January brings a fresh wave of food and drink trends, reflecting a blend of health-conscious choices, innovative concoctions, and unexpected pairings. From Dry Jan’s impact on the on-trade to quirky TikTok sensations, let’s dive into the exciting trends shaping the F&B world this month.
🏳️ Pubs Endure Dry Jan 🏳️
The UK experienced an exceptionally dry January this year, with a surge in the number of people attempting to go teetotal compared to the past decade. Pubs and bars grappled with a significant decline in drink sales, down by at least 7% in the second half of the month compared to the previous year, and a 19% drop in spirits sales during w/c 15th January.
Market researcher CGA attributes the challenging month for pubs to both adverse weather and economic conditions, exacerbated by the impact of Dry January. The closure of pubs has been an ongoing concern, with 509 shutting down last year, and about 6% disappearing from the UK over the past six years, according to BBPA data.
Despite the challenging landscape, pubs that adapt by offering a diverse range of low or no-alcohol options are experiencing success. Sales of low and alcohol-free drinks in pubs and supermarkets have seen a notable increase in the past year, rising by 23% by June 2023 compared to January.
As such, pub protection advisers stress the importance of pubs offering low or no-alcohol products to survive, as consumer preferences shift towards healthier choices. Pubs that have embraced this change have seen positive results, providing hope that they can continue to serve as vital community spaces, fostering social connections beyond just alcoholic beverages.
🍹 Sipping Into Slumber – Sleepy Girl Mocktail 🍹
TikTok users are raving about the “sleepy girl mocktail”, a concoction believed to aid in falling asleep faster. The viral recipe includes ½ cup pure tart cherry juice, 1 tablespoon of magnesium powder, and a splash of prebiotic soda or sparkling water. Users claim significant improvements in their sleep after consuming this mixture, prompting conversations around its efficacy.
@gracie_norton HAPPY THANKSGIVING 🍒❤️ getting that GOOD SLEEP tonight! #mocktails #easyrecipes #drinkrrecipe #mocktailrecipe #quickrecipe #goodsleep #sleepbetter ♬ Real Love Baby – Father John Misty
An expert revealed that the tart cherry juice’s high melatonin concentration induces drowsiness, whilst magnesium promotes relaxation and regulates melatonin, crucial for the sleep-wake cycle.
However, whilst the mocktail is considered a safe alternative to alcohol before bedtime, some users reported vivid dreams, anxiety triggers, acid reflux, and upset stomach. As such, caution is advised, especially for those with chronic medical conditions.
🍷 Wine and Crisp Pairing Frenzy 🍷
Next up is the wine and crisp pairing trend, which has been gaining popularity on TikTok as enthusiasts reveal you don’t need a fine dining experience to enjoy a perfect wine pairing. The trend took off when TikToker Eli Rallo began exploring various wine and crisp combinations. Ready salted and a Beaujolais, savvy B and smoky bacon – what flavour combos are you excited to try?
🍨 Savoury-Sweet Sensation – Olive Oil Ice Cream 🍨
The final viral food craze on TikTok involves an unexpected twist to traditional vanilla ice cream – a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. Influencers, including Nara Smith and Claudia Sulewski, have been showcasing this peculiar dessert trend that has surprised those with a sweet tooth. Despite initial scepticism, the combination of creamy vanilla ice cream, good olive oil, and a pinch of flaky sea salt has been described as “elite” and “addicting.” Dua Lipa is among those who have expressed love for this unconventional treat.
The dish, known as gelato con olio e sale, is an Italian staple, but it’s gaining newfound popularity on social media. Some users were initially taken aback by the idea, with comments ranging from considering it a “rich person dessert” to suggesting alternatives like hot fudge and whipped cream. However, supporters argue that the addition of high-quality extra virgin olive oil introduces grassy and punchy notes, creating a unique umami bomb that adds complexity to the dessert.
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