As consumers we are getting increasingly more particular about the food that we eat, often scrutinising its nutritional value, source of production, preparation method etc. This week, we will be covering a few distinctive trends that are sweeping across the globe. Being business owners in the Food & Beverage industry, we will come to terms that these trends will have significant implications on how we engage our customers, design our brand, create menus and source for supplies.
Give us Real and Fresh Foods!
Consumers are starting to acquire interest for natural and ‘less processed’ food and they are lobbying strongly for companies to disclose and remove artificial ingredients. There is a growing emphasis of getting our food fresh as well, since more and more food and health reports began to shown that frozen and processed food contribute to a large host of health issues.
Over the past 10 years, consumption of fresh foods grew 20% to more than 100 billion “eatings” per year. It has been projected that fresh eatings will exceed 120 billion per year by 2018.
Whole food is good
There has been a growing trend towards consuming whole foods. Research has shown that when you eat whole foods, you are getting the food in its natural state. When food is being consumed intact, you will get the benefits of receiving all of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are in the food. Their nutrients may help to keep your immune system strong and protect you from disease. (Source: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-benefits-of-healthy-whole-foods#1)
With these couple of trends rising, we have started to observe a growing popularity towards “farm to table” restaurant concepts in the recent years. Knowing that the food supplies and ingredients are freshly sourced from responsible farms will very likely increase the consumers’ confidence in the quality and safety of the food being served.
Emphasis on super foods and nutrition
Superfoods are foods that are mostly plant-based but also some fish and dairy. They are thought to be nutritionally dense and thus good for one’s health. Blueberries, salmon, kale and acai are just a few examples of foods that have garnered the “superfood” label.
These so-called “superfoods” are soaring in popularity, according to new research by Mintel, with a 202% increase globally in the number of such food and drinks in the past five years . Last year alone saw the number of new “superfood” product launches soar by 36%.
If your business is skewed towards serving a health conscious menu, sharing more about the nutritional value of certain ingredients will help to boost the value of your offerings significantly.
Just over the past few years, a lot of doubts had been raised over poor farming practices, over utilisation of fertilisers and a lack of food hygiene standards imposed by government bodies, especially in the developing countries. This has led to consumers being particular about the country of origin and regulatory standards in place to ensure food safety.
Transparency inspires trust and confidence. Many producers and restaurants have started to reveal more information about their source of food supplies, production chain, ingredient composition, origins and production methods.
Online Food Delivery
With the phenomenal growth of online food delivery companies like Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Food Panda etc., consumers are spoilt for choices since they now have access to a wider range of food options delivered to their doorstep within less than an hour. From the business owners’ perspective, it presents a great opportunity for them to reach customers beyond their geographical radius. In order to capture this opportunity, businesses will have to adapt in the area of kitchen operations, manpower planning, food packaging etc.
These trends mentioned above had been leading the food and restaurant industry over the past few years and we believe that they are here to stay. As consumers’ expectations and preferences change, businesses will also need to adapt to stay strong and relevant.