Coconut flour, cactus water and charred food: Waitrose unveils 2016's top food trends

 
Rebecca Smith
Churros are very much in
Churros are very much in (Source: Getty)

Were cactus water, wonky vegetables and coconut flour on the list for your latest weekly shop? No? Well, get with the times, apparently they were among the top food trends of the past year.

So says Waitrose's 2016 Food and Drink Report, as consumers are becoming ever more focused on eating "lighter and fresher", while "faddy diets seem to be on the decline".

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Of 2,000 shoppers surveyed by the supermarket, 60 per cent said the food they choose is naturally lighter and fresher than five years ago, while 71 per cent claim that eating healthily and looking after themselves is "part of who they are".

As for some of the specific hits, aubergine sales were up 18 per cent as people are using it as a carb substitute, while sales of Guinness got a boost in March thanks to St Patrick's Day (up 40 per cent).

Natalie Mitchell, head of brand development at Waitrose, said: "Consumers are doing what's right. We're living in an era when people are walking the walk, not just talking the talk."

Apparently, 46 per cent of us throw away less food than we did give years ago.

GOING UP - THE FOOD TRENDS OF 2016

Seaweed - apparently it's this year's kale

Churros - delightful Spanish doughnuts

Wonky veg - as part of Britain's war on waste

Cactus water - the new coconut water

Seeds and grains - buckwheat sales are up 82 per cent, chia seeds by 62 per cent

Charred food (good news all of you poor chefs out there)

Coconut flour - a gluten-free alternative high in fibre and protein

Picanha - a Brazilian rump steak don't you know

Veggan diet - no, not a typo, but simply a vegan diet with eggs

Bao buns - street food-inspired Asian steamed buns

THE DRINK TRENDS OF 2016

Gin and tonic - this year's tipple of choice (sales up 34 per cent compared to 2015)

Whispering Angel rosé - sales of rosé are up 14 per cent this year

Japanese whisky

Pignoletto - an alternative to Prosecco

Craft beer in cans

Gavi - the new sauvignon blanc

Snowball - the 70s favourite is back with a vengeance

Beaujolais Nouveau - a fruity red

Premium bourbon

Seedlip - a distilled alcohol-free spirit made with botanicals

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