Jackfruit barbecue sandwich

Vegan Barbecue Tops 2018 Summer Food, Beverage Trends

Plant-based eating is so on-trend that consumers are kicking traditional summer staples such as hamburgers and hotdogs to the side in favor of healthier, nutrient-dense products like jackfruit barbecue and black bean and quinoa burgers.

Mintel’s global analysts recently named four “2018 Summer Food & Drink Trends” expected to take center stage during the dogdays of summer.

Barbecue: Although barbecue selection has become more diverse with the addition of fish and cheese in recent years, vegan barbecue might not have been a consideration for a meat-eater—until now. There has been an increase in specialty vegan products, such as black bean chipotle, catering to changes in consumer tastes.

Ice Cream: The mythical beast that is better-for-you ice cream, characterized by low sugar and high protein has officially arrived in the United Kingdom. Having outsold ice cream giants like Unilever and Nestlé Dreyers to become the best-selling ice cream in the United States over a four-week period in July 2017, Halo Top launched in the UK earlier this year. Among UK ice cream eaters, 32 percent said “low sugar” would encourage them to consume more ice cream.

Snacks: New Mintel research indicates snacks designed to be a companion to beer are poised to do especially well this summer. The combination of alcohol and salty snacks is nothing new, yet just 46 percent of UK beer drinkers would like to see more information about matching food with beer. Similarly, many consumers are looking for bold and interesting flavors: 50 percent of Brazilian snackers agree that unusual/exotic flavors of salty snacks are appealing, while 36 percent of U.S. consumers say they would buy more chips if there are new flavors to try.

Soft Drinks: Goodbye sugar, hello flavor. Amid government regulations like the UK sugar tax, consumers are getting weary of old favorites like soda, cola, and lemonade. Bold flavored sparkling waters is a recent trend bringing naturalness and flavor to the soft drink market, and presents an alternative to sugar and artificial ingredients. They seem to be a natural alternative for many consumers: 53 percent of UK consumers agree that sparkling flavored water is a good alternative to fizzy drinks.

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