Almost half (45%) of the 524 consumers asked by consumer insight firm Cambridge Direction on behalf of Premier Foods wanted to see more Mediterranean dishes on menus, while 38% wanted to see more Mexican food and 37% more Thai.
“Another 20% wanted to see more Turkish food, Vietnamese food and sushi on menus,” said the research firm’s Richard Webber.
Over a third of those asked wanted to try more premium chicken dishes, such as barbeque pulled chicken and hot wings.
City or town pubs
The research was carried out in November and December last year and showed 64% of those asked ate out in city or town pubs and 50% in rural pubs. While 72% of those asked liked to eat in restaurant chains.
Key 2016 consumer trends:
- Fish dishes
- Pulled meats
- Premium chicken
Over the past year, two thirds of consumers asked had tried pulled pork; however, just 13% of those who had not tried it were interested in doing so, said Webber.
More than 30% of consumers asked had tried a premium chicken dish – such as pulled or barbeque chicken – and 38% of those who had not wanted to try it.
Of the 100 caterers who were asked about what they had put on their menus, 80% had tapas or sharing dishes, 72% Mexican dishes, 63% barbeque dishes and 41% premium dishes, said Webber.
Popular food next year
The food trends caterers believed would be popular this year and into early next year (see boxout below) included street food, health and nutrition, back to basics, home cooking and specialist diets.
Sarah Robb, channel marketing manager at Premier Foods, said: “Following the traditionally quieter January periods, caterers will be getting ready for a number of calendar dates such as Mother’s Day, Easter and May bank holidays; so it is the ideal time for them to shake up their menus.
“We know there is a real demand for this type of insight-led information within the foodservice industry, and are excited to see how chefs will be utilising the guide.”
Listen to an exclusive podcast with Webber later to find out why it is important for pub chefs to ensure their international cuisine is as authentic as possible.
Caterers' food trends according to Webber
- Street Food:
"Caterers are excited about the street food trend still. It's past just being something sold out of a pot and has become more premiumised, such as Middle Eastern food and not something consumers can easily do themselves."
- Health and Nutrition:
"This wasn't something that consumers had talked about. But industry chefs are taking a responsible view on consumer health and are cutting down on fat, salt and sugar [in their dishes]."
- Back to Basics:
"From a caterers perspective, it's going back and dropping the fancy things. They are dropping the foams and bringing proper portions back. It's great and traditional dishes of English."
- Home Cooking:
"This, to a caterer, means locally-sourced and seasonal produce that's cooked from scratch. If you can't find it locally, then seasonal is key."
- Speciality Diets:
The rise in free-from dishes would continue, with gluten-free as a key growth area within the free-from segment.
You can find the report here