Following the Leader?

In an article written for Chef Magazine, our very own Charles gives his thoughts on how a trend is defined. He describes it as ‘an occurrence or series of occurrences that illustrates a product or service that satisfies the need for food and drink in a different, innovative, inspirational or unusual way’.

He explains that a trend occurs when several economical, societal and geographical factors come together. In the current financial climate, both at home and abroad, our restaurants and our customers are faced with new needs, the recession is becoming a bit of the norm, but it’s the biggest macro-societal influence today. Whereas in the good times, when there’s money around, there’s all sorts of things that start springing off left, right and centre because people have the money to take the risk.

So what do consumers want during a recession?

Comfort. When a recession happens we look back to the better times to find inspiration because it gives us an emotional comfort blanket. There’s nothing that’s really new; instead, it’s about reinvention and using the circumstances and technology of the day to give you a slightly different product with a veneer of modernity.

The full article asks a panel of trendsetters and trend analysts such as Fred Ponnavoy, the head chef at GU desserts, James Knappett of Bubbledogs and Peter Dore-Smith at Kaffeine. To read the article, please go online to and look for issue 25.