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What we loved and loathed in 2018

gourmet burgers

As the year draws to a close, we look at the food trends of the year, and as a bunch of foodies, who better to ask what they loved and loathed than the HGEM team?

The beginning of the year saw a major war on the plastic straw and many operators switched to paper or ditched them altogether. However, even now many operators are yet to clean up their act - fingers crossed we continue to see less and less plastic straws next year!

Gourmet burgers have had their place on menus for a few years now, but they seem to be getting more adventurous including more options for veggie diners with a standard Portobello mushroom replaced with jackfruit. 'Bleeding' burgers appear to be the latest vegan option, with beetroot juice resembling a bleeding steak - this we aren't so sure about - our fellow vegans don't want to eat meat so marketing something as a rare bleeding steak seems a bit bonkers.

Overall burgers get a big tick from HGEM but whilst they're getting better, they're also getting bigger and without the contents running down your forearms or using a knife and fork, how else are you supposed to eat them? HGEM's Managing Director, Steven Pike suggests a burger stack stabiliser, so we can enjoy posh burgers without copious amounts of napkins - any keen inventors out there?

A side staple on everyone's plate is cauliflower but from cauli steaks to chicken wings, vegans and vegetarians have been spoilt for choice this year. When we look back on 2018, the meat alternative that springs to mind is jackfruit, not just in burgers, jack fruit is a great substitute for a pulled pork bap or a tuna sarnie. And what Brit doesn't love fish and chips? Banana blossom makes for a great fish alternative - who knew fruit and veg could be so versatile - these meat alternatives are a great hit with vegans, veggies and meat eaters at HGEM.

We are over food combos, particularly the Cronut which has well and truly had its moment - we love croissants, we love doughnuts - just keep it simple!

We are excited to see what foods will be hitting our plates next year.

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