2019: new year, new you, new food…trends? The switching of the calendar over to a new one always gets people excited about what might change with a new year, and Stockholm’s ever-bubbling food scene is bound to be responsible for some new experiences and trends over the next twelve months. And so to get a head start on what we have in store, we got Lennart Wallander, CEO of the food and beverage communications agency Food & Friends to give us a little insight into what we can expect from our plates, restaurants and kitchens in 2019.
All Day Dining
As our eating habits evolve towards more and more ‘grazing’, i e continuous snacking throughout the day, restaurants evolve too. With the format ‘All Day Dining’ the idea is to continuously change the menu according to the different parts of the day. The bar or restaurant becomes a place to spend better parts of the day, as a social spot or a workplace in the same way as the coffee shop and hotel lobby. As an example, have a look at Daily Provisions in New York, opened by famed Danny Meyer of Shake Shack, Union Square Café etc. The restaurant opens in the morning as a café with freshly baked goods, and then switched the menu boards six times per day. At mid-afternoon they start pushing rotisserie chicken. The best examples of All Day Dining in Stockholm are Nybrogatan 38 and Nytorget 6, that are happy to welcome you at any time during the day.
Re-use, do not recycle
Packaging is the next big riddle to solve for the food industry. As we become aware of the giant plastic island in our oceans and the tiny plastic islands in our veins, we will question how we use our resources. Recycling material is all very fine and dandy, but not enough. The debate will shift to how to re-use instead of recycling. This will be seen in many different ways, the demise of the plastic, single-use water bottle being the first. According to Waitrose Food & Drink Report 2018 more than 60 % of people use reusable water bottles more often now than in 2017, even more so among those aged 18–24 years. The big department store Selfridges runs ‘Project Ocean’ and banned plastic water bottles in 2018. The Houses of Parliament in the UK have done likewise. Coffee is another area trying to shift more to re-use. British CupClub supplies coffee shops with take-away cups that after use are collected, washed and distributed again. In restaurants this trend will appear in the shape of the decanter. It will not be acceptable to transport heavy glass bottles back and forth to be remoulded, instead wine will come in steel kegs and served on tap. This process will be better for the wine (as no oxidation is happening), the guest (who can order any size) and the environment (as it will leave a smaller carbon footprint).
What annoys us the most when visiting a restaurant? According to a survey by the American restaurant guide Zagat: noise! In recent years the volume has been turned up and the interior decor has been turned down, creating restaurants devoid of rugs, tablecloths and curtains, all according to the ‘Rough Luxe’ trend. This has created restaurants where the sound ricochets endlessly, and noise levels that are downright dangerous are not unusual. At 70 dB it is much harder to think. At 80 dB damage is done to the hearing. In Stockholm the Ljudombudsmannen has measured noise in restaurants at 100 dB, which equals a power lawn mower at full blast. Now we’ve had enough, it´s time to invest not just in cool-looking interiors but also in making the restaurant a social venue where we can speak without yelling! A good example in Stockholm is restaurant Hillenberg. No speakers in the dining area, and a well-designed sound landscape. Sublime! Another one is restaurant Tennstopet, which Ljudombudsmannen appointed most-conversation friendly restaurant in 2017.