"Plant-based food hasn’t just arrived in foodservice, it’s here to stay."
Health, sustainability and plant-based products were the unmissable trends we saw at this year’s LACA Main Event in Birmingham.
Often we see foodservice trail behind consumer product development. But, it would seem that brands right across foodservice are now doing all they can to create products to meet growing demand from savvier customers, particularly teenagers and secondary students.
As school meal standards continue to improve, reduced salt and sugar was a key focus for Kraft Heinz, who has launched healthier versions of its beans and tomato ketchup into schools.
On their stand they had a blind taste test pitting an own-label ketchup against their regular and reduced product. We passed the test with flying colours, proving once and for all that William Murray knows its ketchup.
The global push for greener products and less environmentally-damaging supply chains continues. Quorn’s campaign encouraging kids to eat meals that are as good for them as they are for the planet aligns with the growing number of young people adopting alternative diets in order to reduce their environmental impact.
Elsewhere, Young’s was promoting not one but three sustainable fishing accreditations across their products, proving that sustainability and responsible sourcing continue to drive schools’ purchasing choices.
2018 really has been the year when the vegan diet went mainstream. At LACA you couldn’t look to a stand without seeing the ‘V’ word leading a list of products or featuring as a hero, something that just wouldn’t have been the case just a few years ago.
Vegan pastries from Délifrance, a new vegan-range from Kerrymaid and an entire stand from the UK’s first entirely vegan football club, the Forest Green Rovers, were just the tip of the iceberg.
Plant-based food hasn’t just arrived in foodservice, it’s here to stay.