Over the past 3 weeks, a number of interesting marketing and food predictions have crossed my desk. Some I’ve found on social media, some I’ve received by email and others have featured in conventional media like newspapers and radio. They’ve been (for the most part) well researched, informed and based upon years of experience. However this Irish mammy has some strong opinions on the year ahead when it comes to Irish food in 2014 and so I figure I may as well share them with you and we’ll see at the end of the year if any have come to fruition.
High End Dining
This will be the year where more conventional restaurants and food outlets take a long hard look at portion sizes that they offer to diners. Half portions won’t just be on the children’s menu, they’ll be added to main menus and offered to all.
I expect to see more restaurants offering family meals where the mains and sides are served in the centre of the table and the diner helps themselves. This could become a big trend amongst groups of friends going out for a Sunday roast dinner, just like they’d have at home except without the washing up.
We’ve been cooking and eating at home here on a low-salt basis for many years now but I expect 2014 to be the year this becomes more mainstream.
Juicing has been bang on trend for the start of the year. The juice diet will replace the 5:2 diet this year, and therefore expect the prices and demand for fresh tropical fruit to rocket in the next 2 months.
We already know that many famous food writers and chefs will visit Ireland in 2014, thanks in no small part to the Litfest in Ballymaloe. I’m expecting a big increase in the amount of Ottolenghi influenced dishes in the food blogging world. Something that I won’t be sorry to see as time spent in the Middle East has influenced an awful lot of my cuisine.
Low End Dining
This is where we will see the gap widen. 2013 saw a greater focus on what those on low incomes were eating (due in no small part to the beef scandal this time last year) and this will continue in 2014.
The queues at food banks and soup kitchens will increase.
The amount of disposable income left to pay for food will be far less. While the monthly disposable income is apparently on the increase (reported by the Irish League of Credit Unions today) for families, it is on the decrease for those on the poverty line.
This will all put pressure on the creaking food bank system in Ireland unless more major retailers step up and take responsibility for some of their unnecessary food waste.
There will be an increase in diseases that are directly related to nutritional deficiency.
Please note: These are my own opinions based on personal experience. I am only an expert in my own kitchen!