‘Pimped’ porridge goes from Scottish staple to 2018’s most popular food trend

A bowl of the Scottish staple - porridge
A bowl of the Scottish staple - porridge
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It has long been a mainstay of the Scottish diet, with the salt versus sugar debate raging between different corners of the British Isles.

Now Scots staple porridge – albeit a “pimped” version – is set to be one of the most popular food trends for 2018.

Vegan junk food and “micromanaged” menus, which would see diners asked for feedback on each dish, are also among the foods trends set for this year, according to the restaurant industry’s annual predictions for the food trade.

Industry website Big Hospitality said that the trends, alongside a resurgeance in the popularity of French food and a demand for casual Chinese dining, were set to take the restaurant industry by storm in 2018.

Porridge, which Big Hospitality describes as granola’s “dowdy and downright boring cousin”, could become popular once more due to the creation of “build you own” porridge bars in London, it said.

Tony Fullerton, spokesman for Scots porridge maker Stoats, said Big Hospitality’s predictions of a porridge boom were being borne out in a rise in its sales.

He said: “There are more people talking about porridge online and there is an increase in popularity.”

Joe Lutrario, author of the annual predictions for Big Hospitality, said: “Granola has long been the favoured ‘healthy’ bowl breakfast of the Instagram set, but 2018 will see a return to a more old-school breakfast staple – albeit one that’s been pimped.”

He added that a branded mid-market Chinese restaurant format – akin to Indian-Iranian chain Dishoom – is ripe for opening.

He said: “Much like the curry house, the family-run high street Chinese is in desperate need of a makeover. Yet nobody has ever really managed to create an affordable Chinese restaurant with mass appeal that builds on the traditional Chinese restaurant experience beloved by many in spite of the often second-rate food and ambience.

“A Chinese answer to Dishoom’s bacon naan roll? Yes please.”

The site said the market for the “less virtuous” side of vegan cusine, such as burgers and fried chicken, had been growing in recent months.

Mr Lutario said: “2017 was undoubtedly the year veganism went mainstream, but throughout the coming 12 months, expect to see plant-based restaurants letting their hair down a bit and embracing something not typically associated with veganism – ‘junk food’.”