It’s been one hot summer here in the UK, and we’ve been tucking into a whole host of tasty treats and dishes while soaking up the sunshine. We’re taking a look at what we have seen plenty of on your summer menus this year.
Sharing boards and plates
Ok, so 2022 definitely didn’t invent the sharing board, but they have come back with a bang as we emerged into our first ‘free summer’ since 2019. Drinks with friends in the sun are great, but sometimes the pub classics and full meals are too heavy, especially in warmer weather.
To make the most of being back together, we’ve seen a great choice in tapas-style small plates and sharing platters across both pubs and restaurants. Many of the outlets that geared up for outdoor dining in the pandemic saw to make the most of that investment and so were catering to drinks and snacks to help people while away the sunny hours.
We’ve seen a lot of fusion food too, with the asian influences we’ve seen explode onto our menus continuing. Of course, sharing boards and small plates often also have a mediterranean feel, think charcuterie, cheeses, breads, nuts and oils for dipping. These simple, yet delicious snacks are also ideal for summer entertaining; even if you’re staying home, boards and platters can look incredibly impressive, while taking little time to construct – a win for guest and host!
It’s also not limited to the savoury – you can quite easily apply the tasting plate or sharing board approach to enjoy exciting desserts and it means you don’t have to pick just one. Combining fruits, sweet bread such as brioche, biscuits and dips such as chocolate or caramel can make for a decadent display.
As well as the classic that is the British BBQ in summer, the rise of flexitarianism and the overall shift to meat-free or meat reduction has continued, meaning our BBQs have involved a variety of products that caters to every taste. Meat-free BBQ ranges have continued to grow and expanded exponentially over the last few years, so this year we’ve seen more marinated options alongside the classic veggie sausages and burgers. This also meant more free-from options in general and as we saw in our allergy week piece, there are no limits to dairy-free coleslaw, sauces and treats to go with it!
Salad is a summer classic, we know this, but gone are the days of lazily offering some wilted leaves as a token gesture to be ignored and wasted; salads can and will be the centrepiece of many a summer table. Thanks to influencers like the Kardashians and the rise of TikTok in influencing our food purchasing and consumption, there’s much more happening for the humble salad this year.
We’ve made salad the main event, not a side option, so think glazed/marinated meats, succulent seafood as toppings, generous, luscious dressings from the classics like balsamic, to creamy caesar and more. Our selection of Newman’s Own salad dressings make the perfect addition to any summer salad, while doing some good with every bite, with 100% of the after-tax profits of Newman’s Own going to charity. As a result, over the last 30 years thousands of charities around the world have received funding from Paul Newman and Newman’s Own Foundation.
There really are no rules when it comes to levelling up your salad; throw in those fruits too, don’t be afraid to bring in those fusion influences with sweet and spicy. The contrast of pomegranate with savoury is a popular choice and every salad can be served with warm, crusty breads too – making it much more filling and the centrepiece of every event.
For more on our ranges, new products for summer and trend reports, check out our news and press pages.