In a sphere long governed by cost, convenience and carbs, suddenly the three Cs are no longer at the top of most diners’ lists. What has toppled them from the top three slots? Surprisingly, the new winners are sustainable business practices, safe natural ingredients and honest-to-goodness all-day nourishment – packed into tasty snack-sized portions.
A New Lexicon for an Established Industry
Today’s diners are not just more discerning than singles and families of yesteryear – they are more educated too. They don’t need their waiter or barista to explain “kombucha” to them. In fact, the reverse is more likely to be the case!
A new lexicon of food and beverage terminology is thus emerging, with the odd side effect of sending even industry veterans back to the drawing board to learn about new tastes and find creative ways to incorporate them into established menus.
The Hottest Trends to Emulate
New emerging food and beverage trends are affecting everything from the type of furniture restauranteurs order for their establishments to what is on the menus themselves.
Here is a brief overview of trends you can absolutely expect to see in increasing amounts, starting now and continuing into 2016 and beyond:
Google “kombucha culture” and you are as likely to find recipes as a sociology profile. Kombucha is a tea that is served fermented, meaning it has caught the eye of the national liquor regulators board as well as the fancy of the healthy/hipster circle. That being said, kombucha is not going anywhere anytime soon, so now is a good time to begin incorporating it into your menu.
Automation and kiosks
Busy diners increasingly show favour towards establishments that make ordering as quick as possible. As such, automated checkout, self-serve kiosks and other dine-on-the-go technology is on the rise.
3D food printers
The Australian recently posted a helpful overview of how 3D printers work to (literally!) “print” food – in much the same way that K-cups produce hot, fresh coffee from a little sealed plastic container.
Fast food alcohol service
It’s not too hard to figure out why Australia’s own Grill’d was recently voted in as the number one “best takeaway food” chain in Lifehacker-Australia (hint: you can buy beer and wine along with your burgers). Expect to see more of this trend across the nation.
Build your own options
From true fast food (i.e. McDonald’s Create Your Taste) to smaller replications at one-off eateries, diners today want customized options.
The fall of frozen yoghurt chains
Along with the rise of Acai bowls and savoury yoghurt comes the inevitable fall of once-great traditions like the frozen yoghurt chain and (gasp!) even the smoothie and juice bar. As sugar and high sweet content continues to decline in favour, diners are looking for more robust nutrient content in their beverages, sweets, snacks and meals.
Trends and Your Establishment
These are just a handful of the emerging trends that are on the horizon for the food and beverage industry. The good news is, there is enough to choose from that you can find the perfect trends to grow your business!