UK-Food-Drink-Trends-for-2017

2018 FOOD AND DRINK TRENDS

Market intelligence agency Mintel has predicted five trends set to take the food and drink market by storm over the next year, including “multisensory” and “scientifically engineered” products, in order to reflect changing consumer demands.

As discussed by Jenny Zegler, global food and drink analyst at Mintel, these include:

  • “Full disclosure – Consumers require complete and total transparency from food and drink companies”

Moving forward, Zegler says that consumers worldwide demand ”honest disclosures” about how, where, when and by whom food and drink is grown, harvested, made and/or sold. Recent scandals have resulted in widespread mistrust and the need for reassurance about the safety and trustworthiness of products, which also challenges manufacturers and retailers to make labels “clean” – transparent and easy to read.

  • Food and drink that provide nutrition, physical, or emotional benefits

As “hectic and stressful” modern life takes its toll, consumers are starting to invest more in self-care routines, with “flexible and balanced” diets an integral element. According to Zegler, this will reinforce the need for a “variety of formats, formulations and portion sizes of food and drink that present consumers with positive solutions—and treats—that can be incorporated into their customised and flexible definitions of health and wellness” – offering ingredients, products, and combinations of food and drink that provide nutrition, physical, or emotional benefits.

  • Focus on texture

Texture is, apparently, the latest tool to engage the senses and deliver “share-worthy experiences” – especially important for connecting with younger consumers. Companies need to consider the role that sound, feel and satisfaction plays in providing consumers with “tangible connections to the real world, as well as moments worth sharing either in-person or online.”

Technological advancements have already helped make “shopping as effortless as possible” – saving consumers both time and money. As they continue to sample a variety of channels and technologies, including home delivery, subscription services, and automatic replenishment, retailers need to “leverage technology to establish new levels of efficiency,” including customised recommendations, cross-category pairings, and other resourceful solutions that save consumers time, effort, and energy, suggests Zegler.

  • Personalisation

Technological advancements have already helped make “shopping as effortless as possible” – saving consumers both time and money. As they continue to sample a variety of channels and technologies, including home delivery, subscription services, and automatic replenishment, retailers need to “leverage technology to establish new levels of efficiency,” including customised recommendations, cross-category pairings, and other resourceful solutions that save consumers time, effort, and energy, suggests Zegler.

  • Focus on science and technology

According to Zegler, “technology is being used to engineer solutions for our stretched global food supply,” which can be seen as companies start to develop solutions to “replace traditional farms and factories with scientifically engineered ingredients and finished products.

“Technology could eventually be used to design food and drink that is inherently more nutritious, which could extend the consumer audience for scientifically engineered food and drink beyond environmentally conscious shoppers to reach consumers who are concerned about ingredient consistency, efficacy, and purity,” she added.

She concluded: “In 2018, Mintel foresees opportunities for manufacturers and retailers to help consumers regain trust in food and drink and to relieve stress through balanced diets, as well as memorable eating and drinking experiences.

“There also is an exciting new chapter dawning in which technology will help brands and retailers forge more personalised connections with shoppers, while enterprising companies are using scientific engineering to create an exciting new generation of sustainable food and drink.”

4221694-graph-with-question-mark

How Fast is the UK catering equipment industry growing?

In 2016, the market for non-domestic catering equipment was estimated to have increased by 3%, with a further 2% value growth forecast for 2017, according to the ‘Non-Domestic Catering Equipment Market Report – UK 2017-2021 Analysis’, which was recently published by AMA Research.

This should be music to the ears of distributors and suppliers concerned that market uncertainty would destabilise the future of the sector.

AMA believes the main factors supporting the catering equipment market since 2012 have been an improving economy, increasing levels of consumer confidence and strong growth in the eating out sector. The catering equipment market is expected to show modest growth of 2-3% per annum through to 2021 in line with a less confident economy.

Despite the trend for healthy eating, it is quick serve restaurants that account for largest sector of the foodservice market. The rapid growth in the coffee shop sector and the popularity of ‘grab and go’ food has led to increasing demand for more compact catering products with multiple functions, to maximise performance in smaller venues. The growth in popularity of open plan restaurants has also boosted the industry, with restaurants investing in refits and new appliances to satisfy consumer demand for greater visibility of restaurant kitchens.

Cooking equipment represents the largest sector with around 50% of the market value, partly due to the high cost of cooking products. Refrigeration also accounts for a significant share, with steel fabrication, warewashing and other products making up the remaining market value. Key product trends include increasing demand for more compact, energy efficient versatile catering equipment, a general requirement for more energy efficient products and the demand for fast, high volume cooking solutions such as combi ovens and accelerated cooking ovens.

The specialist distributors, designers and installers that make up the bulk of the supply chain have seen the largest distributors improving their market share at the expense of smaller competitors, according to AMA. Bespoke solutions are still popular, particularly for steel fabrication and ventilation. Due to the mature nature of the market, larger distributors are looking to increase their market share by further adding installation and design services to their portfolio.

Some of the key factors influencing the market in the medium to longer term include the growing number of tourists visiting the UK, with the reduction in value of the Pound making the UK a more affordable destination. Continuing growth in the café/coffee shop market should also provide a major boost for the UK foodservice market overall. In addition, new regulations to govern the ventilation requirements for solid fuel cooking appliances should drive growth in this sector of the market.

Factors negatively affecting market growth include the economic uncertainty caused by the UK’s decision to leave the EU. The major chains are likely to remain cautious regarding expansion plans and pricing pressures are influencing manufacturers as a result of the weaker Pound and rising material costs. AMA noted that distributors are increasingly selling equipment online, with players such as Amazon entering into the UK catering equipment market, introducing further competition