In a recent report, McCain Foodservice have revealed the consumer trends that are shaping the casual dining sector. The report outlines that “With a willingness to think creatively, try out new things, and offer unique experiences, the sector has undeniably been home to some of the most exciting cooking of recent years.”
The main trends in the report include –
1. Experiential Dining
Moving away from the traditional, consumers nowadays are seeking enhanced dining experiences.
McCain note that “As the economy slows down, casual dining locations need to be savvy in order to drive new footfall.” This means upholding consistency in quality and pricing but also McCain underline that “…in an increasingly competitive industry, creating tangible experiences could be the way to stand out.”
2. The Vegan Revolution
Vegan options are becoming more and more readily available in restaurants and cafes in Britain. Indeed, this trend makes sense when considering that since 2016 an estimated 3.5 million UK adults are opting for a Vegan diet, avoiding animal products altogether (Guardian, 2018). Additionally, this figure doesn’t include “flexible vegans” who are open to experimenting with new diets and lifestyles.
McCain have noted that “Over the past few years Veganism has grown from a relatively fringe movement into a fully–fledged mainstream concern.”
“Far from being junk, this new creative wave of cuisine has revitalised the concept of what constitutes a vegan meal, and has arguably helped to raise awareness of veganism in the wider public.”
3. Lighter Indulgence
Alongside Veganism, healthy eating in general has become a priority for many consumers. According to The Caterer around 50% of diners consider the availability of healthy options when choosing where to eat out.
McCain have stated that “Now, many casual dining operators are increasingly looking to meet the idea of “healthy indulgence” on menus, whether that means offering meals that are lower in carbohydrates, fats, salts, sugars or even animal products.”
How will your business be responding to consumer trends? Click here to view McCain’s report in full.