To mark the start of a new year, McCain Foodservice has unveiled a new report looking ahead to 2018. Turnover in the food service sector is set to slow amidst continued consumer uncertainty as Brexit draws ever closer. With this in mind, it’s vital that food providers stay ahead of the curve.
Jo Simmons, McCain Foods senior brand manager, explains: “As new trends come and go, changes to what consumers eat, where they eat, and how they eat take place. Operators take influence from fresh new cuisines, bold new flavours make it on to menus, and new dining options emerge. Technology also has a big influence.
“With so many changes happening it can be hard to pick out the opportunities that will work for your business, and those that will make headlines and then disappear, so we’ve rounded up a few of the key ones that we believe can help caterers stay hot and ahead of the competition in the next year.”
Here’s a few headline trends that they see on the horizon in 2018:
Value Scrutiny: Value for money will be increasingly important as consumers scrutinise their spending decision. This doesn’t necessarily mean that consumers are continually chasing the cheapest option. Instead, they want hearty portions, great value food and excellent standards of service.
Convenience: 2017 saw a 6% rise in quick-service lunch visits, and this trend shows no signs of slowing. As the rise of home delivery shows, convenience is central to our busy lives. Making it as easy as possible for diners to get a great meal quickly and easily will be a key growth area across the industry this year.
Technology: 40% of 25-37 year olds prefer ordering food on their phones to table service, whilst 67% will spend more on their phones than when ordering in person. Our phones and tablets are now ever-present in our lifestyle habits. Finding ways of integrating the latest tech into a traditional foodservice industry could see businesses sink or swim.
Informality When dining in consumers view eating as an opportunity to socialise, catch up and take a break from the business of modern life. To provide for this, many venues are seeing success by creating a more casual dining environment. Food that’s easy to share, communal seating, and ‘pay first, leave whenever’ approaches to service are all trends that will be hot in 2018.
Indulgence, Foodie Culture, Provenance & Sustainability, Meals that Look as Good as they Taste and Healthy Eating are other key trends that you can read about more in the report.