Food trends 2019

The past years have seen an increase in awareness of food origins, focus on sustainability and taking responsibility for waste products. Whilst the international, political and environmental arenas all look pretty uncertain for the year ahead, foodies seem united in eating their way to a solution.

We ask the people whose job it is to be in the know, who set and shape the food trends what, and how, we will be eating and drinking in 2019. 

I think 2019 will be an exciting year for the city. The food scene keeps getting better and better. In terms of food trends I believe dietary requirements are making the headlines. I believe there will be a rise in non-alcoholic options and more bespoke menu offerings for guests with special dietary needs, not just options to take items away from a full dish. Etch feels like people with these needs should not be left behind when it comes to dining, so are already offering this service.’

‘I think that 2019 drinks trends will be working to improve transparency of ingredients used and their provenance. Bars for years have been shadowing the culinary world and I don’t think that will be stopping any time soon. I think there will be a shift in the cocktail world to the use of local produce in drinks, noting what’s in season and championing those tastes.  I also predict a surge in thoughtful non-alcoholic drink options, offering things such as health tonics for those off the booze and moving away from sickly sweet mocktails’

‘English sparkling wine has been on the up for a few years now, but after the amazing summer we’ve just had I think this vintage promises to be outstanding across all of the producers. The increase in popularity has seen English sparkling replace many Champagnes on wine lists not only across the south of England but throughout the rest of the country too. I’ve even seen places in France selling English sparkling, which would have been unheard of a few years ago!’


‘I am hoping to source all ingredients on my menus from local producers, working with foragers to find alternatives for the trickier ingredients to find in Sussex such as black pepper and cinnamon. I expect small-scale artisan producers to become big business this year with people willing to pay more for higher quality and ethically produced products. An example is J Cocoa in Hassocks, who make chocolate from beans in their back garden!’

‘Although healthy living has been in the spotlight for some time now, I predict food trends to reflect the importance of health more than ever this year. With an emphasis on vegetables, I think quick and easy food with every element made from scratch will take off in 2019. I also think people are moving away from fine dining and instead towards a casual and laid back dining experience. For this reason, I think supper clubs are going to be bigger than ever this year.’

‘I believe coffee in 2019 will continue to see innovation in alternative dairy-free milks and cold brew options. I predict Cascara will be the drink of the summer. It is a rosehip like tea made from dried coffee cherries (the skins of the coffee bean). Technically illegal for many months as it is a ‘new’ foodstuff, it has now been cleared by the EU and I predict cafes to really take it on. It’s fruity, hoppy and heavily caffeinated flavors are a great base for hot and cold drinks but also pair well with alcohol’

‘This year, Kombucha has been a really popular choice for those opting for soft drinks with their meal here at Indian Summer. I think its popularity will grow in 2019 and we will see it in many more venues around the city. I also think kombucha will be used as inspiration for new and innovative non alcoholic drink options, but also as a mixer for spirits too. In addition, I believe 2019 is a time to keep driving forward zero waste efforts. There is still a long way to go with packaging in supermarkets, and more importantly for us, takeaway containers. I hope next year we’ll see some inventive ways to serve takeaways.’

‘Here at The Sussex Ox meat provenance and respect has always been top of our agenda, but I think more venues will start to become hot on this in 2019. Meat consumption can be sustainable if you choose wisely, from local farms who don’t mass produce and also when eaten in moderation. I would like to see more cooking where the whole animal is used, head to tail, as we do here with nothing wasted. On another, less serious note, I am seeing a rise in artisan English rum producers. Rum infusions in cooking? Yes please.’

‘During 2019 I think we’ll see a continuing demand for innovative cooking, with a particular emphasis on small plate dining. This goes hand in hand with a relaxed and welcoming service style, making customers feel at home and at ease whilst enjoying restaurant quality food. I believe this style of dining will extend to customers feeling brought together, more than ever, through their mutual passion for food. This is bang on trend now and I believe it will continue to be so next year’

‘I think 2019 will see a continuation of popularity for vegan food, with chefs experimenting with new flavors and food swaps. Here at Flour Pot Kitchen, we like to use seitan as a meat substitute, packing out our vegan and plant based dishes with maximum flavor. For Flour Pot, next year will bring an emphasis on reducing waste, be that waste from packaging or waste from food. I forsee refillable coffee cups growing and food waste minimised by experimenting with reuseable ideas such as wasted bread used for new dishes. I also champion working with food waste charities such as FareShare Sussex and think more venues should look into doing so too’

‘This year I have seen a rise in local communities supporting local food and drinks producers, and I expect this to continue to be popular in 2019. The customer list for Brighton Milk has gone up by 58% within the last 5 months, with people focussing on zero waste, sustainable produce. This is everything Brighton Milk represents. Reusable bottles and containers are a fantastic way to reduce plastic consumption in your home.’