It’s still all about protein!

It’s still all about protein!

Yesterday, the Product of the Year team headed to the Food & Drink Expo at the NEC, Birmingham to check out 2018’s top trends. And in between lounging in hammocks, drinking endless tasters of gin, and eating our body weight in chocolate, we saw some pretty cool new ideas – such as Oumph’s amazing new plant protein, completely out of this world – and exciting twists on old classics – like new hot crisps with dip from Heat & Eat, how have I not thought of this before? More than anything, we got a great dollop of inspiration – it’s really heartening to see more companies dedicated to innovation than ever before.

Protein still rules innovation when it comes to food and drink, with dozens of different options for protein water, protein balls, protein bars and protein enhanced foods. However, as increasingly consumers are concerned about the origins of the products they buy, it’s great to see more transparent labeling, recyclable packaging, and all-natural, all-fresh ingredients making their way onto the supermarket shelf.

Gin is still among the most popular spirit, but as I suspected before Christmas, we’ve seen an increase in the speciality rums and vodkas too. And to meet the rising numbers of non-drinkers, we loved Chastity (no sin gin!), the non-alcoholic gin (and loved by us drinkers as well). More exciting options are also opening up for non-drinkers, from new flavours of water including sparkling coconut water to juices and smoothies – and an unsurprising trend is the cutback on sugar, to avoid the recently introduced sugar tax.

We know that the true test of innovation is whether or not it solves a consumer need – so we know that Indulge, the new hangover prevention pills, are definitely going to be a great success!

Today’s trends are tomorrow’s Product of the Year winners, so if you have a future winner on your shelves, it’s time to get excited! We’ll be opening for entries at the beginning of May.