The rise of personal nutritionists in supermarkets, experimental ingredients such as cannabis oil and the return of old-fashioned dishes have been tipped as the main food trends of 2019.
People eating out in the UK in the coming year can also expect to see more vegan options on restaurant menus and to be handed “Instagram kits” so they can take the perfect snap of their dish.
Brexit is also expected to have a major impact on the food sector, with changes to imports and exports likely to see the return of previously unpopular fish and vegetables to the shelves.
The predictions were made by Andrew Niven, whose job is to study what Britons might be eating in the future. Similar forecasts are made in the January edition of the olive food magazine.
Mr Niven, a strategic market intelligence manager for trade association Scotland Food & Drink, aims to give food producers a head start by predicting consumer trends before they take hold.
He said increasingly health-conscious shoppers are expected to drive more demand for vegan and vegetarian food in supermarkets, with menu choices also popping up in restaurants.
An increasing number of people are also identifying as “flexitarian”, only eating meat and fish occasionally and opting for a more plant-focused diet when cooking at home or eating out.
Environmentally-aware shoppers are also set to turn their back on the avocado, once a major trend food, amid concerns that some growers have taken to trucking bees across land to pollinate crops.
According to Mr Niven, personal nutritionists are also set to become “more mainstream” in supermarkets around the UK after Waitrose began trialling the idea earlier this year. Such staff advise customers on picking foods with less fat or sugar and highlight seasonal options, but in the future the role may include more in-depth analysis based on people’s medical history.
Retro 1970s dishes featuring vol au vents and boiled eggs are also predicted to become fashionable again, while Brexit could lead to shoppers being forced to change their tastes and try new things.
“There will be opportunities to look at what we produce in the UK as a whole.” Mr Niven said of the UK’s impending exit from the EU.
“There’s already a trend towards looking into the past for recipes and ingredients that have been forgotten about. That will require a bit of education and getting people to try new things – which are actually old things.”
He said this could include Britons eating more home-grown shellfish.