Here are, what I believe could be, some of the most interesting developing trends in the UK food industry next year:
The boundaries between foodservice and retail will get closer. Consumers will continue to exert power and influence, demanding companies to cater to their needs when it's convenient for them. The companies that listen & act quickly will be the winners.
From regionalisation to personalisation. In a multi-channel & multi-cultural environment, we'll see smart operators deconstructing their operations and menus, while increasing localised bespoke offers that have greater meaning to consumers.
Ubiquitous use of technology will continue. More organisations will change their approach and reach out to customers through multiple online mediums. The key will be to better understand & translate the data received into meaningful tangible outputs that add value.
The winners will be adept at agility marketing. With the explosion of data into Zettabytes, the best marketing teams will have more customer data, be capable of faster adaptation and shorter lead times, while continually harnessing food trends to drive customer footfall.
Food polarisation will continue. Consumers will have an overall healthier diet, accompanied by weekly treats or indulgences such as cappuccinos with cream, donuts and fried food.
Social time will be more special. As the demographics of our society continue to change - including the rise of the grey consumers and the Z-generation - we will value our time with family and friends, making occasions more special.
Casual dining will continue to drive out-of-home. We have seen the explosion of casual and fast-casual dining outlets over the last two years, offering quick food at low prices and in a contemporary and trendy environment. This is much more evident in the cities, with food concepts such as Roosters Piri Piri, Chipotle and Five Guys increasing in numbers.
Eating in a retail store. Next year, you may do more of your fine dining while you shop for fine clothing. Increasingly, clothing retailers are realising that they have to provide an in-store experience otherwise customers will simply order online. There are now restaurants, coffee shops and food-to-go options in retail outlets, and this looks set to increase in 2015 as retailers strive to cater for 'on-the-move' customers.
As another year closes, I'd like to thank everyone who has worked with Aviko, and the wider food industry, for the progress we have made. I trust you will find the Q4 newsletter informative and, as ever, we are happy to receive feedback/suggestions/ideas from our customers. Please feel free to get in touch with me directly at email@example.com or through our customer service centre at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous 2015 to everyone!