Healthy eating, all-day brunch, bespoke dishes and Middle Eastern cuisine are amongst key eating trends for next year.
Foodservice consultancy Horizons says that “operators must remain innovative and cater for changing demand patterns” in order to succeed against next year’s uncertain economic environment.
Following Britain’s exit from Europe, customers are expected to reduce spending next year.
With that in mind it’s wise to have an eye on the latest and emerging food trends, so that your pub is the venue of choice in which to spend that extra cash.
1. Healthy eating
Perhaps unsurprising, but nevertheless important. If you thought you’d seen the end of kale then think again.
Horizons predicts that healthy eating will remain a concern among UK diners, who welcome natural sweeteners such as apple, dates and coconut.
It said: “Vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian dishes are now almost fully mainstream, while post workout power snacks and protein pots look set to become more popular, along with the use of super-food ingredients such as kale, green lentils and edamame beans.”
2. Dessert cafés
A fickle bunch – in stark contrast to healthy eating, Brits are also indulging at dessert cafés, which offer ice creams, gelatos, waffles, crêpes and sundaes.
Horizons’ recent Ones to Watch research noted the explosion of dessert cafés such as Kaspa’s, Treatz Dessert Parlour, and Creams. It seems people are willing to splash out on calories if the offer is right.
3. Middle eastern cuisine
Start thinking about ingredients such as tabbouleh, falafel, halloumi and pulses. Middle eastern cuisine is likely to be a key influence on menus, with dishes from Turkey and Lebanon gaining popularity.
4. All day brunch
Brunch has become a British pastime, with people choosing to use it as an occasion for birthdays or celebrations. Boozy brunches have been on the rise this year (see how to offer them in your pub here). While the customer’s desire to eat what they want, when they want it, means brunch isn’t just for the AM.
Horizons said that we “will see the continued erosion of traditional day-parts to which foodservice operators must respond with flexible menus throughout the day.”
5. Bespoke cooked-to-order dishes
Another trend fuelled by healthy eating, allergies and the desire to be able to eat whatever we want.
Offering “build your own” options on the menu could appeal to the 2017 customer.
6. Meal deals
Offers will remain popular in 2017, so don’t stop that burger & beer deal just yet.
Horizons’ managing director Peter Backman said: “Shaky consumer confidence will see diners seeking out deals, vouchers and money-off promotions.
“There is the potential for long-term positives to come out of Brexit although businesses will have to embrace change including the need to be less reliant on inexpensive labour, reducing waste and improving productivity.”