The trend towards hotter and spicier flavours in recent years is expected to continue into 2019, says Tasneem Backhouse, joint managing director at EHL Ingredients.
“Timut pepper is expected to be the ingredient in 2019,” she says. “It’s a hot, spicy pepper from Nepal with a grapefruit-like flavour and is a great addition to condiments, chutneys, sauces and in Indian and Asian cuisine.
“It’s used in dumplings, noodle soups and broths and marinades, and we have also seen it used in flavoured gins and cocktails.”
Insects have long been touted as a valuable and sustainable protein source. Once sceptical about the commercial viability of insect protein, new product development pioneers Jonny Bingham and David Jones now believe progress is being made.
“Eat Grub’s launch into Sainsbury’s seems to be the start of something that could be quite noisy in the next year,” says Bingham.
“We’ve seen industrial insect farming in the Netherlands and some really innovative products that seek to utilise the protein in far more developed ways than just smashing them up, making a powder and shoving a small amount into a bar.”
In line with the Instagram effect, colourful food and drink development is expected to be prominent in 2019.
GNT Group anticipates the sunshine spectrum – bright yellow to deep orange – will feature heavily, as consumers seek out products that inspire upbeat, positive emotions.
“In 2019, consumers will prefer food and drink that can arouse a sense of freshness and light – qualities that yellow and orange shades deliver,” says Maartje Hendrickx, market development manager at GNT. “Generation Z will channel the positivity of sunshine shades to sprinkle cheerfulness into their lives.”
Recent speculation on the potential health benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) oil now appears to have sparked interest among food and drink suppliers.
“We have seen a huge peak in enquiries for developing products containing CBD oil,” says Lucy Thomas, co-founder of food and drink innovation firm Tastemakers.
“In California, near Venice Beach, organic grocery store Erewhon sells CBD water, juices, coffee and even chocolate. We expect more of these products to launch in the UK in 2019.”