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Health and flavorful options all top of mind on London food scene

What do activated charcoal, Kefir water and coconut yogurt all have in common? They are all trending right now among London’s foodies.

Sipping on cashew milk and activated charcoal latte and snacking on a coconut yogurt breakfast bowl, members of our Global Marketing Team for Food Cultures & Enzymes saw that some of these trends are still in ideation, while others are growing in popularity and already making it onto the supermarket shelves. 

Free-from and health-focused trends

Our team visited London for the annual Food Matters Live 2019 conference where they met with start-ups and attended sessions on upcoming trends, scientific research behind popular ingredients and market innovation. The team also used their time in London to go out and experience these trends coming to life.

“Some of the most popular concepts among cafes and grocery stores were the free-from concepts and tied to that, an increase in health-focused ingredients such as probiotics and other fermented products, as well as ingredients that boast health claims such as activated charcoal and CBD oil. Reduced sugar is clearly labeled on most products, and the plant-based options have significantly multiplied over just the past couple of years. Labels of health claims and, more specifically, clean labels were hot topics as more and more companies are seeing their customers make purchasing decisions based off what goes into their products and what does not,” says Wynne Lewis, Global Brand and Marketing Manager for Food Cultures & Enzymes. 

“This aligns with our 2025 study where we identified convenient and healthy as a core dilemma for consumers as they look for healthy choices made simple. By refining, and in some cases, adding health benefits to convenient food products that consumers already love, like lattes, juices, and yogurts, consumers are able to satisfy their needs in exciting new ways,” adds Lewis.


Flexitarians driving the quest for new flavors

In one talk by Mark Cowan, Co-Founder of Happen UK, the theme was what is driving the change in dietary alternatives highlighting that there is a spectrum of vegan consumers from dietary, to environmental and ethical. 

“They are looking for plant-based and ‘clean’ foods, and from a health perspective, they choose these alternatives because on medical needs, to lose weight and to 'feel better.' There is also a large group of ‘flexitarians’ – many talks spoke about flexitarians – who are consumers who don’t have a medical, ethical, or environmental need to eat plant-based alternatives but want to try something new and experience new flavors,” says Cowan. 

At Chr. Hansen, we are passionate about food and health and make it a priority to stay in touch with the latest trends coming to market and use trips like these to bring insights to our customers as innovation partners. As fermentation experts, we are happy to see consumers learning more about the benefits of fermentation for their health and are delighted by the tasty range of options on the market today, and the unceasing ideation that will continue to drive the market of tomorrow.

Charcoal latte food trends London

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