Food and Beverage Trends for 2016


As the impact of the downturn in the economy continues to affect consumers, restaurateurs need to look for innovative ways of offering a better deal and a simpler dining experience.

Fortunately, the 2016 food and beverage trends, both in South Africa and abroad, reflect a move towards lighter, purer and cleaner foods that are economical to prepare.

African Spices

Africa is home to many interesting culinary traditions, and spices are commonly used. In South Africa we are familiar with Indian and Malay cooking, but not so conversant with spices used further north in countries like Ethiopia, Egypt and Morocco.

These include the hot berbere spice that’s ideal for seasoning poultry, fish and meat stews, dukka seasoning for salads, and a Moroccan curry blend known as La Kama used for lamb curries and as soup flavouring.

Avocado Oil

This oil is extracted from green avocado flesh and has a nutritional profile that’s similar to that of olive oil. Like olive oil, it’s natural oil that is much healthier than processed oils. It has a creamy texture with a nutty, buttery taste. It is ideal for cooking because of its high smoke point and is an excellent salad dressing. There are several producers pressing avocado oil in South Africa.

Swopping Carbs for Vegetables

The amount of pasta and rice eaten over the last five years in Europe has dropped by between 13 and 25 percent. In its place, people are eating and enjoying more vegetables.

In fact, vegetables are even supplanting meat dishes as consumers push against the higher costs of meat and appreciate the freshness of well prepared vegetable meals.

Resurgence of Dairy Products

New research is demonstrating that low-fat diets don’t work that well and that dairy fat is much healthier that previously assumed. Millennials who have not been schooled by traditional views about dairy products are eagerly embracing full-fat dairy products for their better taste and richer texture.

Craft Beers

Interest in craft beers continues to grow: the Standard Bank anticipates that in 2016, sales of craft beers will increase by as much as 35 percent. Most commercial craft beer is brewed in the Western Cape despite the fact that the biggest market is in Gauteng.

At the same time, small craft breweries continue to thrive. Another interesting development is a growing demand for beer cocktails.

Plant Waters

Fruit juices are falling out of favour due to concerns around sugar levels and the use of sweeteners for diet versions of fruit juices. Traditional vendors of carbonated drinks are also feeling the pinch as consumers try new innovative energy drinks and naturally sweet, low calorie plant waters like coconut water.

Coffee Revival

Coffee drinkers are eschewing mass-produced dark roasted coffees for lighter, sweeter roasts that are not as bitter and have a natural sweetness. Customers are becoming more discerning and often request specific coffee beans of known origin. Coffee makers are also moving away from espresso machines and adopting pour-over methods that result in smoother coffees.

What food and beverage trends do you forecast for the coming year? Leave us a comment below.

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