On the 13th of July Clodagh & Ellie were the lucky ones to be chosen for this month’s MCA Food Concept Study Tour.
I myself (Clodagh) am on 6 month work placement and Ellie is one of the newest members to the bean team, so as you can imagine we were very excited for an adventure outside of the office. We had an amazing day getting the chance to see firsthand the trends & insights across London’s vibrant eating out scene that we are working with everyday.
Here are the trends we found most interesting from our day, as well as the operators (which we will definitely be returning to) that embody these current trends:
Today provenance is increasingly associated with quality in consumers’ minds so is it any wonder that several of the operators we visited showcased this trend?
We saw a first glimpse of this trend when we visited Scarlett Green (part of the Daisy Green collection), in the heart of Soho, which draws upon Melbourne and Sydney café culture. The kitchen serves everything from much loved bottomless brunches and healthy lunchtime dishes to innovative evening sharing plates. This won’t be the last you hear of Scarlett Green in this blog as they are extremely “trendy”. Although it is an Australian restaurant all of the ingredients used in dishes are locally sourced and delivered fresh daily, proving the importance of where the food on their menu is coming from.
Next on the list was P.F Changs Asian Table where provenance was at their core. P.F. Changs have a “Farm to Wok” philosophy which means the chefs cook everything from scratch, ensuring they know exactly where their ingredients are coming from.
Which Wich the superior sandwich place (classed as the “up market” Subway) also highlighted the importance of provenance by using only UK suppliers.
The provenance trend didn’t stop at food, 39 Steps Coffee Haus who pride themselves on where their coffee comes from, which is clearly illustrated in their brand positioning – ‘There are 39 steps from bean on the bush to the cup in your hand and we guide every one.’
2) Instagram Friendly:
Sharing posts while eating out has become extremely popular in the last number of years, encouraging operators to step it up in terms of dish presentation as well as décor within the restaurant in order to continue attracting consumers.
The operator which showcased this best and our personal favorite was Scarlett Green, whose restaurant is based around being “instagrammable”. They make use of marble platters, charcoal buns and colorful presentations to ensure their dishes are worthy of being posted on social media. Not only the food presentation but also the internal décor made it a venue Ellie & I would definitely like the return to.
Redemption Bar – London’s healthiest bar and restaurant has also made its name as an instagram friendly operator. The wall outside their restaurant painted with angel wings is famed as an excellent photo opportunity by the social media obsessed.
Unless you have been living under a rock you will be aware that Veganism is becoming a huge trend worldwide for various reasons – environmental, ethical and health based and London certainly has a lot to offer to those choosing this lifestyle.
Planet Organic is a health focused convenience store making it the ideal place to target the vegan market. They highlight this trend by offering everything from vegan coffee to baby food and even vegan beauty products.
Redemption Bar, located in Shoreditch, is a vegan hotspot in London with everything on the menu even the stylish alcohol free “mocktails” being completely vegan as well as alcohol free (hence the name).
The final operator of the day was The Vurger Co which appeals to vegans who are in search of something a little greasier. All the dishes sold are vegan and the menu includes plant-based versions of ribs, burgers & mac ‘n cheese. This is the perfect example of an operator identifying a trend and twisting it to address a gap in the market, in this case “vegan takeaway”.
The final trend encountered was indulgence. It is important to note that although there is a rise in trends such as provenance and veganism which align to healthy eating, there is still a consumer demand for indulgence.
For me Ole & Steen highlighted this trend perfectly with their beautiful display of fresh Danish pastries and breads. Their sweet treats and premium baked goods are extremely popular in London and after having tasted one of their cinnamon swirls fresh from the oven – I understand why.
Once again, Scarlett Green also tapped into the trend of indulgence with their bottomless brunch option on their menu, allowing customers to indulge in unlimited prosecco and mimosas for two hours – heaven!
Lastly, Which Wich is the definition of indulgence and health with the choice to build your own sandwich with as many or as little toppings as you would like, customising it to your requirements (as customisation is also a big consumer driver).
Overall we really enjoyed our London foodie adventure, thank you again to the MCA for an extremely insightful tour and for showing us the trendiest spots in London which we cannot wait to revisit.