2019 — The Year Ahead

9th January 2019

The Christmas decorations are safely packed away and New Year’s Day already feels a long time ago. With the festivities of Easter, spring and summer still distant, we thought we’d have a quick look forward at the food trends that are expected to be big this year.

Veganism and whole food, plant-based diets are on the rise. Indeed, research by comparethemarket.com suggests up to 3.5 million Britons are now following a largely plant-based lifestyle. What used to be a fairly niche dietary choice is now becoming mainstream, fuelled by concerns for animal welfare and the environmental impact of producing animal products on an industrial scale, as well as the many health benefits that living meat-free can offer.

As part of this trend, a large number of Britons have started adopting a ‘flexitarian diet’, in which meat or dairy products are still consumed but infrequently or as a ‘treat’, and it’s suggested that this could become our predominant diet in the future. At Blue Apple, we’re working hard to make sure that we always have whole food, plant-based items available that delight our vegan and vegetarian customers and which tempt the meat-eaters into trying something different! We’re looking forward to developing these dishes further through 2019 and celebrating this exciting culinary trend.

Similar to environmental concerns raised regarding livestock farming, 2019 is also likely to see a big change in the way our food and drink is packaged as single-use plastics become less acceptable. In 2018 the World Health Organization reported that over 50% of plastic is single use and destined for landfill and at Blue Apple we have already acted to relaunch our Grab & Go range with fully recyclable packaging, as well as removing plastic straws from our sites. Reducing food waste is also a big part of our plans for 2019 and following a 4% reduction in wastage across our sites in 2018 we are targeting our teams to reduce food production wastage even further through weighing, reporting and training sessions. We’ve already seen a number of tasty and innovative dishes on offer that utilise those under-used ingredients that used to get binned! To see our progress so far, have a read of our 2018 Sustainability and CSR Report here.

Feeling thirsty? You might see more infused waters on offer this year such as ginger or maple, and oat milk is set to rival almond milk as the dairy free choice for your tea or cereal.

2019 is also expected to be the year of the mushroom, as this versatile, flavoursome and juicy fungi can be used as a meat replacing main or a tasty side. They’re even finding their way in to coffee and chocolate bars, according to Pinterest’s 100 Top trends for 2019, with mushroom recipe searches increasing by 64%. Talking of chocolate bars, as refined sugar becomes less popular, some experts expect our palates will begin to adjust to preferring less sweet choices, but don’t worry, we’ll be making sure we’re just sweet enough!

2018 was a landmark year for our business as we celebrated our 20th anniversary, picked up a series of industry awards and welcomed a number of exciting new contracts and team members to Blue Apple. We’re now looking forward to seeing what 2019 has in store as we celebrate our 21st birthday.

Happy New Year to you from all the team at Blue Apple.

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