Future Food - Q4 2023 Key Take Outs

At the beginning of 2020 we started an exciting collaboration with Good Sense Research to create a regular Future Food Trend Tracker which sets out to demonstrate the relationship between future trend predictions and customer acceptance, readiness and importantly how that manifests over time. The end product is a report each quarter which shares actionable trends and insights for you and your business.

Christmas spend pressures and economic concerns dented consumer confidence once again, impacting their eating out habits. Consumers remained engaged with reducing wastage, with an increase in their own behaviours to some degree, but they still expect retailers and operators to take the lead here. The polarisation of meat or plant-based continues to grow, as people stop sitting on the fence and move to either mainly meat or mainly plant-based diets. Though this does not mean they are turning to meat-free analogues; consumer concerns are growing around the use of synthetic ingredients and UPFs. A variety of different cuisines are on the rise, namely Thai, and Gen Z diners are the main cohort exploring lesser-known cuisines specifically.

Detailed below are the 5 key insights from the 2023 Q4 report:

1. Confidence took a tumble as Christmas pressures loomed
The progress seen in Q3 dipped across the board as consumers were still feeling the pinch.

2. Deferral of responsibility continues
People are still expecting businesses to lead the way in reducing waste although the pinch in confidence has seen a slight return to some of these behaviours.

3. The Protein Pendulum Continues to Swing
With continued pressures on spend as well as increased concerns around meat substitutes, some shoppers are lurching back to the familiar with meat consumption on the rise.

4. Sustainability continues to remain relevant & compelling
Sustainability initiatives that operators can provide are still as important as ever, particularly as eating out continues to rise.

5. Gen Z are exploring more cuisines than other generations
Less popular cuisines such as West African, Japanese, and Global Cuisine are eaten more by Gen Z, suggesting a future market for these cuisines.


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