Top 5 trends spotted at the Casual Dining Show 2016

The Casual Dining Show is an annual trade show for the fast moving casual dining sector. It is a unique opportunity to discover the latest food trends, network with industry suppliers and hear keynotes from the biggest names in restaurants and pubs.

Nexus Communications attended the Casual Dining Show on Thursday the 25th of February to discover which trends and innovative products will be tingling our taste buds in 2016.

‘Free from’ – The market for ‘free from’ products continues to grow. DiSotto Foods Ltd’s dairy free ice cream made with coconut milk and Pidy Limited’s gluten free pastry cases were among many products at the Casual Dining Show using creative alternatives to dairy and gluten. The key to a great ‘free from’ product is to ensure that there is no compromise on taste, which we’re glad to say was the case with the products we tried!


Premium soft drinks – Premium soft drinks dominated the Casual Dining Show as producers look to capitalise on growing consumer demand for a premium adult soft drink that appears and tastes like a soft drink, but spares the alcohol and added sugar.[1] Fentimans, Luscombe Drinks and Belvoir were among many exhibiting beverage companies showcasing products matching that criteria.

Health conscious – A recent change in regulation has ensured that nutritional information is now easily accessible, making consumers more aware of their calorific intake. Low calorie bagel thins and low fat frozen yogurt smoothies were among many reduced fat products at The Casual Dining Show. Our favourite was LOVO’s new Thai coconut water vodka with only 128 calories in each 250ml bottle, cheers!

Hot and Spicy – Spicy food remains a firm favourite with UK consumers and this was reflected throughout the show, with McCain Food showcasing spicy chicken topped skin on fries and Prep Premium introducing FireHouse rapeseed oil – a rich smoky blend of garlic and chilli.

Easy, instant and long shelf life – A finalist in the Casual Dining Show Innovation challenge, The FoodFellas’ frozen avocado halves offer hassle and waste free avocado with 10 days extra shelf life. Another of our favourites was the JDM Food Group’s Just Add product which offers a range of specially crafted sauce concentrates (smoky chipotle, Sicilian Lemon, Blue Cheese etc.) in one simple sachet – low cost, added value, consistent results, no waste and instant flavour.