Food for the Future: Cambridge College hosts global trends event

March 11, 2020

A Cambridge College has hosted a special event on current and emerging global food trends, with a keynote presentation by one of the UK’s leading trend specialists.

St John’s College welcomed Charles Banks, founder of thefoodpeople, to share his in-depth research on the latest food and drink innovations.

Charles Banks said that the biggest single issue on the table at the moment was ‘securing our future’ and saving environmental, ecological and biodiversity collapse through trends such as cherishing bio-diversity, health soil, shorter food supply chains, lab-grown meat products, reducing waste and celebrating micro seasons on menus.

In terms of cuisines that are gaining momentum, the audience was invited to look out for the rising popularity of Middle Eastern, Global Cuisine, Regional Chinese, Modern Indian, and East and West African food, with ingredients such as chilli, ginger, fenugreek and peppercorns, as well as lesser-known spices like ajwain and korarima.

Bill Brogan, Conference & Catering Manager at St John’s College, said: “We were delighted to welcome Charles Banks to Cambridge and to hear his thought-provoking views on the next food and drink trends. Those of us involved in catering at the Cambridge Colleges know how important it is to embrace emerging ideas so we can be truly innovative in what we offer our customers.”

The event, organised on behalf of the Cambridge College Catering Managers Committee, was attended by catering managers, chefs, conference managers, fellows, students, fellows’ butlers, development office staff, accommodation and housekeeping departments.

Established in 2004, thefoodpeople is a team of global food trend specialists, with experience in all sectors of the food and drink industry. They report and predict as well as create market-leading concepts and ideas to inspire and excite through their passion for the industry.

Using many different tools, the team monitors global trend intelligence by conducting menu analysis, social listening, internet search term analytics and new product introductions. It also runs a consumer panel, speaks to influencers and takes views from experts around the globe. All of this data is then analysed by its specialist team.

St John’s College is recognised as a leader in new catering ideas including trialling insect dishes and sustainable menus. Its catering and front of house team undergo regular training in different cuisines so that they can deliver international dishes to Fellows, students and conference delegates.