With the doom and gloom of uncertainty as Brexit draws ever closer, McCain Foodservice has released its What’s Hot report reveals what operators need to know to stay ahead of the curve.
McCain Foods senior brand manager Jo Simmons said: “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 have rounded up a few of the key ones that can help caterers stay hot and ahead of the competition in the next year.”
Value for money will be increasingly important as consumers scrutinise their spending decision, McCain said.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that consumers are continually chasing the cheapest option but they want hearty portions, great value food and excellent standards of service.
Last year 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 consumers’ 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.
Almost half (40%) of 25 to 37-year-olds prefer ordering food on their phones to table service, according to McCain, while more than two thirds (67%) will spend more on their phones than when ordering in person.
Phones and tablets are now ever-present in consumers’ lifestyle habits. Finding ways of integrating the latest tech into a traditional foodservice industry could see businesses sink or swim.
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.