Mintel unveils summer food and drink trends

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Beer and snacks is one of the news summer trends
Beer and snacks is one of the news summer trends
Vegan barbecues, low-sugar ice creams, snacks with beer and bold flavoured sparkling waters are set to be the next four big food and drink trends for the summer season, Mintel has revealed.

The company’s 2018 Summer Food & Drink Trends​ report said that barbecue selections had become more diverse, with the addition of fish and cheese in recent years, but there had also been an increase in speciality vegan products, such as black bean chipotle, which were catering to changes in consumer tastes.

Mintel said a clear trend had emerged for consumers in the UK to cut, limit or reduce how much meat and poultry they were eating, with 28% of adults having done this over the six months to March 2017. Similarly, in the US, 33% of consumers planned to buy more plant-based food products in the next year 

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​,” said Melanie Zanoza Bartelme, global food analyst.

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​.”

Better-for-you ice cream

Another trend Mintel highlighted was the arrival of  “better-for-you ice cream​”, characterised by low sugar and high protein.

Among UK ice cream eaters, almost a third (32%) said that ‘low sugar’ would encourage them to consume more ice cream.

Alex Beckett, associate director, Mintel Food & Drink, said: “Ice cream brands that claim to offer health benefits have historically been hard to find in Europe. As consumers look to balance their diets with an occasional treat and a boost to their mood, more ice cream brands will emerge which aim to combine indulgence and health​.”

New Mintel research has indicated that snacks which are designed to be a companion to beer are poised to do especially well this summer.

It said that just under half (46%) of UK beer drinkers would like to see more information about matching food with beer. 


Ayisha Koyenikan, global food and drink analyst, said: “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​.”

Lastly, the popularity of bold flavoured sparkling waters is a new trend. Mintel said that amid government regulations, such as the UK sugar tax, waters presented an alternative to sugar and artificial ingredients 

Over half (53%) of UK consumers agreed that sparkling flavoured water was a good alternative to fizzy drinks.

 Jenny Zegler, associate director, Mintel Food & Drink, said: “The desire for unsweetened beverage options, along with consumer demand for more exotic flavours and unusual ingredients, is driving a trend towards more and more creative sparkling waters​.

 “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​.”

Related topics: Food Ingredients, Health & Nutrition

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