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09/07/2018 – News / Retail / Trends / Mintel / Global

Mintel announces summer food and drink trends for 2018

Analysts at the world’s leading market intelligence agency – Mintel – predict four food and drink trends that consumers can expect at parties and celebrations this summer.


Mintel has just published its 2018 Summer Food & Drink Trends. Utilising its Global New Products Database (GNPD), the firm’s expert analysts examine new products hitting store shelves around the world, and provide the latest insights into consumer behaviour.


Barbecue beefs up on vegan


Although barbecue selection has become more diverse with the addition of fish and cheese in recent years, vegan barbecue might not have been a consideration for a meat-eater – until now. There has been an increase in speciality vegan products – such as black bean chipotle – that cater to changes in consumer tastes. A clear trend has emerged for consumers in the UK to cut, limit or reduce how much meat and poultry they are eating – indeed, 28 per cent of adults have done this over the six months to March 2017. Similarly, in the US, 33 per cent of consumers plan to buy more plant-based food products in the next year.


“Vegan options are on the rise, with several UK retailers such as Sainsbury’s, Tesco and just recently Waitrose launching extensive vegan lines in their stores,” informs Melanie Zanoza Bartelme, Global Food Analyst at Mintel. “Flavour-bursting new varieties of vegan alternatives made from innovative ingredients like Indian jackfruit, which due to its texture and flavour is becoming an increasingly popular meat substitute, will be the star of the vegan barbecue this summer.“


Better-for-you ice cream


The mythical beast that is better-for-you ice cream, characterised by low sugar and high protein, has officially arrived in the UK. Having outsold ice cream giants like Unilever and Nestlé Dreyers to become the best-selling ice cream in the US over a four-week period in July 2017, Halo Top launched in the UK earlier this year. Among UK ice cream eaters, almost a third (32 per cent) say that ‘low sugar’ would encourage them to consume more ice cream.


“Ice cream brands which claim to offer health benefits have historically been hard to find in Europe,” observes Alex Beckett, Associate Director of Mintel Food & Drink. “As consumers look to balance their diets with an occasional treat and a boost to their mood, more ice cream brands will emerge which aim to combine indulgence and health.”


Snacks: Go bold or go home


New Mintel research indicates that snacks that are designed to be a companion to beer are poised to do especially well this summer in various markets. The combination of alcohol and salty snacks is nothing new, yet just under half (46 per cent) of UK beer drinkers would like to see more information about matching food with beer. Similarly, many consumers are looking for bold and interesting flavours: 50 per cent of Brazilian snackers agree that unusual/exotic flavours of salty snacks are appealing, while 36 per cent of US consumers say they would buy more crisps if there are new flavours to try.


“When it comes to snacking, this summer will see strong flavours and textures that are specifically designed to go with alcohol that, no doubt, will be popular during the World Cup and barbecues alike,” asserts Ayisha Koyenikan, Global Food & Drink Analyst at Mintel. “Snacks that have strong textures and flavours hold up particularly well with beer and other alcohol and, thus, will win in popularity this summer.”


Soft drinks: low sugar, big flavour


Amid government regulations like the UK sugar tax, consumers are getting weary of old favourites like soda, cola and lemonade. Bold flavoured sparkling waters is a recent trend bringing naturalness and flavour to the soft drink market, and presents an alternative to sugar and artificial ingredients. They seem to be a natural alternative for a large number of consumers: over half (53 per cent) of UK consumers agree that sparkling flavoured water is a good alternative to fizzy drinks.


“The desire for unsweetened beverage options, along with consumer demand for more exotic flavours and unusual ingredients, is driving a trend toward more and more creative sparkling waters,” observes Jenny Zegler, Associate Director at Mintel Food & Drink. “Recently, innovation in this space has reached new heights. This summer, expect to see less lemonade and more truly original mineral waters with natural flavours far beyond lemon or cucumber.”


Mintel’s 2018 Summer Food & Drink Trends report is available to download here:

Latest issue – Vol 1/23
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