I may have already mentioned on this blog that I’m a big fan of shopping, and that doesn’t stop at clothes, shoes, bags in fact you name it, but extends to food too.  Working with so many scrummy food brands, I’m always checking out the latest additions to the aisles and giving them a test drive, for research purposes (ahem).

This month my favourite new finds have mostly been courtesy of the shelves at Holland and Barrett.  What A Melon, Cocofina, Sweet Freedom, Jordan’s Skinny Syrup and Pip & Nut have been my finds of the month, stealing my tastebuds and securing themselves as a staple in my food cupboards.

But who will be next to join them? What better way to get a feeling for ‘what’s in for 2017’ than a quick review of the 2017 ONS basket of goods and services which compiles various measures of consumer inflation to represent consumer spending patterns.

This year’s food pr movers and shakers are…

Non-dairy milk drink: a new addition to this year’s basket to reflect the growing ‘free from’ sector, covering milk-type drinks based on, for example, soya or almond.  In our office these are always in the fridge, added to smoothies, coffee, and replacing dairy.  As the trend for blending gathered momentum last year, it was only a matter of time before associated wellbeing products joined the basket too.

Flavoured water: expenditure is rising in this category, reflecting spend on mineral waters, soft drinks and juices.  With so many brands entering this sector this is hardly surprising. Again, we’re regular consumers of coconut water, birch water, maple water, watermelon water, honey water, cucumber water and, well water, fruit drinks, vegetable drinks, chia drinks… it’s definitely a category that’s seen a huge shift in recent years with both new ambient and chilled ranges becoming household favourites.

A personal favourite of mine… Gin, has also made the 2017 basket following an increase in the number of small distilleries launching products in recent years.  Gin has proved itself a consumer favourite and dominant force in the spirit world.  With new brands and varieties constantly entering the category this is one I’m looking forward to really putting to the test (responsibly) over the next twelve months.

But it’s not just gin. This year, bottled cider was removed from the basket, and replaced by Apple cider, 4 can pack, reflecting the various format availability of cider products, perhaps due to cans being more accessible, convenient and ‘safer’ when consumed out outside events. And that’s not all for cider, Flavoured cider, bottle has also made the 2017 hotlist due to an increase in available shelf space and expenditure devoted to the variant – take for example Pimms cider, and those oh so delicious Rekorderlig bottles, that just sing summer!

We’re certainly looking forward to exploring even more new products this year, and that’s not just the gin, promise…

Our consumer PR agency specialises in connecting everyday brands with everyday people across four core sectors; Consumer Lifestyle PR, Food & Drink PR, Online Retail PR and Sport, Health & Wellbeing PR.