Blog series : 12 questions you have always wanted to ask a FOOD EXPERT
Question # 11
What are your key trend predictions for 2017 and do you predict a growth in reduced sugar, gluten free and protein products?
Answered by : Nigel Barden – BBC Radio 2’s Resident Chef, Food & Drink Presenter
I’m sure there will be a further increase in consumption & awareness of healthy ingredients such as super grains (quinoa, freekeh, kamut, teff, spelt, wheat berries etc). I have noticed that every-time I feature anything gluten-free on the radio we get a massive reaction, so I fully expect to see higher sales of GF products, including drinks.
Many breweries are providing de-glutenised beers, or ones made from barley or wheat alternatives such as sorghum, millet, quinoa & cassava.
I’m always on the look out for interesting soft drinks, which aren’t laden with sugar, or sweeteners. Interestingly, 30% of pub drinkers opt for a soft drink, so it’s important that adults have a choice of grown-up alcohol free drinks that aren’t overly sweet. Similarly it’s key that our children are weaned off sugar & caffeine laden drinks. I believe this ethos is beginning to dictate the market.
Everyone is looking at the sugar & salt content in products & interestingly I find that younger chefs instinctively use less salt in their cooking, than their older counterparts, preferring it to be added at the table, as required.
Fat is flavour & it continues to become less demonised. Butter is on the up & when I judge at the Great Taste Awards there are plenty of quality butters on show. Similarly artisan loaves from an increasing number of talented bakers are being cut into. Some of the finest bread & butters herald from Wales & Ireland & there’s no doubt a Celtic palate appreciates a butter slathered slice. Also beleaguered dairy farmers can turn a far better profit making butter & cheese than by selling their milk & it wrestles control back from the large dairies.
The beer renaissance continues & we are awash with great brews. Every brewer has to offer a decent range of styles & demanding quaffers drink beer with food as much as they do on it’s own. Ciders & Perries continue to hit the market & it’s great that, inspired by the Magners invasion half a dozen years ago, we’ve rediscovered our ancient cider making skills & more orchards have been planted because of it.
Tasty low alcohol beers & wines have eventually arrived. Nanny State from BrewDog (0.5%abv) is a really hoppy mouthful & the Natureo range (white, rosé & red), from Spanish wine dynasty Torres, originate from muscat, syrah & cabernet sauvignon grape varieties & deliver a surprising amount of flavour from their 0.5%abv base.
Longstanding Leicester based producers of fruit cordials, Belvoir Fruit Farms (pronounced Beaver) have now bottled single grape variety non-alcoholic wine stunt-doubles, with the white made from chardonnay & shiraz for the red.
Tomorrow’s Final Question : How important is it to have video to engage with your audience? Is this a must to have for 2017 and what are your top tips?