The Northern Restaurant and Bar Show is the North’s largest hospitality show
For those that are old school Manchester it’s where the great and good of the Northern Hospitality scene come together at GMex
For those younger people it’s the venue you know as Manchester Central next to the Beetham
Not only is it a chance to catch up with old friends and meet new suppliers, it’s a chance to get a feel for what trends might be happening in the hospitality sector over the next 18 months
Here are 5 Trends we noticed at the #NRB18 show
FREE FROM DESSERTS
The supermarkets have been fighting for the Vegan pound over the 1st 3 months of 2018
And now is the time for the hospitality sector to go for the same market
The chains such as Zizzi, Pizza Express and Wetherspoons have all had strong vegan offerings and Manchester has the likes of V Rev, Zads and Deaf Institute who all offer great vegan options
At the NRB show it’s clear that Free From Desserts is a market to play for with everything from vegan and gluten / dairy free ice cream, tarts, brownies and cakes on offer
Around 22 million people in the UK class themselves as flexitarians that will go for vegetarian and vegan options
Are you catering for Free From and Vegan audiences?
No, Cocktail making is an absolute pain if you’re queuing and you just want a pint
It’s perhaps one of the more controversial offerings from this years NRB show, but cocktail on tap are dream for those who hate queuing at bars
Will it catch on?
Let’s see – but the mojito was with us in seconds and tasted like a dream
Or well you can have gourmet snacks
Gourmet Pretzels were on offer at this years events and whilst the business has been built on market stalls there’s a sense this could transfer to the bar and pub market in a big way
Last years event also saw a more gourmet range of snacks complete with marketing that saw snacks as something integral to the mix rather than something hidden at the back of a bar
Gourmet Snacks could fill the gap between cheap crisps and a full meal such as pie or burger
Gin is going nowhere fast
It dominated in 2017 and this is set to continue in 2018
Craft beers and IPA’s were on offer throughout the venue (note though in a more toned down sophisticated tone than the dayglo offerings we’ve been used to in over last 12 months), but it was the GIN corner that attracted bar managers in the masses
We’ll see brands building on the success of the last few years and some new players entering the market place
It will be hard to see any other spirit dominating in 2018 though
In 2018 they introduce another premium adult styled soft drink
Teetotal Cuba Libre is their non alcoholic rum and it’s a fine offering
You can imagine in years to come they will dominate the market place
At Altrincham HQ both our attendees are drinkers and we’d go for these options again as a much needed alternative to coke or water
WHAT STOOD OUR FOR YOU AT THE NORTHERN RESTAURANT AND BAR SHOW?
Let us know in the comments below …
Here’s a few more photos from Crooked Alcoholic Soda, Mr Singhs Vegan Chips, Avocado Cake, Yorkshire Popcorn, Swiggin In Wiggin
Alex McCann is owner of Altrincham HQ – a social media management and training company based in Altrincham, Cheshire that has worked with 100s of local business developing their social media strategy. Alex has 265+ LinkedIn testimonials and is ranked number 1 for Social Media Marketing in the UK via independent customer reviews on Freeindex.