With an uncertain year ahead, it’s more important than ever to keep up-to-date with industry news and the ever-changing needs of today’s consumer. Arena’s latest virtual event ‘Growing into 2021’ provided valuable insight and thought-provoking discussions around the post-pandemic consumer and the future for foodservice. If you missed it, fear not! We’ve noted the key take outs below:

The post pandemic consumer and 2019 trends in a 2021 landscape

In the past year, with hospitality venues closing and consumers becoming used to the idea of staying at home, we’ve seen a huge shift towards delivery; in the form of home kits and delivery apps, both nationally and locally.

Katy Moses, Founder of KAM media discussed what we will see in a post-pandemic world:

• Money will be tighter
• Tech-enhanced experience
• Health & wellness magnified
• Hospitality at home
• Generation Z – tomorrow’s customer

1) Money will be tighter
• 25% of UK adults say ‘money will be tighter’ for them in 2021
• 35% of UK adults will be thinking more carefully about how they spend money
• If consumers do spend money on eating out, special occasions and making up for lost time will be a key reason for this, with 61% stating they will go out for a birthday

Learning? Value and price will be more important to consumers. Consumers won’t just be interested in price discounts, as it will always be cheaper to eat/drink at home. Consumers will be looking for an ‘experience’ to justify eating out.

2) Tech-enhanced experiences
To make up for the lack of face-to-face contact during current restrictions, consumers have become far more tech-enabled than they used to be. This is seen across ecommerce, tech-enabled dining and social media.

Before lockdown consumers were moving towards online facilitated dining and this will have grown even more:
• 1-in-5 made reservations online
• 56% checked a menu online before visiting
• 26% had ordered via an app in a pub/restaurant
• 28% would like to be able to pre-pay their bill via phone

Learning? Find the budget for online, whether that is revamping your website, ad spend or online ordering.

3) Health & wellness magnified
Pre-lockdown, health was already high on the agenda. However, health now means mental/emotional as well as physical, with 37% of consumers saying they will make a conscious effort to look after their mental health in 2021.

Learning? It’s important to offer consumers not only healthier food options but to offer mental or emotional support, such as additional food safety precautions and a safe physical space.

4) Hospitality at home
Although hospitality at home may drop once venues start to open again, it will still be around.
• 42% of pub goers either used, or are interested in using, their local pubs for delivery

There is a lot of competition around delivery. Successful operators will be thinking beyond delivering food and will consider the wider experience.

Learning? Delivery is key and operators need to think beyond food and look at the experience e.g. drink pairings, playlists and more.

5) Generation Z – tomorrow’s customer
Gen Z (10-25 years old) are the next big customer and hospitality will need to adapt to capture their attention:
• Online is key: 23% of Gen Z spend more than 7 hours on their phone each day
• Health is a lifestyle: 53% do more than 30 minutes of exercise a day
• Greater variants in dietary requirements: 10% are vegetarian, 4% are vegan, 11% are flexitarian
• Different relationship with alcohol: 2 in 5 are teetotal
• Subscription addiction: 70% have Netflix, 56% Spotify

Learning? Be open to and ready for change. The two key topics are online experiences and health and wellness.

To find out more about Arena visit arena.org.uk.

For free resources visit kam-media.co.uk/resources