Meatless Barbecue and Unsweetened Drinks Top Mintel’s Summer Food Trend Predictions

Meatless Barbecue and Unsweetened Drinks Top Mintel's Summer Food Trend Predictions
iStock/gilaxia

Vegan barbecue, snacks, and ice cream top Mintel’s summer food trend predictions. The data research organization’s new report looks at consumer shopping habits with plant-based meats ticking the top spot.

“Vegan options are on the rise, with several UK retailers such as Sainsbury’s, Tesco and just recently Waitrose launching extensive vegan lines in their stores,” says global food analyst Melanie Zanoza Barelme. “Flavour-bursting new varieties of vegan alternatives made from innovative ingredients like Indian jackfruit, which due to its texture and flavour is becoming an increasingly popular meat substitute, will be the star of the vegan barbecue this summer.”

The report also notes ice cream — an unsurprising food trend for summer — will be a big hit with brands like Halo Top earning a growing percentage of the market with its lower-calorie offering.

The broad snack category is also set to expand with a nod toward alcohol pairing, says Ayisha Koyenikan, Global Food & Drink Analyst:

“When it comes to snacking, this summer will see strong flavours and textures that are specifically designed to go with alcohol that, no doubt, will be popular during the World Cup and barbecues alike. Snacks that have strong textures and flavours hold up particularly well with beer and other alcohol and, thus, will win in popularity this summer.”

On trend you won’t be seeing this summer? Sugary drinks. As sin taxes on sodas and other sweetened beverages continue to push consumers toward healthier options, “unsweetened” is the drink trend of summer.

“The desire for unsweetened beverage options, along with consumer demand for more exotic flavours and unusual ingredients, is driving a trend toward more and more creative sparkling waters,” says Mintel’s Associate Director Jenny Zegler. “Recently, innovation in this space has reached new heights. This summer, expect to see less lemonade and more truly original mineral waters with natural flavours far beyond lemon or cucumber.”

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Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger is a Los Angeles-based journalist and editor focused on the global food system and how it intersects with our cultural traditions, diet preferences, health, and politics. She is the senior editor for sister websites OrganicAuthority.com and EcoSalon.com, and works as a research associate and editor with the Cornucopia Institute, the organic industry watchdog group. Jill has been featured in The Huffington Post, MTV, Reality Sandwich, and Eat Drink Better. www.jillettinger.com.