It has been a tough week. It has been a tough month. This year has been tough. Life is tough. Preemptively, 2016 has already been marked as the Worst Year Ever.
This time of the year is always one of reflection, typically balanced with a thirst for foresight. It is on the twelfth month I most often get asked to dust off my crystal ball; get hounded for predictions about the next big thing. What are the upcoming trends? What is a trend anyway?
Sustainability, simplicity, new tech, old tech, long drinks, vegetables, batching, craft beer, mead; whatever. Unfortunately the prevailing and reccurring trend for 2016 in the food and drink industry seemed to be vitriolic in-fighting, unprecedented attacks on character both professional and personal, egotism, depression, sexual abuse, publicity stunts and public feuds, deep-rooted insecurity and an apparent need to tear everything to shreds on public platforms. I write this fully aware of the irony of me writing this.
To quote Cohen: 'Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.' A cliché perhaps, but whilst being largely a pessimist, I still have faith that strength is gained from adversity, and as much as it pains me I look at the past year both personally and professionally as a triumphant year of learning and character building.
Pat yourselves on the back, you - the majority - made it. In 2017 I hope a new trend will emerge: the trend of chilling the fuck out.