Throughout the pandemic we having been tracking consumer behaviour through our Future Food Trend Tracker on a monthly basis so we can share actionable trends and insights with you. March was an exciting month for the hospitality sector as it geared up for outdoor dining re-opening on April 12th. Our Future Food Trend report recorded eagerness among consumers, who expressed excitement to be able to visit venues again.
Detailed below are the 6 key insights from the latest report:
1. Sustainability is becoming more important to consumers; from food sourcing, to food wastage and food packaging. This most likely is heightened by recent media coverage, but is a topic the hospitality sector needs to be not only responsive to but be sector leaders in.
2. The pandemic appears to have alerted attentions to 'local produce, local people', most likely due to concerns of viruses remaining on materials and a desire to support local businesses. As such we have recorded heightened awareness and interest across this broad theme.
3. For the past year there has been an upward trend in the appeal of wastage sustainability, specifically healthy soil. This relates to the sustainability topic by which consumer knowledge is increasing and recent media coverage is providing the motivation to encourage consumers to make a change.
4. There is a level of appeal in restaurants providing meal kits and part prepared meals. If considering this service it is key to understand consumer requirements, specifically around dessert options, healthy options, dietary options and food presentation.
5. Consumers expressed excitement in the hospitality sector re-opening their doors, and as such we have recorded heightened intentions to visit venues more frequently than before the pandemic. This most likely is driven by the social need to interact with others, the feeling of being independent and the pent up demand to experience hospitality.
6. Consumers recognise that the COVID health & safety measure required in venues need social distancing and more stringent hygiene, but some feel the experience and atmosphere is lacking. However, they are eager to go and support local, but it is these healthy & safety measures that will drive their confidence to visit.
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