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Unilever Food Solutions Unveils ‘Future Menus 2024’

Unilever Foods Solutions (UFS) has released its annual trend report, Future Menus 2024, which sets out the seven global trends that are shaping the food service industry in the UK. The key shifts expected in restaurants this year include rising demand for unexpected flavour combinations, the mainstreaming of plant-based dishes, and a focus on transforming healthy options to create unexpected food innovations.

The report highlights a demand from consumers for ‘Flavour Shock’, characterised by unexpected flavour combinations and twists on classic dishes such as incorporating sweet and spicy Mexican sauces to create modern burgers. Leaning into sensorial dining with fusions and ‘chaos cooking’ provides an opportunity to elevate eating-out experiences with more vibrant, unforgettable and unique experiences – using food as a form of escapism that is designed to captivate attention and create lasting memories.

Health-conscious customers are seeking wholesome dining experiences that go beyond calorie counting – the ‘Feel-Good Food’ trend explores the relationship between nutrition and wellbeing, as well as local sourcing, sustainability and embracing innovations in food production. Consumers are putting increasing importance in knowing the nutritional content of the meals they eat, so it’s time to innovate ‘healthy options’ to create the unexpected, using alternative veg and nutritional grains to help safeguard all aspects of human health – starting with the food we eat!

When it comes to offering plant-based menu items, despite reports that veganism is on the decline, diners continue to seek more variety in their meal choices, with the report highlighting ‘Irresistible Vegetables’ as a continued trend. It’s time to elevate vegetables on your menu to support customer’s flexitarian lifestyles and champion sustainability – making vegetables the hero for plate appeal and the future of the planet. To help chefs deliver plant-based options that don’t compromise on taste, UFS has seen an increased demand for Hellmann’s Vegan Mayo which has experienced 50% compound annual growth over the last two years.

Star Chen CEO Unilever Food Solutions said:
“Unilever Food Solutions (UFS) is a business of chefs for chefs. The expertise of our global network of in-house chefs informs everything we do, including the development of unmissably superior products from our power brands Knorr Professional and Hellmann’s, as well as solutions that help chefs deliver consistently stand-out dishes, in less time.”

“By providing chefs with products that reduce food preparation time, whilst satisfying growing consumer appetite for on-trend dishes, UFS has seen consistent growth, now accounting for 20% of the Unilever Nutrition business,” said Star Chen.

UFS is helping chefs tap into these menu trends by providing recipe inspiration, culinary training, and professional products to more than 3 million food service operators around the world, contributing to double-digit growth for the UFS business in 2023.

The second annual Future Menu Trends Report 2024 features recipes, insights, and practical tips drawn from the expertise of 250 in-house UFS chefs and elaborative feedback of more than 1,600 chef professionals across 21 markets, with the aim to assist foodservice operators worldwide in meeting evolving diner needs.

To download your copy of the report visit here