15 food trends for 2019

From surging health trends to hidden veg and Burmese cuisine, this is going to be another rollercoaster year in how we cook, shop, drink and eat at home and in restaurants.

Hoppers & Sri Lankan fried chicken

2018 saw a rise in gut-friendly foods and booze-free beverages, but what does 2019 have in store? Find out what the BBC Good Food team's food, drink and eating trend predictions are.

1. Sri Lankan cuisine

Restaurants such as London’s Hoppers, mini chain The Coconut Tree and the success of the M&S Taste Asia range have put Sri Lankan food on the brink of a breakthrough. Think hoppers (bowl-shaped rice flour pancakes), kottu roti (fried veg, eggs, shredded roti and curry, as sold by street stall Kottu Lanka) and pol sambol coconut relish.

‘Before, Sri Lankan was lumped in with Indian cuisine but now, we’re not having an “Indian” anymore. It’s recognised in its own right,’ says Emma Weinbren, food trends editor at retail magazine The Grocer.

2. Burmese cuisine

Stuffed aubergine from Lahpet

Restaurant analysts are tipping Burmese food – check out London’s Lahpet and the @RangoonSisters supper club – or try our recipe for tohu jaw, Burmese fritters. Coming this year from the same author, MiMi Aye, Mandalay, a Burmese recipe book. 

3. Meat-free

Britain’s attitude to meat is changing dramatically. When Marston’s pubs are serving a ‘bleeding’ burger, and restaurants as varied as Gauthier Soho and the Hackney chippy Sutton & Sons are in various stages of turning vegan, clearly something seismic is happening.

According to data seen by M&S (poised to launch a new range of vegan ready meals and on-the-go options), 3.5 million people now identify as vegan, 20% of under-35s have tried veganism, and 25% of our evening meals are now meat-free. ‘It’s no longer niche,’ agrees Weinbren. ‘And this isn’t just committed vegans but people saying, ‘I want to cut down my meat intake.’ This growth in plant-based eating, says Good Food wine guru, Victoria Moore, is also causing major retailers to increase the number of vegan wines they stock. ‘It’s all down to the fining agent,’ explains Moore. ‘Some are derived from fish or dairy products.’

4. Kefir

batch of coffee kombucha

Sales of Lakeland’s kefir kit are ‘flying’ along with M&S’s kombucha. ‘As customers come to understand the positive in influence of bacteria on gut health, the global fermented drinks market is in huge growth,’ reports M&S food trends insight manager Helen Arpino.

Want to get next-level? Try the coffee bean kombucha at London’s Little Duck Picklery

5. Ugly fruit & veg

Ocado buyer India Moore says, ‘We’re seeing exciting products made using misshapen fruit and veg that would otherwise go to waste, such as crisps and hummus. Eco-friendly searches on ocado.com leapt 93% last year, and we can see this “rescued food” trend gaining momentum in 2019.’ Get inspired with our ideas for homemade vegetable crisps

Good Food also loves the bars pushing ‘green’ drinks, including cocktail expert Ryan Chetiyawardana’s ‘explorations in sustainability’ at London’s Cub and Dandelyan and barman Jack Wakelin’s use of ‘tasty garbage’ at Sheffield’s Public – for instance, cordials made from used citrus. 

6. Hidden vegetables 

Hidden vegetable beef burgers

Gato & Co puddings (that use vegetables to reduce refined sugar content) and Dr Oetker’s new Yes, It’s Pizza vegetable-dough bases are indicative of how many people are keen to cut down on carbs and increase their intake of vegetables – but without forgoing life’s indulgences. You can expect to see more hidden vegetable products in 2019. 

If you're looking to sneak more vegetables into your child's diet, see our best hidden veg recipes for kids

7. Rum 

Rum is coming up fast. Millenials are particularly partial to barrel-aged, small-batch craft rums, fine rums from traditional Caribbean makers and now, British rums from, for instance, Essex’s English Spirit. ‘Whether you like it strong or sweet, prefer the harshness of white spirit, or dark rum sipped neat with ice, or a golden rum and coke, it’s one of the most accessible spirits,’ says Nicholas Robinson, food and drink editor at bar magazine, Morning Advertiser. 

8. Food halls 


Busy food hall

Fittingly, given that it kick-started the craze for communal dining halls serviced by multiple kitchens, Altrincham Market House (@MarketHouseAlty)
 – which also runs the Mackie Mayor in Manchester – will open a third food hall in Macclesfield this year. In London, Market Halls are set to open Britain’s biggest on Oxford Street, in the former BHS building, while others are being developed in Stockport, Sheffield, on the Wirral and beyond. 

9. Eating where you shop

We’re increasingly eating and shopping in the same place, from butcher-bistro hybrids, 
such as London’s Hill & Szrok and Tom Kerridge’s Butcher’s Tap in Marlow, to spaces that blend deli-shopping with bars and dining, like Bowland Food Hall in Clitheroe and Eataly, opening in London in 2020. 

10. Low or no alcohol

Dry monsoon martini from Dishoom

From sub-0.5% ABV craft beers (check out Big Drop Brewing Co.) to serious mocktails (try the Dry Monsoon Martini from Dishoom), younger Brits are dialling-down their alcohol intake. No- or low-alcohol is set to grow in sophistication. 

11. Going cashless 

Bars, coffee shops, casual restaurants and even food stalls are increasingly (and controversially) going card-only. In Manchester, Takk and Öl are cash-free, as are Bristol’s The Athenian and Aberfeldy’s Habitat Café. This could become a huge surge in 2019. 

12. Goat 

Goat curry in a serving dish

Last year’s Goatober campaign – aimed at stopping the waste slaughter of male billies in the goat dairy industry – went global. The solution? Get more goat meat on menus. Try it at London’s Gymkhana or Manchester’s Creameries, and expect to see more of this versatile meat. 

Try making our Jamaican-inspired goat curry.

13. On the grapevine 

Good Food wine writer Victoria Moore says, ‘For 2019, I’m tipping zweigelt as an easy-drinking, light-bodied red from Austria.’ 

14. Recyclable or lower impact packaging 

Waitrose & Partners are stocking two new organic Chateau Maris wines in recyclable cans, while Carlsberg is gluing its cans together to create an easily snap-able bond, which, it says, will remove 1,200 tonnes of plastic waste annually. Walkers crisps have joined with Terracycle to start a recycling scheme for all crisp packets while they work on making new types of packaging. Crisp packets are not collected by any recycling scheme at present – find out more here.

15. Age? No barrier 

Waiting-on is usually a young whippersnappers’ game. But London restaurateurs Corbin & King plan to, at least, double the number of over-50s it employs to wait tables this year. With good front-of-house staff in short supply and Brexit looming, this could well become a ‘thing’. 

 

See more foodie forecasts & trends...

The 10 best spirits to buy to stay on-trend 
Top foodie destinations for 2019
What our team are eating this week
15 food trends from 2018

Do you have a food trend prediction for 2019? Leave a comment below...
 

Comments, questions and tips

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JadeeFDI
3rd Nov, 2019
As someone doing a food course at university, I can tell you that businesses don't create trends, the general public create trends and businesses cater to them. For example, the sudden rush in people to become vegan, businesses cater by creating vegan products to satisfy their demand before they complain that they're being ignored and left out.
Jack Sutton's picture
Jack Sutton
8th Oct, 2019
hi i like eating credit cards for breakfast
Jack Sutton's picture
Jack Sutton
8th Oct, 2019
same bro
Gavin Meek's picture
Gavin Meek
4th Jan, 2019
Food should not be classed as a trend at all, but it seems that the only way to sell a story and other things these days is to claim it as part of a "trend". But if you didn't already know, food has been a big part of our lives since the start of mankind, and even before that as we were evolving into what we are now. Food has never been a trend as we need it to survive. Designer clothes can be classed as a trend, but not food.
Patrick Campbell's picture
Patrick Campbell
8th Oct, 2019
Gavin you have the guts to say what we are all thinking. You are my hero, thank you Gavin
Leela Keshavan's picture
Leela Keshavan
4th Jan, 2019
Using the word trend to describe cultural food is weird.
Gavin Meek's picture
Gavin Meek
4th Jan, 2019
I agree. Food shouldn't be classed as a trend, it some thing that we have needed to have to survive since the start of our kind, and even before as we have been evolving into what we are now. In fact, there are millions of species that need to eat food. So calling food apart of a trend really is quite silly. Clothes could be classed as a trend, but not food. But it seem to sell a story or to sell many things these days is to state that it is part of a "trend".
Joshua O'neill's picture
Joshua O'neill
8th Oct, 2019
we all adore you gavin
Joshua O'neill's picture
Joshua O'neill
8th Oct, 2019
yes gavin i am very proud of you for having the guts to say that
Michael Anderson's picture
Michael Anderson
17th May, 2019
Good for you, Gavin! Good for you! Somebody finally had the guts to stand up and say it!
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