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sushi 2016s unexpected feature
A mainstay of Japanese cuisine from the 8th century, sushi was virtually unheard of in the UK until the 70s when the first Japanese restaurant opened in London. Still, it didn’t fully find its feet as a mainstream dish until much later, well after the business meetings of the 80s where it featured in trendy buffets.

A photo posted by YO! Sushi UK (@yosushi) on

Celebrity-favoured restaurants such as Moshi Moshi and Nobu further helped to establish sushi as a high-end dining choice. And now, not only have we become accustomed with the once wildly futuristic sushi conveyor belts of Yo! Sushi, but we’ve adopted the Japanese favourite as one of our grab-and-go lunchtime staples. So, it’s fair to say that sushi, and more specifically takeaway sushi, is most definitely ‘on a roll’.

Takeaway sushi’s ‘rice’ to the top

Supplier of sushi to supermarkets Greencore reported a 7.2% rise in sales of sushi during the first quarter of this year, and sales of sushi are up at high-end high street favourite Waitrose by 10% year-on-year. The supermarket chain is said to be planning to lure shoppers back from cheaper competitors with sushi and fresh juice bars as part of their designs on becoming seen as a ‘destination shopping store’.

A photo posted by Claire (@clairemb12) on

But it’s not just supermarkets who are taking advantage of our enduring fascination with fresh fish or vegetables rolled in rice; London mini chain Itsu is just one restaurant chain whose fortunes have been steadily rising as this unexpected food trend borrowed from Japan has taken hold.

How sushi sashayed onto the lunchtime menu

For those who first encountered sushi on British shores in the 80s or 90s, those first bites of Californian rolls and sashimi tuna are likely to have been taken at a lunch meeting, or when encountering sushi in canapé form at a party.

A photo posted by YO! Sushi UK (@yosushi) on

Then, we became comfortable eating sushi in high-end restaurants before it slowly established itself as a more healthy and nutritious convenience food, one that could literally roll on by to meet demand on purpose-built conveyor belts. Now you’re more likely than ever to find takeout sushi boxes in the ‘food to go’ section next to the sandwiches and salads, a careful selection may have found its way on to the menu at fusion restaurants, and it’s quite common to find a beautiful array of sushi on display at a buffet or Saturday bottomless booze brunch.

What’s now and next for the sushi trend

Even the most simple and classic food concepts are constantly evolving. You’ve no doubt seen, and perhaps even have on your menu a simple twist on British fish and chips, for example. Spurred on by great sales and other food influences, sushi has been taking some tantalising turns of late.

A photo posted by MasterJ (@justindesvignes) on

Waitrose is taking its sushi sales one step further with the introduction of frushi – a snack that sees fresh fish and veggies replaced with fruit for a satisfying and low-fat breakfast or dessert snack. Also on the horizon is the sushi burrito, a whopper of a roll that will surely appeal to those with big appetites - as well as chefs in a hurry! This is closely followed by not-so-distant relative the sushi burger – an unlikely hybrid of the gourmet burger and sushi takeaway trends. The results tend to be colourful and easy on the eye as well as Instagram-friendly - but perhaps not so practical when it comes to consumption.

A photo posted by SAM (@sobeautifullyraw) on


Introducing sushi to your menu

In recognition of the growing worldwide interest in and consumption of sushi, there is now an International Sushi Day on June 18th but you don’t need to wait for this special occasion to think about tapping into this trend for your customers. Adding a sushi special or brunch section could be easier than you think as you’ll find all the essentials for sushi preparation and presentation at Lockhart Catering Equipment.

From easy to use sushi making machines through to Himalayan pink salt platters and sake jugs, we’ve got you covered. And, if you’re thinking of setting up your own sushi restaurant or sushi takeaway venture, you’ll find some helpful advice in our article about setting up an innovative fish restaurant.

What are your thoughts on the sushi takeaway take over? Are you thinking of introducing takeaway sushi to your current on the go lunch menu or takeaway options, or have you already done so with success? We would love to hear your thoughts, so leave us a comment below.


Lockhart Catering on 19 July 2016 3:57 AM

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