French dip sandwiches and meat-style sauces have been revealed to be the latest trends in the UK high street.

Foodservice expert Horizons has announced that the US innovation of ‘French dip’ sandwiches - thinly sliced roast beef on a baguette served with meat juices - were one of the top emerging trends in its latest Menu Trends survey.

TGI Friday’s and OK Diner are examples of high street restaurants that had French dip sandwiches on their menus, while London-based restaurant Dip & Flip specialises in the product.

Also among the list was the trend of meat in sauces, with condiments such as baconnaise and bacon jam being used regularly. 

The survey found that many trends had come from abroad, with Dukkah, the Egyptian herb and spice condiment and nduja, Italian spreadable pork sausage, emerging as new trends.

The survey tracks menu changes of high street restaurants, pubs, quick-service outlets and hotels.

Nicola Knight, Horizons’ director of services, said: “Tastes are becoming ever-more cosmopolitan, with British dishes declining on menus in favour of food from the Mediterranean, Asia and Latin America.

“At the same time, operators are keen to improve their margins, prompting a rise in dishes made with cheaper cuts of meat and more use of seasonal vegetables.”

Consumer habits

The survey also revealed that the words allergy or allergen had seen a 20% year-on-year increase on menus.

Knight continued: “We are seeing a combination of influences on high street menus that have an impact on what operators are offering. Consumers always like to try something new, but at the same time like the familiarity of something they know - hence the enduring popularity of burgers. Burgers are also easy for operators to update with the latest sauce or topping.

“Several of the more innovative dishes have come from smaller, independent outlets, including food trucks and one-off operators. Once these dishes are picked up by high street brands, a trend becomes established.

“Health seems to be an increasing factor in consumer choice. When consumers eat out more regularly, as they are now starting to do, they want a choice of healthy foods as well as more indulgent dishes.”