Food trends are obvious in hindsight. Last year, there was avocado everywhere, spiralizers spiralled out of control, and everything we ate was given a rainbow make-over. But predictions for the year ahead are always tricky, and after a turbulent 2016, who knows what will happen in the year ahead? However, we’re giving it our best shot with our predicted 2017 food trends.

Food waste is on the out, which is fantastic. Latest estimates claim that around 56% of food and drink waste is avoidable, while more than 8 million people in the UK are struggling to put food on the table – so there’s appetite to do even better! Many brands are also looking for ways to use their surplus food stocks. General Mills, the company behind much-loved brands – including Nature Valley, Yoplait and Old El Paso amongst others – ensures their unavoidable surplus is redirected to FareShare, a UK-wide charity that tackles hunger and food waste. FareShare then redistributes it to charities and communities across the country – totalling 100,000 meals to date. There is also ‘Too Good To Go’, an app which enables you to buy leftover food from restaurants and cafes for as little as £2. It’s already in London, Leeds and Brighton, and is set to take over the rest of the UK in 2017.

Less alcohol. Mocktails and fancy juices are becoming more popular to drink, with many people choosing non-alcoholic options when they’re out, and restaurants are responding to this new market with a wide variety of virgin drinks. Try the gorgeously designed and tasty Seedlip – the world’s first non-alcoholic botanical spirit. It’s not confined to restaurants or bars either; try making your own lemonade or limeade, a homemade cordial or growing yourself a ginger beer plant.

That brings me nicely onto our next prediction, for DIY foods. More people have their own pots of fresh herbs on their window sills, or a small patch of earth in the back garden for radishes and other easy vegetables. While ‘Dig for Victory’ is a little outdated, you can bring this trend firmly into 2017 with your own hydroponic unit. It also doesn’t have to stop with your own fresh foods; you can pickle vegetables, or make your own kimchi, sauerkraut, and jams.

Free-from foods will become even more popular in 2017. Previously, these have been only enjoyed by people with intolerances or allergies, but recently many people have started choosing to eat foods which are free from gluten, dairy or nuts. They’ve also never been more accessible, with supermarkets and even corner shops adding more and more variety to their free-from range.

Vegetables. We’re set to see an increase in vegetables on our plates, changing the British staple of meat and two veg to just… veg? Veganism is still on the rise, with half a million people in the UK now a vegan. This means we’ll be seeing more vegan and vegetarian dishes, as restaurants open themselves up to the diversity of vegetables. Need some fresh inspiration? Check out New Covent Garden Market’s seasonal Market Report.

Finally, bowls. No, I’m not kidding. There’s already an entire restaurant in Berlin which is dedicated to serving brunch in bowls. Some things already make a lot of sense in bowls; soup, for example. But bowls and comfort foods are a match made in heaven, plus bowls are far more Instagram-friendly than a boring, wide plate. It’s not just comfort food either. Healthy, well balanced meals seem more appetising in a bowl, and it’s an easy dieting tip as well; you can trick your brain into thinking there’s more food in a bowl than the same meal on a plate.

For even more gazing into the foodie crystal ball, read these expert articles on predicted 2017 food trends:

New Food Trends to Look for in 2017 – CN Traveler
The hottest food trends for 2017 | An expert guide – Olive Magazine
Top food trends for 2017 – Deliveroo
Clean is the new dirty word: What will we be eating and where this year? – Independent

Amber Parkin is an avid foodie and Digital Account Director at Storm.

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