THE SEMIOTICS OF TASTE – KEY TRENDS

Here at Hornall Anderson we are passionate about 2 things, food and trends and we were lucky enough to join Stephen Wallis (2007 Masterchef winner and self confessed design junkie and cultural magpie) as he attempted to highlight some of the emerging food & drink trends of today, yesterday’s trends that are still evolving and trends on the horizons by looking at 4 categories.

Mashtopia – (Hybrid foods, a mixture of food cultures)

 A new concept for Ben and Jerry's?

A new concept for Ben and Jerry's?

Despite what recent political shifts might suggest, globalisation and the increase in cultural diversity has meant that we can now have culinary delicacies from the farthest reaches of the globe all within a stones throw of each-other. Although this is nothing new, more and more people are experimenting using ‘mash-ups’ as a way of trying to find the next must have queue forming food fad that we’ve all fallen victim to. Here the development of contrasting colours and textures has been used to enrich the consumer experience with something new and original. Some good examples of this are crispy sushi playing on the contrast between the crispy outer coat and the soft rice inner, Brick Lane’s Rainbow bagels …do rainbows taste like bagels or bagels like rainbows? 

 We'd like these bagels delivered by Unicorns please?

We'd like these bagels delivered by Unicorns please?

Mash-ups are nothing new to the market but we are now seeing cross pollination between industries with items such as the edible helium balloon by Alinea Restaurant. …what next!?

 Not the best choice for a first date

Not the best choice for a first date

Cult of Carnal

 A weeks worth of calories in a single serving

A weeks worth of calories in a single serving

From fried chicken to dirty burgers, smoke and char, the simplest of BBQ and soul food heralds from the Southern states of the USA, and has been elevated to eternal perfection by devoted chefs. Cooking the perfect bit of meat has become an art form. Already highly popular in many parts of Asia the rise of insect foods as a cheaper and more environmentally friendly source of protein is inevitably a thing of the not so distant future for the Western world. Specialised insect food restaurants like ‘Grub Kitchen’ of St David’s, Wales have already started to spring up.

 It'll never catch on in Wigan

It'll never catch on in Wigan

We have seen the rise in the meat market over the past few years with the flash in the pan trend of pulled pork and ‘Dirty Burger’ through to the dirtiest burger! But we’ve begun to see the dark side of cult in a trend that’s being run into the ground by the fast food trade that sits along side it. In a space where a burger is an appropriate garnish for a Bloody Mary, surely this has gone too far!?

 A side of burger with your Bloody Mary Sir?

A side of burger with your Bloody Mary Sir?

Stephen explains that in spite of the meats becoming more expensive and harder to farm there is a carnivore in all of us, meaning there will always be a place for cooked, cured and raw meats although it may become more of a treat rather than a day to day consumption

Phytophiles –  (Edible beauty)

 Here's one I made earlier

Here's one I made earlier

Here we can see the rapid effect of social media platforms like Instagram on food culture, helping to drive forward meals aesthetically, encouraging smaller more compact and beautiful dishes for the perfect sized Instagram shots in a bid to use the consumer as the ultimate marketing tool. It’s this sharing of information amongst consumers that gives brands the ability to generate the fast moving trends of today with some new establishments allowing their customers to pay for their meal with Instagram posts of their food.

 Pretty as a picture

Pretty as a picture

This trend has also spread to the supermarket shelves with brands like ‘BOL’ with their layered salad jars. 

 Naturally healthy

Naturally healthy

Veganarchy (vegan food that’s pushing experiential boundaries)

Just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean it has to be boring! Influenced by the health and environmentally conscious millenials and the vegan foot soldier ‘the Hipster’, vegan food boundaries are being pushed to enhance the consumer experience farther and farther. Some of the latest vegan food inventions include the beetroot burger where the beetroot juice has been added to a vegan burger to give the effect of blood dripping when you bite into it giving you that carnal experience. 

 Who needs meat when vegan food looks so good?

Who needs meat when vegan food looks so good?

Stephen explains that today we are seeing the expansion of the vegan food market (root veg, grass & seed) into other areas like fragrance and cosmetics, for example ‘Basic Bitch’, a vegan cosmetics range released by Made in Chelsea star Lucy Watson. 

Because of our younger more environmentally conscious generations, sustainability and waste utilization has become increasingly more important. Did you know our recent obsession with avocado is ruining Mexican rainforests due to over farming keeping up with demand!?

 We have a few

We have a few

Dirty Habit based in San Francisco is an example of a new kind of restaurant that only serves dishes created from supermarket food waste.

Summary:

In an ever more diverse and environmentally savvy society, where culinary delights from over the globe are at your finger tips, from high end restaurants to the hangover god-send Deliveroo; industry experts are forever thinking of new ways to test your taste buds and push the consumer experience to new limits. 

 A curious combination of sweet and savoury

A curious combination of sweet and savoury

It will be interesting to see how food trends are influenced by the latest cultural shift with Brexit looming and the promise of tighter US borders. What is the backlash to our industry a the world closes it’s borders? What we love today and take for granted to be on our doorstep could become a rare treat in the future to come.

 Our very own Stuart Hollingworth with Steven Wallis

Our very own Stuart Hollingworth with Steven Wallis