Menu trends 2019

Menu trends for 2019

In a year where the UK’s top three restaurant searches were vegan, fish, and Indian (followed by a predictable mix of discount codes and vouchers), what clues can raw data tell catering and hospitality businesses as you plan your menus and specials for 2019? We’ve tucked-in to Google Trends to pull predictions across ingredients, dishes, and what people are cooking at home. Plus, a bonus look at the drinks your customers are searching for.

Whilst Caternet will always provide precise reporting from procure to pay, Google Trends provides a goldmine of clues to the future. Take for example the data featured in our report ‘Catering for Gluten-free’. It showed us the most gluten searches originate in Scotland; and that more people are looking for gluten-free restaurants than the supermarkets that sell free-from products.

Not what, but how
To gather our list, we need to know what we’re looking for. Google produces an annual top-ten of UK recipe searches. Here was last year’s;

Chilli con Carne
Spaghetti Bolognese
Beef bourguignon
Beef stroganoff
Hot cross buns
Dauphinoise potatoes
Millionaire shortbread
Bechamel sauce
Chicken thighs

We already spot a trend with Italian food and several beef dishes hitting the list. However, this historical data won’t necessarily help a catering operation plan into the new year and beyond.

Home Cooks

We instead turn to what home cooks are attempting, using the topic How to make;

Sourdough bread
Fish cakes
Iced coffee
Overnight oats
Fluffy pancakes
Rhubarb gin
Chilli oil
Strawberry jam

2019’s Trending Dishes

When we adjust the search with related topics and rising stars, we’re given a picture of the trending dishes customers are looking for;

Skate wings
Beef brisket
Rack of lamb

2019’s Trending Ingredients

Further still, we find 2019 begins with these trending ingredients;

Bass (fish)
Sugar substitutes

2019’s Drinks Trends

What drinks are your customers searching for?
Unsurprisingly, Gin features heavily in the results, including orange and rhubarb flavours. However, the list continues;

Alcohol-free beer
Alcohol-free prosecco
Healthy alcoholic drinks
Energy drinks
Hot chocolate

For any commercial bar and kitchen, it’s important to not fall into the trap of relying on trends. Menu planning should always reflect guest expectations, nutrition, seasonal availability, price and profitability. As we enter 2019 the results show an end to ‘dirty’ burgers and ‘Frankenstein’ milkshakes. Perhaps question if we’re still enjoying 2016’s menu trends of blueberry wine, cheese fondue and giant Jaffa cakes?

What are the influences?

The data showed these three points cast a long shadow across the UK’s searches:
1. What we watched (Masterchef and The Great British Bake Off)
2. Who we watched (Gordon Ramsay, Tom Kerridge, and Nigella Lawson)
3. Trending diets (vegan and Paleolithic)

James Waldron is Content Manager at Zupa

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