Trendspotting in foodservice for 2016

Iced tea and coffee, solo dining and social media will be three of the big trends in foodservice in 2016, according to a new report from specialist foodservice PR agency William Murray.

The Hot In The Kitchen #2 report, which can be downloaded free here, outlines some of the key trends in the coming months.

These trends include:

  • Iced tea and coffee
  • “Flexitarianism” and “protein diversity” – increasingly, people are switching (not always permanantly, it should be addded) to white meats such as chicken, plus fish and other sources of protein such as nuts and soya.In 2015, the UK joined 10 million people worldwide for the first ever Meat Free Day, and 20% of
    Brits reduced their meat eating compared with 2014 [Euromonitor].
  • Hummus – Led by celebrity chefs like Yotam Ottolengh, Middle Eastern delicacies are becoming more popular. Some 41% of Brits have hummus in the fridge* and Waitrose says sales of tahini are up 40% year on year. But hummus is just the tip of the iceberg. Our appetite for African and Middle Eastern flavours has been growing in the UK for years and is expected to reach fever pitch in 2016.
  • Upmarket Americana, such as burgers and hot dogs, are already popular with diners, especially in the street food scene. Americana is forecast to become still more popular this year.
  • Home delivery – Time-poor consumers view home delivery as a way to claw back a few precious minutes – time better spent watching the TV or surging the net. Why go out when you can now have whatever you want delivered to your door?
  • Foodservice skills shortages – Unsociable hours, uncompetitive salaries and an industry image problem mean the hospitality skills shortage is likely to rumble on in 2016. Millennials still look at a job in
    hospitality as a stopgap. To offset this, the industry (including FWD and its members) been throwing all that it’s got into mentoring, training, chef academies and apprenticeships.
  • Social media: “First we tweet, then we Instagram, then we eat, and if there’s time, then
    we do everything else.” Food picstures are the biggest category on Pinterest; Instagram is the place for chefs to show off their creativity and for foodservice providers to put a spotlight on their
    brand. Nothing says “delicious” like #foodporn (that’s why this hastag has been used 68 million-plus  times). Given there’s a good chance diners are going to whip out their phone before the meal, why not take advantage of the free marketing? It goes without saying that the food has to look picture perfect.  Tel Aviv’s Catit restaurant is a leader here – its plates have phone holders!
  • Apps – increasingly used for bookings and perusing menus on mobile devices.
  • Solo dining – Some restaurants now offer smaller dining spots or even
    tapas style dining at the bar. But so far tables for one are few and far between. In the US, tables for one were the fastest growing table size, up 62% in the last two years [Open Table]. Making it easy for diners to
    fly solo is an untapped opportunity for canny foodservice providers to capture new market share.
  • Brazilian and BBQs – It’ll be a barbecue summer in Britain this year. We’ve been heading this way for some time, with the “low and slow” craze for American BBQ. Now, Rio Olympics is further fanning the flames. These barbecues, known as churrascarias, aren’t the only Brazilian fare likely to grace our menus in 2016. Expect lots of Brazilian staples such as rice, tapioca, cacao and fruits, including the favourite acai berry. as well as dishes such as feijoada (black bean and meat stew), and the national cocktail caipirinhas, Brahma beer and Guarana (a Brazilian energy drink). And look out for UK eateries taking on more of a “boteca” feel. These informal Brazilian bars serve up cheap tapas-style snacks washed down with cold drinks.

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