U.K. Food, Restaurant Trends For 2015

What's ahead for the U.K. foodservice industry? After weighing in on the top emerging trends in the U.S., consulting firm Technomic shifted its gaze to the U.K. market to see the transformative food and restaurant trends for the coming year.

CHICAGO (PRNewswire) — What's ahead for the U.K. foodservice industry? After weighing in on the top emerging trends in the U.S., leading food research and consulting firm Technomic shifted its gaze to the U.K. market and sees these transformative food and restaurant trends for the coming year:

Trend 1. Alternative Diet Focus

The forthcoming allergen labelling requirements will fuel significant changes at restaurants, namely by compelling operators to be more transparent about the ingredients they use. We'll see an increase in gluten-free, peanut-free and dairy-free options on menus over the next year, as well as more attention to vegan/vegetarian and faith-based diets. These changes may present a challenge to some, but those who fully embrace it have the opportunity to broaden their customer base.

Trend 2. Regional British Cuisine

Pride in regional cuisines is influencing restaurants across Great Britain thanks in part to the recent Scotlandindependence referendum. Operators are rediscovering rustic preparations and classic dishes of their area and menuing local flavours and ingredients. Restaurants are even showcasing regional British cuisines in other regions to further differentiate yet celebrate the varied cuisines and cultures of each nation in the U.K.

Trend 3. The Bold Life

Today's consumers are maximising their foodservice occasions by seeking flavourful options on menus. Look for smoky and spicy flavours to lead culinary innovation, with inspiration found in U.S. regional Creole and Cajun fares, as well as the increased use of ethnic condiments, sauces and peppers that pack a punch. Bolder takes on barbecue—a trend that developed from the street-food movement and continues to gain steam—will incorporate global influences, particularly from Asia and the American South.

Trend 4. The Customer Knows Best

The National Customer Satisfaction Index's reported decline in satisfaction at restaurants has operators working to make consumers feel more involved and appreciated than ever before. Count on chains to use a range of mediums, particularly social media, to obtain feedback on everything from where to open their next unit to what items they should—or shouldn't—offer on menus. Additionally, expect operators to find new ways to cater to customers, such as making their online services more user-friendly and personalised to the individual.

Trend 5. Expect the Unexpected

Consumers' constant demand for innovation is resulting in some unexpected changes to restaurant operations and menus. Restaurants—even established chains like KFC and Pizza Hut—are experimenting with major brand shakeups as a way to extend beyond their comfort zone and appeal to a larger audience, particularly Millennials and Generation Z. On the operation front, we should anticipate new prototypes and service styles and more technological advancements. On menus, expect more mash-ups (e.g., hybrid foods, mealpart crossover) that surprise diners and add twists to classic recipes, as well as new beer cocktails and kid-friendly mocktails that bring originality to beverage menus.

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About Technomic

Only Technomic delivers a 360-degree view of the food industry. We drive growth and profitability for our clients by providing the most reliable, consumer-grounded, channel-relevant data with forward-looking strategic insights. Our services range from major research studies and management consulting solutions to online databases and simple fact-finding assignments. Our clients include food manufacturers and distributors, restaurants and retailers, other foodservice organizations, and various institutions aligned with the food industry. Visit us at technomic.com