Many consumers, today turn to their daily food and drinks to provide them with functional healthcare and wellness benefits. However, sustainability and well-being are not the only trends that shape the food and beverage industry. The consumers are looking for innovative culinary experiences that tease and delight the senses. There have come and gone some food trends while others have become mainstream. 2019 is expected to be an exciting year for the food and beverage industry, and with healthier, more natural formulations offering unique flavor profiles, consumers will reap the benefits.
Evidenced by the growing popularity of farmers’ markets and food tours, the locavore movement has continued to build loyal followers among consumers interested in tracing the origins of their food and enjoying fresh, healthy and environmentally friendly cuisine. Similarly, the highest-caliber restaurants and chefs take inspiration from nature to provide a culinary experience steeped in local flavors. Many customers turn away from traditional protein sources such as meat with the growth of vegan, vegetarian, and eco-friendly movements. Rather, they are looking for veggie-centric main courses and other protein sources such as beans, lab-grown meat options, insect protein, and plant milk.
Open kitchen restaurants, street food, and a return to cooking over fire lead to a more relaxed atmosphere in which customers also feel closer to the chefs, ingredients, and methods of preparation that make up their culinary experience. Increasing food trucks and street food in cities around the world is introducing urban consumers to a wide range of flavors in a fun atmosphere at an affordable price. Food photography and social media sharing have highlighted both culinary aesthetics and flavor. Many culinary innovations can be found in the creative world of pastry and confectionary combining the visually delightful with the delicious.
It is well known that technology will drive global traceable sourcing in this digital world; advancements will enable faster food service, efficient kitchens, and real-time management and marketing of customer relationships via mobile devices. Changing consumer expectations and behaviors will drive restaurants with re-imagined service styles, the menu offers, pricing and targeted messaging to meet shifting needs.