down the packet of crisps and graze on something more sustaining by reading up on the best homemade healthy snacks

More on trends... 

Visit our food trends section
Read our weekly food diary
Behind the trends: How foods hit the mainstream

What do you expect to see more of in the new year? We’d like to hear your trend predictions in the comments below… 

Comments, questions and tips

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Robert Ancill
25th Aug, 2017
Minimizing food waste is indeed something which a majority of restaurants in Europe are working on. There are several policies and facilities made to minimize food wastage as well as catering the remaining food to the needy's around.
diamondscaterings
29th Jun, 2017
Fantabulous piece of work. Thank you for sharing this information.
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