Although we’ve all had a little more time on our hands than we would have liked this year, this does at least give us time to reflect and plan. Looking ahead to the trends we’ll see in 2021 should also show some new opportunities for the taking.
As the old saying goes ‘everyone deserves a treat once in a while’. Due to lockdown that ‘once in a while’ is now more frequent, and will also come into play once pubs and restaurants are open and consumers can once again enjoy their favourite dishes.
Treats are now more regular and include everything from brownies through our letterboxes to full cook-at-home restaurant meals, and spending more on or upgrading our usual takeaways. Speaking on the impact of the pandemic, Deliveroo co-founder, William Shu said the platform was ‘seeing existing customers place more orders and seeing the average value of orders on its platform grow’ (Yahoo). With more being spent on delivery, consider your sides offering, a brilliant quick win for adding extra revenue.
AT HOME DINING
For many of us, 2020 reignited our passion for cooking and this is set to continue for 2021. We’ll be saying goodbye to the banana bread and sourdough we perfected in 2020 and hello to fresh pasta, pickling, smoking and curing, doughnuts and more plant-based cooking.
We’ll continue to have a big interest in local produce. Farm shops and delis saw a rise in demand and spend in 2020, with some setting up click and collect or even vending machine offerings. Virtual cooking classes will become more popular as well as cook-at-home meals kits direct from our favourite restaurants. Our new focus on the home means there are opportunities aplenty. Meal kits could provide a way to add a new revenue stream: start local and tap into your existing customers online through email and social media.
THE CONSCIOUS CONSUMER
Sustainability is a hot topic and customers are very much in favour of compassionate consumption. We’re more informed than ever with new TV shows educating us on how to be more sustainable. The trend encompasses everything from sustainably caught seafood, reducing meat consumption, tackling food waste, reducing plastic, food redistribution and social issues. Research shows ‘65% of consumers look for products that can help them live a more sustainable and socially responsible life’ and ‘54% of consumers try to purchase products or services from brands that take a stand on social or environmental issues’ (Forbes).
Using locally sourced and in-season produce on your menu will help to lower carbon footprint, frozen foods will help reduce wastage and keep produce fresh, MSC-certified seafood ensures fishing stocks are sustainable and well managed, offering exciting vegan dishes will attract customers reducing their meat consumption and finally, optimise the descriptions on your menus to highlight sustainable options – your customers know more than ever what to look out for and it will give you that competitive edge!
WELLNESS – TIME FOR YOU
Balanced with our desire for some well-earned indulgence is the rising interest in our physical and mental wellbeing. After the initial shock of 2020, it also gave us time to reset our behaviour and focus more on our overall wellbeing, from walking, running and cycling to introducing new self-care routines.
Our focus on our individual wellbeing will not wane in 2021. With this being a huge driver for our behaviour this year, having dishes that are nutritionally well-balanced and full of flavour will provide even more opportunities. According to new data, ‘69% of people would like to see healthier options on food delivery apps, this shoots up to 88% for young people between 18-24’ (Deliveroo). Healthy options on your takeaway and eat-in menus will attract customers looking for balance, whilst still feeling they’ve had a treat.