, UK

Sustainable delivery, food halls amongst trends to watch in 2020

Meat-like plant protein, according to The NPD Group, will play a “major role”.

The need for increased sustainability from foodservice operators is a clear theme for the trends anticipated to reshape Britain’s £57 billion out-of-home (OOH) or eat-out foodservice industry in 2020.

The NPD Group forecasts that food and beverages purchased through the delivery channel will represent 10% of Britain’s entire foodservice market by 2022. However, they say delivery has the potential to “fall foul of consumer concerns around waste, packaging and carbon emissions.”

Delivery is one of the fastest growing order channels in Britain’s OOH foodservice market with visits up by 11% over the year ending October 2019.

“Delivery operators need to strike a better balance, perhaps by reducing the size of delivery catchments and using more acceptable, recyclable forms of packaging. Winners in the foodservice delivery channel will work hard to limit any adverse environmental impact,” NPD Group insight director for foodservice Dominic Allport explained.

“An increased emphasis on making deliveries in the greenest way possible will help spur continued growth in foodservice delivery visits well beyond 2020.”

Allport adds that operators “must be prepared to break boundaries” to stay ahead of consumer needs and trends.

“There used to be a clear distinction between restaurants, pubs, bars, coffee shops and fast food. And consumers would know if they were visiting a retail, leisure or foodservice outlet. But those boundaries have blurred,” he said.

“With rising consumer expectations for ultra-convenience and engaging experiences, smart foodservice operators understand that defying old conventions can be a route to success. The old ways are not always the best.”

Plant protein’s major role, kids’ menus ‘growing up’
Data from the NPD Group also revealed that almost 3% of British eating out visits were influenced by whether or not an eating out place had vegetarian or vegan options on the menu in the last three months to October 2019.

Over the course of a year, 3% represents over 300 million visits, with Allport saying that it is likely that this figure will grow “rapidly in the future”
“Winners will understand the value of meat alternatives and that consumers of all kinds (even those who love meat) enjoy non-meat meals. Meat-like plant protein (such as foods produced by Impossible and THIS!) will take off and has a major role to play in future market growth,” he said.

Children’s menus, meanwhile, need to evolve due to their “increasingly sophisticated eating out tastes.”

Offering kids’ meals that will surprise and delight children and parents alike will be a key route to trading success.

Food halls offering guaranteed footfall
Another notable trend cited is the growth of the food hall format, which Allport says is tapping into the trend for informal, unstructured eating. These large indoor spaces, he adds, allow street-food vendors and established restaurants alike to serve adventurous customers from their own stalls.

“Food halls offer lower rents and guaranteed footfall for operators, as well as more choice for consumers, creating a lower-risk environment where well-executed concepts can thrive in a fun and informal atmosphere,” he said.

“What we see in these five trends is how creative and innovative the foodservice industry can be, and how well it understands and adapts to consumer expectations. The brands that are challenging conventional foodservice formats, including blurring the lines between foodservice and retail, will continue to enjoy success, as will the operators that provide appetizing choices for all palates,” he concluded.

Photo credit: Market Halls Facebook

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