Top foodservice trends for 2016 predicted

New flavours and adaptability are among the top five foodservice trends predicted for 2016. 

Market information providers, the NPD Group, believes these trends will be popular over the next 12 months.

Experimentation and customisation
It recognised that consumers want new flavours, fusion foods and premium options. This can be achieved by creating customisable food and small sharing dishes to implement experimentation and fun. It is also recommended the foodservice organisations regularly develop their menu to drive frequency and boost ‘word of mouth’ visitors.

According to the NPD Group customers don’t want to waste time by queuing and they want to make food purchases as easy as possible. This can be overcome by investing in technology and developing apps and websites.

Everything for everyone
It is pointed out that people in this day and age are living increasingly busy lifestyles and they want everything available all of the time. By extending opening hours and offering more menu variety these demands can be catered to.

Adaptable to everywhere
The NPD Group believe customers need access to operators due to them travelling more, but also in some cases working from home. The industry is encouraged to open smaller premises, or new ‘micro-sites’ – outside of large locations with high footfall – and to offer a ‘narrow’ menu to cater to each of the different premises.

‘Human’ customer relationships
In a recovering market with an abundance of choice, consumers need new reasons to engage with brands. By utilising ads and social media to provide ‘human’ interaction and embracing a friendly relationship between business and customers can help deliver these needs.

“Consumers are much more demanding than they were a few years ago,” said Cyrl Lavenant, NPD’s director of foodservice for the UK and France.

“They expect higher quality of food and beverages, they enjoy diversity and want to live an experience when eating out; as a result, consumers are harder to satisfy and less loyal. Operators who will win in this difficult market will embrace consumers’ expectations; they will constantly think about raising their game to surprise their guests.”

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