5 Emerging Food & Drinks Trends to Watch

Staying ahead in the fast-paced world of the food industry isn't just about knowing what's trending — it's about predicting what's next.

The landscape is continuously shifting under the weight of cultural, social, and technological movements, all of which have a major impact on what people eat and why they choose certain foods over others. Discover what's cooking in the culinary world with these five food trends that are poised to explode in popularity.

1. Tajin: A Zesty Revolution in Seasoning

What is Tajin?

Tajin, a spicy, tangy, and slightly sweet Mexican seasoning, is revolutionising the way we add a kick of flavour to our food. Made from dried and ground chilli peppers, lime, and salt, Tajin adds a unique depth of heat and tanginess to any dish. It has been a staple in Mexican cuisine for years but is now gaining popularity worldwide due to its versatility and health benefits.

Why Tajin is Trending

Globalisation has fuelled consumers' interest in authentic global cuisine, and Tajin's exotic flavour profile is right on track. Its versatility from snacks to beverages has piqued the interest of the health-conscious, looking for flavour without sacrificing a wholesome diet.


For those in the food industry, Tajin presents abundant opportunities. Its appeal is not limited to a particular dish, offering a broad palette for innovation. Producers can tap into the trend by infusing Tajin into various products such as crisps, sauces and dressings. With its unique flavour profile and growing popularity, it's a trend worth exploring.

Ideas include:

  • Tajin-infused chips or popcorn for a spicy twist on traditional snacks.
  • Tajin-flavoured sauces or dressings to add depth of flavour to salads and dishes.
  • Tajin-flavoured sauce mixes to add a kick to marinades or stir-fries.

2. Frickles: The Crunchy Comeback

What are Frickles?

Frickles, or fried pickles, are back from the past to claim their place as a comfort food hero. These tangy treats have found a new audience thanks to a nostalgia wave. Made by dipping pickles in a beer batter before deep-frying, they are the ultimate crispy and crunchy snack.

Why Frickles are Trending

In a world that's become somewhat tumultuous, Frickles offer a taste of simpler times. Their pop in social media and food channels further hails their revival. Not to mention, they are a perfect match for the current trend of "indulgent" food.


Despite being a niche dish, Frickles have a strong appeal, particularly in casual dining scenarios. They also offer room for innovation with different pickling methods and flavour combinations, extending beyond the classic to cater to various palates.

Ideas include:

  • Experimenting with pickling methods, such as using different types of vinegar or adding other ingredients like spices or herbs.
  • Creating a variety of dipping sauces to pair with Frickles, such as creamy ranch or tangy BBQ.
  • Incorporating Frickles into other dishes, like burgers or sandwiches, for added crunch and flavour.

3. Hwachae: Refreshing Tradition

What is Hwachae?

Hwachae, a watermelon based Korean fruit punch, is not just a drink—it's a vibrant tradition. Made with seasonal fruits, it speaks to a global audience's growing interest in Korean cuisine. Beyond its deliciousness, the drink is also a visual feast, with various fruits and flowers floating in it.

Why Hwachae is Trending

Hwachae's refreshing nature complements the rising wave of Korean dishes on menus worldwide, connecting with health-conscious consumers who value its natural, vitamin-packed ingredients. Additionally, its bright and colourful appearance appeals to social media users.


With growing interest in Korean cuisine, Hwachae presents an opportunity for restaurants to elevate their beverage options and offer a unique experience to customers. Some potential ideas include:

  • Experimenting with different fruits and flowers to create unique flavour combinations for Hwachae.
  • Offering Hwachae as a refreshing, non-alcoholic option for customers looking for a healthier alternative to traditional cocktails.
  • Incorporating Hwachae into special events and celebrations, such as weddings or birthday parties, for a cultural touch.

4. Bento Cakes: Small Size, Big Impact

What are Bento Cakes?

Bento cakes, inspired by the Japanese tradition of compartmentalised meals, have made a grand entrance thanks to their 'Instagrammable' nature and portion control. These mini-cakes are usually decorated with intricate designs and come in a variety of flavours, making them an attractive treat for any occasion.

Why Bento Cakes are Trending

Consumers are drawn to personalised portions and the visual appeal of these tiny treats, making them perfect for social sharing. The 'less is more' philosophy strikes a chord, encouraging those with a sweet tooth but a wary eye on caloric intake. Bento cakes also offer a unique experience for customers, as they can mix and match flavours and designs to suit their tastes.


The aesthetic and practical allure of Bento Cakes offers a myriad of applications. They make ideal gifts, hold high potential in seasonal offerings, and can even find a home in the retail sector as must-have desserts, solidifying their position in the market.

Here are some potential ways to incorporate bento cakes into your business:

  • Offer personalised bento cake options, allowing customers to choose their own flavours and designs to create a unique treat.
  • Create special bento cakes for holidays and events, such as Valentine's Day or Mother's Day.
  • Introduce bento cakes as part of a high tea or brunch menu.

5. Probiotic Soda: Bubbling with Benefits

What is Probiotic Soda?

Probiotic sodas are the fizzy, good-for-the-gut version of traditional sodas. They are the embodiment of the health trend spiking in the drinks industry. Probiotic sodas are fermented drinks that contain live bacteria and yeast, similar to kombucha. However, they differ in that they are made with juice or fruit puree instead of tea, giving them a sweeter taste profile.

Why Probiotic Soda is Trending

The conversation around gut health continues to gain traction, and consumers seek functional, easy-on-the-digestive-system options. Probiotic sodas match these criteria, presenting a guilt-free alternative to traditional sodas. They also offer a refreshing twist on classic soda flavours making them appealing to both health-conscious and taste-driven individuals.


For businesses in the beverage sector, investing in probiotic sodas promises a point of differentiation in a market saturated with sugary drinks. Plus, by catering to the health-conscious crowd, brands can solidify a loyal customer base that values the holistic benefits of their products. Additionally, with the rise of alcohol-free options and mocktails, probiotic sodas present an opportunity to offer a non-alcoholic alternative that still adds variety and complexity to drink menus.

A few ideas:

  • Experiment with unique flavours to stand out in the market - probiotic soda can be made with a variety of juices and fruit purees.
  • Consider offering multipack with different ingredients and flavours.
  • Promote your probiotic soda as a healthy alternative to traditional sodas.


By tapping into these insights, food professionals can not only stay relevant but also lead the way in innovation and consumer satisfaction in the industry. With health and wellness balanced by novelty and nostalgia, there are plenty of opportunities for product development and differentiation in the market. At Uren, we've been helping our customers to succeed in meeting changing customer needs for over 120 years. If you're interested in talking to our team about your product development and flavouring needs, please don't hesitate to get in touch.