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< Back to news 03 January, 2009

`Tis the Seson....to Consider Consumer Trends

Best Western research has shown that a third** of consumers would now consider going away for the festive period, with 40 per cent* of the population considering Christmas an opportunity to go out for

It is important that Beacon members take advantage of this, but also take into account changing tastes and behaviours to keep ahead of the competition and meet the demand, but at the right price.

Chris Arnold, purchasing manager for Beacon comments: “Our nominated suppliers meticulously research consumer trends for the festive period in order to identify changing tastes and behaviours so they can offer the best range of produce to meet demand.”

Phil Marshall of Woodward Foodservice, one of Beacon’s nominated food suppliers, suggests that variety is the key to the current market in Christmas dining-out. He says:“Rich game flavours, prime fish and classics with a twist will all make popular alternatives this year - for example, we’ve added Turkey Wellington and Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken stuffed with Porcini Mushroom Duxelle to our new Christmas products to help caterers offer a point of difference.

Surveys also reveal that vegetarian options have become much more important, as nine per cent* of diners who eat out over the Christmas period believe that there are not enough vegetarian alternatives. A high quality vegetarian selection is a clear indicator of attention to detail and can make a difference in attracting a large party even one or two diners are vegetarian.

The right product must also be priced right. Phil Marshall comments: “We recommend considering different pricing options for two and three course meals or think about working in extra courses such as sorbet, fish and cheese to give added value.”

*Source: Mintel – Christmas Food, Market Intelligence, August 2002 and Christmas Catering UK, October 2000

**Source: NOP World Consumer research carried out on behalf of Best Western Hotels October 2003