Umami - Trend-spotting at the Earls Court Restaurant Show 2013

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Trend-spotting at the Earls Court Restaurant Show 2013
Author: Michelle Dalley

Fresh from our day at Women Outside the Box Festival in Bristol, I jetted off to London first thing on Tuesday to do some market research at the Restaurant Show. Keeping our collective finger on the pulse of food industry trends is key to what sets Umami apart from other design agencies, and a perfect excuse to get out and try some great food.

One of the big noticeable trends from the day was the rise of tea – it’s definitely one to watch with at least 8 tea companies exhibiting – Including Flora Tea Company of Dragon’s Den fame. Our own clients Chantler Teas will be well placed to ride this trend out, as we are currently providing them with a new logo and packaging design which is bang on trend (and is looking great, can’t wait for the grand unveiling).

Another great trend that’s already underway, and constantly evolving, is of course street food. The show had a special area for street food, where you couldn’t move for vintage Citroen vans! This is actually where I ate lunch, sampling the Mark Hix ‘Fish Dog’. A simple white bun and rustic chunky fish finger, served with homemade tartare sauce and minty mushy peas. Oh, and a side of gorgeous chips. The whole thing was really good, perfect fare for a busy day, and reminiscent of childhood fish finger sandwiches (but much better quality!).

Luscombe Drinks also deserve a mention, I tried their new carrot and orange flavour which was really great (however my favourite is still Lime Crush…)

Natoora had a lovely stand packed with fresh fruit and veg, they had removed the stand shell so the stand had a really lovely ‘open air market’ feel – but the name was only found after much scouring. So many people must have gone home from the day wondering just who the lovely fruit and veg was by…

Another highlight of the day was catching up with one of the founders of Premier Cheese and La Cave a Fromage, Eric Charriaux. I met him 2 years ago at Abergavenny Food Festival (a great local foodie day out!) and was blown away the cheese macarons they were selling – you would honestly mistake them for sweet macarons, they were that beautiful.

However my absolute standout of the day was The Ice Cream Union stand. Great branding, and fantastic, prominent brand values of Pride, Dedication and Integrity. The flavours were fantastic too, made with the best ingredients, and great artisan touches such as toasting their own peanuts for their peanut butter flavour. It shows – taking away the bitter aftertaste that peanut butter sometimes leaves. My favourite flavour, aside from Peanut Butter, was Salted Caramel – yum.

Article by Michelle Dalley, who is now raiding the freezer for an ice cream fix.

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