We predict the big trends of 2019

Including rum, disco, veganism, orange wine and err... less booze!

By Ben Brown | 25 January 2019

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A good thing to do with this is give it a read (please!) and then pop a reminder in your calendar to re-read it on the 1st Jan 2020. Tick off how many we got right and you can either laugh at us or give us a lovely pat on the back.

Healthy Living

The idea of living like a cross between a monk and a caterpillar has been around for ages now, such as the time when a couple of blokes got together and created Slim Fast and sold it to millions of fat Americans in the 80’s. That’s not the healthy living we’re talking about here though I’m afraid.

2019 is going to see the whole ‘healthy lifestyle’ come alive, with not only diet but meditation, yoga, wellness, and loads of other words which I never use and barely understand. Venues such as Food Well at New Bailey and The Counter House in Ancoats have started the trend early, but it will continue and continue until we all look like LA supermodels in 1993 (complete with high-waisted cossies and leg warmers).


South America

Here’s one from Finest’s resident food expert Kate Tighe; South American food is due to make a big impact in 2019, mainly from the likes of Peru, Colombia and (at a push) Cuba.

Last year saw a couple of these cuisines pop their heads into our great city, with Mama Pacha representing Peruvian grub and those Finca lads showing us some brilliant Cuban dishes before Artisan closed their doors for good.

2019 will be looking to be more and more of the same, as a wealth of new cuisines make their way into the city, especially within the Street Food end of the spectrum. With stuff like Arepas, Cerviche and those amazing Cubanos sandwiches all looking to make their way onto menus this year – you best get practising your Spanish.



While working at Finest last year (very hard I must add) I slowly noticed a steady increase in the number of disco related events and club nights slipping through the net and into my little brain box. I’d say 2019 looks set to continue this trend and take it even further as we’re all subjected to more and more of that elusive 70’s sound.

Quite possible one of the greatest disco nights in existence – La Discotheque – continues to go from strength-to-strength, most likely expanding into more cities across the country, as well as big nights from the likes of Horse Meat Disco, Glitterbox and a whole host of similar events taking 2019 by storm. I might be wrong, but I’m probably not.



I think it’s safe to say that the whole gin thing has been done now. Pretty much every single person makes it now, in fact even my mum has started making Oldham Botanical Gin in her shed while my step dad brews his own form of Vimto Sloe Gin out of the back of his Ford Escort.

We hereby predict that 2019 will therefore be the year of Rum, which, although it’s a much more difficult spirit to make, what with all of the molasses and narrow margins for error, people are finally getting their heads around it.

Small batch rums have been popping up everywhere with the likes of The Salford Rum Company and Belgrove Rum both hitting the big time recently, with plenty more on the way. They’re great too – certainly well worth a snifter in 2019.


Beauty + Technology


Anyone who has taken a walk around the massive new Beauty Hall at Selfridges in the Trafford Centre will know that all of the big beauty companies are embracing technology like Johnny 5 embraces battery acid.

2019 will see this technology grow even further, with a host of new gadgets and gizmos being launched almost every day. There’s wearable skin sensors which monitor your skin pH, apps that create the perfect face treatments and even a ‘Future You Simulation’ by Olay which lets you know what your skin will look like in the future (presumably unless you buy some of their products).

If all of this sounds up your street, head on down to Selfridges in the Trafford Centre and get your head around some of this advanced technology.



A trend which has been growing for a fair few years now has only recently started to hit the big time. Much like the Spice Girls in 1996 though, 2019 will see it hit the stratosphere as people become much more switched on with what they’re eating and the impact it has on the environment.

Last year the Vegan Society identified a 350% increase in vegans compared to a decade ago, and with a huge increase in the number of fantastic vegan options available within the city – actually choosing to shun meat and dairy is becoming more accessible by the day.

Check out the vegan additions to menus in The Refuge, Crazy Pedro’s, Cottonopolis, El Capo and The Deaf Institute if you don’t believe me. Oh and you must try The Allotment too (even if you’re not going vegan!)


Food Halls

For anyone who has had the misfortune of heading up to the Arndale Food Hall will know that these kind of things can be shit. Like, proper shit. But anyone who has had the fortune to go to the Arndale Market will know that these kind of things can be fucking brilliant.

Add a splattering of small independent operators, a varied choice of food, some decent booze and plenty of seating and you’ve got yourself a gold mine – just as the creators of Altrincham Market and Mackie Mayor have discovered in the last few years.

2019 will see the opening of new, similar halls in Stockport, Macclesfield, Stretford and (hopefully) Urmston – and so you can expect a gang of 30 something families with their sausage dogs to descend on mass every Sunday.



Unfortunately, I’m not talking about the latest John Grisham here. I mean stories on Instagram, you know – those little videos or pictures of people’s lives who are definitely pretending they having a much better life than you.

All those nerds in Silicon Valley and in their mum’s basements are saying that 2019 will be the year that the ‘Story’ hits its zenith – peaking to become the world’s most used form of social media communication. It’s certain that Instagram is due to be the next ‘big thing’ (mainly due to everyone under the age of 35 sacking off Facebook) and stories are what they’re going to be showing off.

I personally still never do ’em – nobody wants to see a grown man in bed licking hummus straight out of the pot 4 hours a day.


Less Booze

Here’s a statistic for you; a study in 2015 found that 29% of 16-24 year olds were non-drinkers, an increase in 28% over a decade. Although it’s difficult to get data on the remaining 3 years, this shows a marked increase in people who have binned booze in favour of healthier and less damaging pursuits.

Does this mean the end to getting hammered on Glenn’s vodka before a night out, lasting 10 minutes in a club and then getting your head stuck in a ditch? Probably. Does this mean that I have to stop drinking 4 cans of Tennants when I get home from work every day? Definitely not.

What it does mean is that establishments must move with the times, and you can see many Manchester venues doing so. The rise in mocktails and non-alcoholic spirit (like Seedlip) will see a considerable increase in 2019, with the only thing stopping non-drinking becoming more widespread being the fact that places still insist on charging 3 fucking quid for a Diet Coke. Sort it out you lot.



I don’t know much about fashion, mostly because I still wear the same rubbish clobber from 13 years ago in the hope that it will come back into fashion, but after looking at this WAM Social article by the lovely Andrea Miller, and speaking to my mate Jonny who works in the biz – Neon is going to be pretty big this year.

Apparently anyway. And especially with the boys. So come on lads, pull out your hi-viz vests, get some tassels on ‘em and get out on the streets to strut your stuff in style.


Orange Wine

Going completely in the face of our prediction of ‘less-booze’ is this prediction from Kate Tighe that Orange Wine is going to be massive in 2019.

Certainly aimed at an older audience of people who need to demolish a bottle of wine whilst cooking their Ocado order, Orange wine looks set to take the UK by storm this year. Seeing as I’ve never heard of it – I thought I’d investigate.

First of all, it’s NOT wine made out of oranges. It’s a kind of white wine that is made by leaving the juice in contact with the grape skins and seed – creating a deep orange-hued liquid.

One of the reasons for its popularity this year is surely down to the fact that the production of orange wine is a very natural process that typically uses no additives – hopefully meaning there’s no hangover?


A Taste of the Caribbean

This is mainly on here because I read an article in The Observer entitled ‘Beyond the scotch bonnet: the rise of Caribbean food in the UK‘  and thought that if they can say that it’s going to be big then I can too.

Caribbean cuisine has always had an impressive stronghold in Manchester, which looks set to continue (and grow) as we head into 2019. Some of the city’s most favourite Caribbean restaurants are still going strong, places like Dougy’s and The Drop in Chorlton, Kool Runnings on Chorlton Road, and Caribbean Flavaz and Sun Rise in Salford have been joined by city centre staples such as Jerk Shack, Eat n Sweet and RAD’s in Ancoats.

Not to mention a wealth of bars offering up some fantastic rums and Caribbean cocktails. Marigot Bay in Altrincham, The Liars Club, and even Sandinista in the city centre all have more rum that even Jack Sparrow could drink – and we all know (from reading this article) that the drink itself is going to see a resurgence in 2019 too.


Sri Lanka

I now know approximately 4 people who have been to Sri Lanka recently and considering I only know about 10 people at any one time – that is significant. There’s all sorts of ‘experts’ claiming Sri Lanka to be 2019’s must-go travel destination, but quite who these experts are is beyond me. The only expert I know in travel is Judith Chalmers but an email to her has yet to reap any response.

Since the end of the civil war in 2009 though, Sri Lanka has seen a huge amount of investment in rebuilding its infrastructure, much of it aimed towards tourism. 2019 is sure to see many people head there (helped in part by Lonely Planet naming it 2019’s top country to travel no doubt).

But travel isn’t the only way we’ll experience Sri Lanka in 2019. Oh no, we’re going to taste it too as a huge influx of Sri Lankan restaurants in London over the past couple of years means only one thing – we’re getting more here! There’s currently Sigiriya in Hale and Little Lanka in Stockport (of which I’m dying to go to both) but expect plenty more to arrive this year.