5 true. trends of 2021

The global food and beverage industry is rapidly evolving due to the arrival of the covid-19 pandemic.
It has become apparent that only adaptable brands and businesses will survive. The hospitality industry will have to reinvent itself in terms of creative experiences and diversity to meet the consumers' needs. Food brands will have to evolve to more transparency in which clean labels with an ethic value will become more critical than ever before.

Ghost restaurants & Ghost kitchens.

COVID-19’s impact on foodservice has been felt far and wide across the world. Dining out and ordering in have taken a hit over consumer concerns about potential contact. But restaurants have not been taking the situation lying down and are coming up with innovative and alternative revenue streams. Many have changed their business models and offerings to keep consumer interest alive.
We’ve seen restaurants switch to a ghost kitchen model, double up as grocery delivery stores, turn their fare into meal kits and heat-and-eat meals, offer to-go cocktails, and even repurpose their parking lots into drive in spaces to keep with social distancing guidelines.

The Lean Kitchen Network partners with Twisted, one of the largest social media food networks in the UK, to develop a delivery-only food service offering, called Twisted London. Additionally, Lean Kitchen Network also developed a number of its own brand delivery-only restaurants that can be ordered from via food delivery aggregators.

Image: Twisted, London

The merge of food & retail brands

Only do what you know… does not always hold. In addition to retailers, catering entrepreneurs have also found their way to eCommerce. Before the corona crisis, brands like The Avocado Show or Balls & Glory were one of the few restaurants to sell its own merchandise online, but that has changed now. More and more restaurants are opening a webshop to sell their favourite ingredients or products. They want to create a stronger position online and have an extra revenue stream. We can still expect a lot in this area in 2021.
We also see fashion brands invest in food concepts (Armani, Channel, Arket,…) to create extra value to retail stores. The right food concept makes you connect to brands on another level.
true. example
Another example is The Guest, a new retail concept which hosts different brands at a triple AAA location with a strong hospitality concept involved. Their first edition was in Knokke in collaboration with Sofie Dumont. Implementing the right food concept creates an off– and online buzz.

Who’s next to merge retail & food together?

Image: The Guest, Knokke

Not having a style is a style

Since a few years we see youngsters walking around with a t-shirt of Zeeman or Lidl... It's a kind of counter-movement to the fashion types. These cool kids want to awake a whole generation, send a clear message and make a statement. The underlying idea: why do you have to be brand hot? You can also look nice with low-budget clothes. You can make a real statement if there's a label on it that tells you it's from Lidl.
We also see this trend in the food sector. A bit of a mistake is okay... It's all right to be a bit trashy. But of course, THIS is also a trend in which hospitality operators think carefully about how they put their brand in the market! Often it's about food that scores very highly on Instagram and that challenges the eyes. Open sandwiches, burgers, sweets,... In major cities like Paris and London these modern snack bars are an absolute hit.

Image: LIDL

Tailored to Fit

Personalized nutrition has been taken the spotlight as consumers look for food and beverage options that fit their unique lifestyle. Consumers expect a tailored approach to eating, with technological breakthroughs, constant new launches and exciting sensorial experiences, providing the opportunity for customized lifestyles to extend to food and beverage consumption. Sophisticated personalized nutrition advice on functional foods is still expensive, but the emergence of tech platforms allows comparable customer service via automation.

Ongoing anxiety stemming from COVID-19 will encourage consumers to prioritize their immunity in 2021. Many consumers are increasingly looking for food and beverage products that support their immunity. Immunity is an opportunity that can be broader than just taking Vitamin C or zinc. Botanicals is a good example of an ingredient that brings an “active” health benefit, as well as colour and flavour that tick the “natural” box.

Image: Woman buying oranges.

The value of food

During lockdown, millions discovered the simple pleasures of baking bread or cooking with their children, gardening, getting to know their neighbours or communing with nature. Research showed that people value food more during lockdown with only 9% wanting to return to the ‘old’ life.

Two centuries of industrialisation have obscured food’s vital importance. Focussing on mass production & consumption, filling up supermarket trolleys week in week out. The fact is, food comes from the countryside! And we need to be aware of the footprint our consumption habits leaves behind.
Food is the most valuable thing in life and our greatest source of pleasure. By rebuilding our lives around it, people can create more live-able, low carbon and happier societies.

Image: Lochtenberg - A farm where artisanal farm products are made.

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