We love our foodie clients here at Souter PR. We also love our food. So, keeping abreast of the hottest emerging food trends is the perfect way to combine business and pleasure. How lucky are we?

So, as we embark upon another year of campaigning and content generation, here are four of our favourite foodie fashions that will be determining how and what we eat over the next 12 months.

#1 Conscious Eating

As with pretty much everything in our lives, we’re starting to rely more and more on technology to improve our culinary experience. Experts predict that Artificial Intelligence could soon inform the way we eat – with algorithms, voice-recognition technology, our phones, apps and smart watches knowing more about what we should be eating than we do.

It’s predicted that this year, more of us than ever will be using technology to receive accurate, tailored advice on what to eat, when to eat it, and how to look after ourselves.

And, also thanks to AI, the food and beverage industry is undergoing a major renaissance for producers and manufacturers – in both processes and effectiveness. All really interesting stuff.

#2 Ocean-inspired flavours

Seaweed snacks have been around for a while, but their popularity is set to surge this year. That’s according to a recent report by the highly health-conscious Whole Foods Market.

  

They cite ocean-inspired greens such as seaweed butter and kelp noodles are other emerging trends to track. As are puffed snacks made from water lily seeds, plant-based tuna alternatives with algae ingredients and crispy salmon skins packed with omega-3.

Fishless Fingers – which were launched by Waitrose just in time for Veganuary – were warmly welcomed by those wanting a meat-free alternative of an all-time family favourite. And a new vegan “smoked salmon” and “chorizo” products are now on sale in Sainsbury’s – along with vegan “prawns” and golden fishless fillets, from Canadian plant-based ‘seafood’ firm Sophie’s Kitchen.

#3 Ice cream

Yes, we know it’s a little wrong to think about ice cream when snow is falling for some, but this year it’s set to be big.

A far cry from the humble cone, ice cream is set to become a year-round treat with fancy parlours springing up all over the UK.

  

Taking inspiration from Japanese ice-cream and frozen desserts, expect unusual flavours, textures and presentation that are so very instaworthy.

Lovers of East Asian flavours have been truly spoilt by luxury ice cream brand Häagen-Dazs in recent years, with a number of limited-edition releases featuring specials like hojicha roasted green tea, cherry blossom and kuromitsu brown sugar syrup. Now it’s just added the very Japanese flavour of Matcha Cheese Cookie to the range.

Guilt-free frozen treats – from vegan choices to low-calorie tubs – are also on the rise. This year expect to see flavours such as avocado from the brilliant brand Fravocado brand, houmous and tahini hitting UK supermarket shelves.

#4 Eco-conscious packaging

It’s not all about what we’ll be eating this year that’s set to change our shopping habits – and the products and services our supermarkets provide.

M&S is currently trialling over 90 lines of loose fruit and vegetables – all free of plastic packaging. It’s also removed ‘best before’ date labels as part of the three-month trial.

  

Only last year, we told of how our client Roberts bakery was the UK’s first and only bread brand to use 100% recyclable at home packaging – helping to overcome confusion of how and what to recycle, whilst reducing the 10,736 tonnes* of hard-to-recycle plastic packaging produced by UK bakeries every year. And there are more exciting developments to come.

Other retailers have introduced incentivised recycling schemes to encourage customers to reduce waste by paying them a reward for recycling everything from bottles, cups, bags, cosmetic packaging, ink cartridges and contact lenses.

And we should expect to see even more zero-waste supermarkets open their doors across the UK. This one in Birmingham city centre – the Clean Kilo – has given single use-plastics the heave-ho. So customers either take their own, buy some jars from the store, or pick up one of the donated containers – which include egg boxes and ice cream tubs – for free by the till. It’s an inspiring idea that we love, and we hope that this trend really does fly.