What else is on the Horizon?
When I was thinking about my top two predictions for 2017 a few weeks ago I read with interest the Propel bulletin that presented the research from foodservice consultancy Horizons.
They say that food sales in 2017 will continue to slow as Brexit uncertainty will lead to UK customers watching their pennies and seeking more innovative, budget friendly ways to enjoy good food. They added that our exit from the EU will put “pressure on the price of food and equipment, energy and labour”… “shaky consumer confidence will see diners seeking out deals, vouchers and money-off promotions”. This is in stark contrast to the reports from AMLR that say food sales are at a 10-year high! I guess it’s all about perspective and as I always say, when you do what you do exceptionally well, to the right target market and with a clear eye on the details and profit margin, then you can’t fail to succeed.
Horizons’ predictions were not all doom and gloom – they foresee a rise in the specialist eateries like dessert cafes, all-day brunches and bespoke dishes cooked to order. Proof of this can be seen in the success of ventures like Mae Deli. Horizons also share my view that there will be expediential growth in the use of third-party food delivery firms such as Deliveroo (see a recent email entitled Profiteroo!).
Horizons say that our consumers’ “ongoing preference for eating what they want, when they want it” will continue urging food service outlets to prepare for such demands with interesting, exciting menus that offer flexibility on time and location (delivery services again!).
They also report that vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian dishes are now almost mainstream. Interestingly, their prediction is that Middle Eastern cuisine is set to be a key influence on menus this year with dishes from Turkey and Lebanon gaining popularity as ambitious chefs make more use of ingredients such as tabbouleh, falafel, halloumi and pulses.
An interesting year ahead – I’d love to hear your predictions.
P.S. To read the whole Propel article, click here.