Food And Drink Trends 2013/2014

As specialists in the food and drink industry we know the importance of keeping up to date with emerging trends to help ensure success in the market. Gone are the days when food was a necessity, increasingly we are ‘living to eat’ rather than ‘eating to live’. Here is our round up of the top 10 most significant food trends for 2013 – from the practical to the outrageous.

Food and Drink as an Experience

In 2013 we can expect a strong focus being placed on food and drink as a full experience by both independent and chain restaurants. Recently opened Steam a ‘calorie neutral’ restaurant where diners burn off the same number of calories throughout the course of the meal which they consume, was launched as a pop-up by Miele. Also very recently Harrods created a luxurious pop-up Dior theme café with designer cupcakes and afternoon tea as part of their Dior exhibition. More mainstream examples of this trend include McDonalds’ global restaurant refurbishments which has seen wireless internet installed into all chains and even upgrades to china plates, real cutlery and table services in some outlets.

Vegetables as Mains

The vegetarian option no longer means a baked mushroom or a limp salad. Grounded in both health and environmental concerns more chefs than ever before are embracing rather than frowning on vegetarian and vegan cuisine. Increasingly restaurants are offering their customers exciting, flavoursome dishes using seasonal vegetables. Vegetarian takes on traditional dishes are also gathering popularity, the vegetarian pub The Coach and Horse’s for example offer battered tofu and chips as well as meat-free Wellingtons and pies.

Gourmet Diner Food

The trend for a gourmet take on American diner style food which emerged last year is set to become a fully fledged food revolution in 2013. Gone are the days when foodies would turn their noses up at a hamburger and shake instead they are frequenting emerging chains such as Hachѐ who describes themselves as burger connoisseurs. Hawkesmoore and Bubbledog a champagne bar in London have also run with the trend offering their customers hotdogs to go with their bubbly. So for the rest of 2013 we can look forward to more lovingly glazed, handmade burger buns, medium rare burger patties, skin-on fries and creamy chocolate milkshakes.

Regional Flavours

Recognition of consumers in different countries and regions having different tastes has given rise to the trend for geographically specific flavours. Kit Kat for example have created a range of flavours to suit their Japanese customer which include wasabi, green tea, purple sweet potato and edamame soybean. McDonalds have also catered specifically to different markets introducing baguettes in their French outlets and Starbucks have developed green tea tiramisu and ginger pork paninis for their coffee shops in China.

Tea Party

Black tea, white tea, green tea, pink tea… Tea has also become trendy and with more awareness than ever before about the health benefits of tea the nation has now even more of an excuse to drink its favourite beverage. Other varieties of tea which have recently gained popularity in the western world include novelty flowering tea bulbs from China as well as traditional English afternoon tea becoming the new catch-up coffee.

Sweet and Savoury Shake-Up

Consumers are increasingly searching for different flavour combinations, fusion cuisine and food experiences therefore brands are now under pressure more than ever to create unique products and tastes. Many of them are meeting this need by producing clever combinations that combine or blur the boundaries between sweet and savoury. Salted caramel for example has become an incredibly popular flavour and products such as lattes, ice-cream, fudge to cakes and popcorn have all had the salted caramel treatment. Other more unusual examples of the shake-up between sweet and savoury include oxtail doughnuts from Duck and Waffle of London and Vosges’ very unusual bacon flavour chocolate.


In tough financial times you are unlikely to spend thousands on a brand new car or designer handbag but you might be willing to part with a few pounds for a little taste of luxury, or at least that is what food and beverage brands are hoping. From Starbucks’ controversial $ 7 cup of coffee to Burger King’s £95, Kobi beef ‘bling’ burger food and drink outlets are banking on the mass-tige trend for publicity and sales. More recent examples of the trend includes Harvey Nichols 24 karat gold, champagne flavoured lollipop and Bourdain and Ripon’s ‘Good and Evil’ $ 18 bar of chocolate.

Food that isn’t Food

A more unusual food and drink trend for 2013 is food and drink as a different sensory experience, food mists which can be inhaled rather than eaten is an emerging dining experience and an alcoholic take on this is called ‘Vaportini’. Vaportini gives the consumer the advantage of being able to control the effects of the alcohol more easily because it wares off in a more predictable manner. Vaportini and food mists also mean zero consumption of calories which is a good selling point among image and health conscious consumers. Pizza Hut have also responded to demand from their social network followers and their take on this trend is the unconventional, pizza scented perfume.

Drinks are Desserts

Recently cocktails have evolved into more than just a beverage with creamy and sweet varieties taking on the role of a dessert. From cocktails which are named after popular pudding dishes such as Tulio Restaurante in Seattle’s ‘tiramisu cocktail’ to celebrity chef Kathy Casey’s ‘lemon puff meringue cocktail’. This trend has also been seen in the form of sorbet style frozen strawberry daiquiris at Vodka Revolution Bars and tequila snow cones at Zengo and Biblioteca.

Functional Food

The trend for functional food describes food and drink products that may be natural or processed but ultimately their appeal for consumers lies in their health benefits. In The United States consumers are spending more than $ 10 billion every year on functional food. From natural so called super foods such as blueberries, Quinoa and Goji berries to foods with manufactured health benefits such as lollies and cereals fortified with vitamins or probiotic yoghurts. The trend is set to continue to grow driven by the time poor consumer’s desire for convenience and health benefits in one.

Overall, it is clear to see that while a couple of the key emerging food and drink trends are driven by real consumer needs and true functional benefits much of the evolution of the food and drink markets is a result of food reaching the height of innnovation. In times when there are more brands than ever before a point of difference is a core selling point to consumers and the food and drink industry has embraced this to bring us exciting and innovative products and experiences.