On January 26-30, 3,000 exhibitors and brands and 200,000 hospitality professionals — including 25,000 chefs — will descend on Lyon, France for Sirha 2019. The event, organized every other year for more than three decades, presents all the news and trends in the world of foodservice. This year, the show joined forces with Food Service Vision to produce a list of the top seven influences and trends that will have an impact on the industry in the near future.
“We are convinced that food service shapes the way we will eat in the future and it seems important to share with professionals in the industry both the weak and strong signals that we are picking up and decrypting, in particular thanks to our exhaustive network of experts and the events we organize in different parts of the world,” says Marie-Odile Fondeur, Sirha’s managing director.
Here are the top seven trends we should see at the forefront of foodservice in the next few years, according to the resulting Influences in Food Service report:
- Flexitarian diet
Recent years have seen an increase in the consumption of plant-based products, not only by those on vegetarian and vegan diets, but also by an overall shift toward reduction of meat consumption. A 2016 survey by Kantar Worldpanel found that 34 percent of French households have at least one member who is flexitarian.
Sirha’s report predicts that sustainability is going to upend the economic model of the foodservice industry and may be the most impactful trend in the coming years. “The way food is produced, preserved, shipped and consumed needs to be rethought entirely. This includes the issue of plastic packaging and recourse to local sourcing.”
- Naturally good
Consumers are aware of the close relationship between their diet and their health. 72 percent of Chinese consumers are concerned about the quality of the food they eat, according to a 2016 survey by McKinsey. The industry is responding to this concern, developing products and equipment aimed at eating a more natural and healthy diet.
In addition to freshness of products and transparency, local consumption is driven by economic motivations, and in some cases, regional or national pride in a culinary culture. The local food movement has reached chefs as well as guests, and is even more pronounced in younger generations. In fact, according to a 2016 Food Service Vision survey, 60 percent of customers want to find local food offerings.
Culinary offerings are becoming increasingly diversified in most regions of the world. Access to new ingredients is easier than ever before, and culinary cultures now spread more easily as information is shared at light speed. Globalization is a source of opportunity for operators who are developing in distinct areas around the world.
Home delivery is booming, and it’s changing the landscape of brick-and-mortar stores and restaurants. The number of digital services available is growing rapidly, including click and collect, online reservations, home delivery and electronic payments. In fact, 43 percent of French restaurants say they’ll be proposing home delivery by 2020, and 45 percent of French consumers have used a click and collect option.
- Attractive places
Dining in 2019 isn’t just about the food. Restaurants need to offer an experience in order to compete with home delivery and other types of entertainment. A 2017 Food Service Vision study found that attractive environment is the third criteria mentioned by millennials when choosing a restaurant, and the first when choosing a bar. But making a restaurant beautiful has an impact on the digital space, too — offering a great experience means greater visibility on social media.