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  • Writer's picturePhilip Marchant

Catering in the 2020's

Catering 2020 style

The hospitality industry is being forced to change and as 2020 progresses then more change must happen to follow the demands of the consumer.

Consumers are breaking traditional habits, experimenting with new styles and types of food, following new ideas and regimes, adopting new lifestyles, all to live more responsibly, more sustainably, more environmentally friendly and find a new type of happiness.

1 in five (20%) of the UK are eating less meat in 2020 than last year.

A Deliveroo Study has said that vegan orders had increased by 330% over the past two years. The number of sellers catering for vegans on online platforms has grown by over 160% in the past year alone.

Largely promoted into mainstream consciousness by charity Veganuary, the plant-based food movement has taken the world by storm in 2019 and continues to grow at a quite astonishing rate.

7% of the UK (around 3 million people) say they are intending to stop or drastically reduce consuming animal products.

Vegan isn’t new, but the growing trend is Vegan-ish and flexitarians are becoming increasingly popular. 70% of flexitarians say they consider themselves to be a healthier eater. 95% of vegans and 69% of vegetarians compared to just 54% of meat eaters.

This growing trend has been picked up by the large national retailers too with 29% of meals in supermarkets now containing no meat or fish in response to the demand for veganism.

35% of under 25’s sees FREE FROM products as being healthier for you and are more likely to order these.

Nearly 70% of UK Adults say the availability of healthy options is important when they eat out.

On the back of this salads are becoming increasingly popular. Even in street food:

SAVAGE SALADS is a food stall in the heart of Soho. For just £6 you get a box packed with a mix of salads, including sweet potato, pearl barley and chilli, and grilled courgette and red peppers, chickpeas, rocket and lemon, topped with grilled chicken or halloumi. Its extremely popular and there is always a queue and make sure you get there early as they often sell out.

Salads now are so much bigger and more diverse than just lettuce, tomato and cucumber. With items like;

– Ferments – such as lacto fermented sauces and miso – to add depth of flavour

– Unusual grains such as teff, freekeh to replace the ubiquitous quinoa

– Unusual nut butters in dressings and dips, like sunflower seed

– Underused produce like swede – which tastes amazing shaved raw, and seaweeds such as dulse

– Dehydrated vegetables that add texture

Salad bowls done well can be extremely Instagram-able along with the top five snapped food items which are:

– Milkshakes

– Burgers

– Doughnuts

– Sushi

– Chips

Taking pictures of your food trended for a while before it became a bit of a ridiculed action, but now it’s back with a bang with the focus on healthy alternative Free From food.

88% of Brits find elements such as ambience and service just as important as the food.

These days the overall experience is a necessity to a successful restaurant.

Grazing and street food go hand in hand (pardon the pun) many people now can eat up to six smaller meals a day with the conventional mealtimes gone. Others can eat mid-sized portions four or fives times a day along with snacks throughout the day.

Snacking can increase by over 70% in the winter months with the most popular days to snack being Wednesday and Thursday.

The ‘char’ flavour from BBQ style cooking is one of the oldest and popular methods of cooking and has been trending for the past few months, with its smokiness and woody depth heightening the taste of the ingredients it coats.

European, Middle Eastern and North African restaurants are also developing their menus on flames over the last few months along with street vendors there are now restaurants opening up around “a pit”. With not just meat and fish but also vegan and plant-based dishes can be enhanced with the Smokey flavour.

Alongside this fresh pasta is making a return, with chefs playing around with interesting pasta shapes and sauces. It’s also win-win; for restaurants, it means high margins – and for customers it means our favourite bowl of carbs just got more exciting.

Theatrical elements have been steadily on the rise over the past few years, in an attempt to create the ‘wow’ factor for customers. Gen Z are all about experiences. They would happily spend £100 on an exciting evening at a show-stopping restaurant with the wow factor.

Sustainability is more than a trend or a buzz word that’s been headlining since the start of 2019. For consumers in 2020, being sustainable requires balance.

A balance of diet – flexitarian diet with plant-based products, many people aren’t avoiding meat, but are now more interested and motivated to try alternatives.

A balance of nature – eco-friendly packaging, carbon neutral, products from fair trade or sustainable sources. Recycling and waste reduction. Highlight your achievements in these areas.

A balance of budget – with delivery companies and offers people can now get the food they want in their own home at a fraction of the cost of eating out. And they can save as they are not tempted to expensive cocktails or desserts or an upsell so will save money.

Consumers are changing their habits and their expectations, are you?

But the one thing that remains constant is great food from great ingredients and amazing service in a fun, friendly and dynamic atmosphere is always a winning recipe.

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