The global food and beverage industry is ever-evolving and it has become apparent that only the adaptable brands will survive. We believe a restaurants success will hinge on meeting consumers’ needs by harnessing technology and creating experiences and diversity.
We take a look at six trends which are changing the food industry.
1. The art of dining is creating theatre
Dining out has become an experience. Studies show that restaurants who bring ‘theatre’ to the table see the most success either through the venue’s design or by creating a memorable event.
The Fat Duck for instance offers the ultimate experience. Upon arrival you will find a map and a magnifying glass on your table. The menu has been curated to take you on a sensory journey, using sound, taste and texture to recreate 24 hours at the seaside.
On the other hand, there is the Global Dinner in the Sky group which allows diners the chance to enjoy a freshly prepared meal whilst suspended 25 meters above London. One for the more adventurous diner.
By creating an experience, you generate media interest. The photos and videos uploaded to social platforms provide these restaurants with free advertising and peer-to peer recommendations which is a key influencer for the Millennial market.
Imagine calling up to complain about the late delivery of your take-out to be told the drone got lost. Sounds far-fetched? It isn’t.
When attending the FAB Awards Marketing Forum, AMV BBDO’s Gregory Roeken’s predicted that by 2030 drones will be using unused airspace to deliver food.
Further to Gregory’s prediction was the bombshell that by 2020 traditional farming techniques will be redundant, with an increasing number of insects being used in recipes and lab-grown meats being cultivated from cow cells. If the technology is developed, researchers say it could become a sustainable way of meeting the world’s growing demand for meat.
3. Digitalised dining
Online reservations and reviews were the first facets of dining to go online but there is a growing trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to dinner that is now impacting the food industry in innumerable ways.
Diners can now monitor their calorie intake through their phone or smart watch or use geo-location technology to find their closest branded restaurant and order their favourite dish.
4. The rise of the aspiring gourmand
CADA has spoken previously about the rise of Gourmet Fast Food. Recent food trends suggest that the ordinary is now the extraordinary. Yesterday’s burger in a pub now has to be an astonishing burger, with unique ingredients, eaten in an exceptional place, and sometimes, though not always, at a special price. The twist has become the talking point.
For example Le Bab is a kebab renaissance project. They’re team are reinvigorating kebabs with provenance, seasonality and technique which have been honed in Michelin-starred kitchens. The kebabs combine seasonal ingredients and the wood-fired flavours of the Middle East, near East and South Asia.
Another trend is the combination of two seemingly random foodstuffs to create an unusual hybrid, such as London’s Bubbledogs restaurant which sells champagne with its hot dogs.
5. Pop-up restaurants keep popping up
Pop-ups are everywhere nowadays, from empty warehouses, overlooked pubs and faded theatres to high-end department stores. However, despite the growing diversity of travelling restaurants, they do all have one thing in common – exclusivity.
Pop-ups automatically create exclusivity by creating elusive moments. Quirky pop-ups such as The Art of Dining, held at The London Dungeon in Waterloo, offers the diner an opportunity to take part in an immersive dining experience in an iconic location. It seems Millennials are measured on what they do, rather that what they own.
6. Diverse consumers
We are seeing an increase of people from diverse backgrounds eating out more, often sharing the same space. Businessmen are deep in conversation sitting near students checking their phones, while boisterous families nearby decide what to order.
Brands face the challenge of catering for these different demographics simultaneously. Restaurants are having to use their spaces intelligently, dividing up different dining areas or using different décor to naturally appeal to various groups.
Meanwhile, diners’ increasingly sophisticated palates demand more choice of foods. This explains why we’re seeing more international restaurant brands, especially established US and UK brands, expanding into the Middle East, China, South East Asia and India.