A new year marks a new start for consumers up and down the country. But what will they be looking for and how can you stay relevant? Our Market Insights team have analysed reams of data to put together these top 10 trends. Take a look at the key opportunities you should prepare for this year.
Guest Article from Beacon supplier Bibendum
1) South America
Following the North American barbecue and burger phenomenon that swept across the UK, we predict South America will make a similar impression on culinary creations around the country. Ceviche and Nikkei flavours will grow in popularity in London in the early part of 2015. It’s not just food menus where the Americas are making headway - on top of the old favourites from Argentina and Chile, we’re seeing great wines from Uruguay and Brazil. Both of these countries made appearances in wine lists in 2014, and we predict these countries will become more widespread on lists up and down the UK.
2) Hot honey
Hot sauce is dead, long live hot sauce. Anything dubbed “the new Sriracha” has got to be worth taking note of. As more operators join the dining scene, this is one new ingredient that has the potential to be a smash hit. The heir to the popular Asian inspired hot sauce is based on a condiment found in a rural Brazilian pizzeria. It hits all the right notes of sweet, spicy and smoky that makes us predict we’ll start seeing it in street food venues in 2015.
3) One place for all occasions
Solving the problem of where to take fussy families to eat is the all-in-one restaurant. From pubs that serve breakfast to vast multi-cuisine eateries, we predict we’ll see a lot more openings of destinations that aren’t necessarily unique but empower the consumer by giving them more choice. On top of thinking of new ways to entice customers during the afternoon, a drinks list that offers a range of drinks from mimosas for brunch, light wines at lunch, through to some pre and post dinner drinks can add interest to your offering as well as add to your bottom line.
4) The return of the dining cart
Ultra-trendy San Francisco eatery, State Bird Provisions, sells nightly dim sum specials via a dining cart. It’s created a unique buzz and relies on customers being able to see what they can eat before they order. On these shores, the newly opened Black Lock in Soho will be using a trolley to advertise and sell cocktails. It works on the simple premise that “you eat with your eyes” as well as “eye level is buy level”. Check our tips on merchandising your back bar to get your bar ready for 2015.
5) Middle Eastern food
Simmering away without really capturing the mainstream public’s attention in the same way as American comfort food until now. We predict 2015 will be the year of the chick pea. Restaurants in London like Honey & Co. and Palomar have made headway already and as food writers like Persiana’s Sabrina Ghayour appear more frequently on cooking shows. We predict that the public will want to explore the cuisine of the cradle of civilisation.
6) Limited but guided list
Easier to train staff, greater control over stock holdings and simple for consumers. The benefits of a smaller, more focused wine list are clear. It’s taken a foothold in whole sections of Soho: think Rex and Mariano, DF Mexico and 10 cases, among others. It’s an easy way to make wine less confusing and offer a curated experience for your customers.
7) Regional ingredients
The slow food movement brought local ingredients with low food miles to tables in a way that was good for the environment. This trend is evolving and now flavour is king. Named breeds of meat, and specific butchers and fishmongers featured on menus, which helps to indicate quality and reassure consumers. And just in time for this emerging trend, wine producers right here enjoyed a bumper harvest in 2014. Quality has never been higher for English sparkling wine so expect to see consumer demand increase even further.
8) Speakeasy cooking
If last year was the year of the supper club, 2015 will be the year that the professionals take it to the next level. Now that consumers are becoming more familiar with chefs who aren’t necessarily on television, their power to draw consumers to unusual venues for one-off events will increase. We expect to see more creative takes on dinner, a kind of edible secret cinema.
As soon as the big players sense a change, you know it won’t be long before operators up and down the country take notice. On the back of falling sales across virtually every market, McDonalds announced a trial where diners could customise every aspect of their meal. Following the lead of better-burger operator Five Guys and In-N-Out, it could prove to be a very astute move. Early adopters in the UK are sure to take notice. When it comes to wine, the new rule is that there are no rules. From house Sangria blends to adding all manner of fruit or liqueurs to drinks, consumers will pursue flavours rather than styles in order to tailor their experience to what they want.
10) Creating tradition
Appealing to millenials to customise or personalise your brand ties in with their predisposition to create their own traditions. An offer for specific experiences can build trust with consumers and let them feel like they own the experience. Think Moscato brunches or Malbec and Steak nights. In 2015, if you can highlight the dining experience at times like brunch or dinner, you’ll be able to capture the disposable income of this important, emerging group.
To find out more about Beacon and our supply base and how we can help you run a more profitable business, please contact us today on 01904 695588.