Diets are notoriously difficult to predict, but according to the experts there is unlikely to be dramatic changes in our diet in Britain over the next twenty years.

While fad diets will come and go, and consumers will continue to seek out new and novel taste experiences, change is often very slow due to ingrained social and cultural influences. So, there is likely to be a simple and more gradual continuation of existing long-term established trends rather than a revolution. The more dominant long-term trends may reflect lifestyles and the ageing population on the UK.

So what has the potential to change the food and drink landscape as we know it? Hot topics include gluten-free, alcohol-free and meat-free or plant-based vegan diet.

free from food hamper gifts from hay hampers

Statistics show the UK free-from market grew by 133 percent between 2013 and 2018, with an estimated value of £837 million in 2018.

Gluten free products make up a large proportion of that total, as more consumers choose to avoid gluten because of health reasons, intolerances or allergies.

The low and alcohol-free trend also is growing. According to Mintel, one in five 16 to 24-year-olds say that they don’t drink alcohol. This young, mainly urban elite who are drinking less has paved the way for new and existing brands to come up with some exciting ideas. Also at Hay Hampers, we have been incorporating alcohol-free additions to our range of gifts in order to appeal to the ever-increasing numbers of consumers looking for alternatives, especially at Christmas.

The meat-free trend is huge. With the vegan population predicted to grow by 327% this year and an unprecedented growth in awareness of the benefits of a plant-based diet, veganism is a confluence of consumers with very different motivations. Parents wanting to be seen as role models to their children and links to red meat and cancer would encourage simple lifestyle shifts that promise living well for longer. The trend has grown from well beyond its core base of ethics, questioning animal welfare or industrial farming practices, but has taken 30-40 years to peak.