Independents United 2017 Food and Beverage Trends Report tips six top food innovations


Independents United 2017 Food and Beverage Trends Report identifies the following innovations to look out for:

  • Chickpeas to replace potato crisps: Independents United predicts the humble chickpea will start to replace the potato as the snack of choice for a growing number of consumers worldwide. The evidence – Brands like Hippeas have pioneered an innovative way of processing chickpeas to create an extruded snack. With a predicted revenue of $35million by the end of 2016 and a launch into 18,500 stores they are stealing increasing amounts of market share from the classic crisp brands.
  • Vegetables will start to replace traditional carbs: rice is rice, right? Wrong, cauliflowers can be rice too! First we saw spaghetti alternatives like courghetti, and now with products like Cauli-rice sweeping up £1million in crowdfunding, carbohydrate-brands are under threat. Cauli-rice has 75% fewer calories than rice, it is gluten free and it’s microwaveable. With products like these, brands like Uncle Ben’s and Napolina are under threat.
  • Commuters will be drinking breakfast from a bottle: let’s face it, squeezing breakfast into the race to get to work has long been a problem and we’ve already seen breakfast bars emerge as a result. What’s next? Liquefied meals in a bottle, perfect for high intensity professional lifestyles. One product that is exploding onto the breakfast and snack scene is Soylent, their latest product – coffiest – is a breakfast replacement, sales of which went up 300% in 2016. Expect liquid meals and snacks to enter the mainstream in 2017.
  • 2017 will be the year of the coconut: changing demographic and cultural trends in markets like the UK are prompting an explosion in coconut-based food innovation, shifting the humble coconut from niche food to centre stage. In the last ten years, demand for coconut has sky-rocketed with the number and diversity of coconut products entering the market. The Philippines alone exports $1billion dollars of coconuts to the US per year and demand for coconuts has risen by 500% in the last decade. Examples of products include- Ape Snacks, Lucy B, Coco Pro, Lovo, and Twisted Halo.
  • You’ll soon be booking a table at a food waste restaurant: horrifying facts such as around one third of the world’s food production (a billion metric tons according to the World Bank) going to waste every year is creating social and regulatory pressure on manufacturers and retailers.

The interest in wasted food amongst celebrity chefs and the wider restaurant community is becoming deafening, with initiatives such as Too Good to Waste emerging. So look out for waste-based restaurants entering the mainstream, teaming up with farmers to source odd-shaped carrots and doing deals with supermarkets to secure their leftovers to cook up something delicious out of unused or “un-coveted” food.

  • Look out for an explosion of meal ingredients delivery services: the big grocery delivery services such as Ocado, Tesco and Sainsbury’s as well as fast food delivery services like Dominos, have started to see serious competition from a growing number of niche competitors nibbling at their market share.  Pronto, Gousto, Cookoo, Hello Fresh, Lifebox and Early Bird, are just a few examples of recipe-in-a-box services that have now matured as a sector (due to the tech advances and the supply chain advances). This means they’re perfectly placed to challenge the grocery delivery services and fast food.