Britain is a nation of animal lovers. The PDSA estimates that 24% of the UK adult population own a dog with an estimated population of 8.9 million pet dogs in the UK. So with so many of us devoted to our furry friends it makes good business sense to pander to our pets and offer dog friendly dining and accommodation. Once the domain of the country pub, fine dining restaurants and hotels across the UK are embracing the ‘hound pound’ as a valuable revenue stream.
I have always loved cooking. I find the whole process relaxing and very rewarding. But throw a new baby into the mix and suddenly our fridge was looking rather sparse and the idea of heading down to the supermarket with an ever-so screamy little one was too anxiety-inducing to handle.
In today’s society, food is no longer a way to feed yourself. It has now become a lifestyle, which many millennials call being a ‘foodie’. A person who has a passion or refined interest in food, who eats food not out of hunger, but due to their interest or hobby. A ‘foodie’ is constantly in search of the perfect photograph, consisting of perfectly composed food on a perfect plate, in a perfect setting. ‘Foodies’ will do whatever it takes to capture their desired shot, whether that means standing on a chair or table in the middle of a busy restaurant to get the ideal angle.
Every year, millions of pictures of food are posted on social media with Instagram being the pivotal platform for a picture of the perfect pastry, or two. As it stands, there are currently 188 million hashtag mentions on Instagram under #Foodporn. A recent study from YPulse shows 63% of people between thirteen and thirty-two years old post their food pictures on social networking sites while they are still eating. Moreover, 57% of people in the same age range posted a description of the food they were eating at that time – it is no wonder that the #FoodPorn trend has exploded. Food on social media is a key trend to watch and using the hashtag #FoodPorn means the food industry can easily track audiences on social networking services to see what’s hot!
We recently attended the annual MCA Food to Go Conference at Ham Yard Hotel, London. With the MCA forecasting that the Food to Go market is set to reach a value of £21.2bn in 2019 and continue outperforming growth from the wider eating out market, it therefore represents a vital area of growth for operators. We heard from an array of fantastic speakers including Welcome Break, Sustainable Restaurant Association, LEON, Pret A Manger, Yo! Sushi, Eat and many more.
Here are 5 Food to Go Trends arising from the day that we think will impact and drive Food to Go growth in 2019.
The way we eat is changing and choice is becoming more important than ever. Consumers want the opportunity to try new things and street food markets are providing a world of exciting opportunities right at their fingertips.