Trends in food and drink can hugely affect not only the stock demand in supermarkets, but it can also affect the equipment needed to produce and package the food that is in demand too.

By looking at what kind of foods and diets are growing in trend, it makes it easier to plan for the New Year, set menus, stock shelves and purchase the relevant equipment. It is important to keep an eye on what is trending.Supermarkets

Without a doubt, health food is the biggest trend to shine in 2015 and likely to continue in 2016. We’re mostly talking about gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, and a trend that shows a huge rise in vegetables, now taking centre-stage (or plate) over meat.

Due to this sudden change in fruit and vegetables becoming the most popular purchase, manufacturers have focused heavily on making them more accessible to the general public. This not only includes widening the selection of fruit and vegetables available, but it also means offering new ways to store them, such as freezing them.

 The rise in smoothie making, both at home and in restaurants, means that there was a huge boom in the purchase and manufacturing of frozen fruit. For example, pre-chopped convenience packs of frozen fruit are now more popular than frozen pizzas in Waitrose.

Other trends include fermenting food, which was discovered to be great for our gut health and the ‘free from’ diets have never been trendier or better informed. This has led to almond milk overtaking soya milk for the first time and has seen a huge rise in gluten free baking products. Closely following the healthy trend is the amount of smoked and fermented items, from oysters to breads and salts. We have also seen a ‘rise’ in consumers demanding a variety of different types of breads including artisan and flatbreads. This had lead to many food manufacturers requiring more from their mixer and kneading system in order to provide a consistent dough quality.

A huge trend that we predict in 2016 is ‘the Brazilian BBQ’, set to be big due to Rio Olympics approaching. This means barbecued meats, caipirinhas (drink), and lots of rice and fruit.

It seems 2016 will continue to follow the ‘food as medicine’ wave, which is great news for society and we’re looking forward to seeing how it develops further.