Foodservice operators will need to build even greater flexibility into their food offerings in 2017 if they are to keep up with the latest consumer trends.
Research from Horizons found that disruptive innovations such as dessert cafés, all-day brunch, bespoke dishes cooked to order and a growth in the use of third-party food delivery firms are set to feature among the key eating out trends for the year ahead.
It also warned that economic uncertainty ahead of Brexit would take its toll prompting consumers to reduce their discretionary spend and seek even better value for money from operators.
Whilst predicting that a number of innovative ideas and concepts will come to market in 2017, the sector cannot escape the “looming impact” of Brexit, which will “put pressure on the price of food and equipment, energy and labour”, said Horizons’ managing director Peter Backman.
Backman added that a potential hike in menu prices would in part be offset by an increase in overseas visitors to the UK and the fact more Brits would holiday at home due to the volatile pound; however, shaky consumer confidence will see diners seeking out deals, vouchers and money-off promotions.
Other 2017 trends identified by Horizons include the growing use of natural sweeteners such as apple, dates and coconut; the continued shift into the mainstream of vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian dishes; growing demand for post workout power snacks and protein pots; and the use of super-food ingredients such as kale, green lentils and edamame beans.