Both Ian and Charles have recently attended separate Industry insight and research seminars, from both Mintel and Allegra and the key messages that apply to our clients are as follows.
The latest research shows that grab'n'go, coffee shops and high street retail outlets will be the leading growth areas in 2015, along with consumers wanting more customisation - premiumised informality is in vogue. Brands and chains are taking market share from independent operators. In the last year they have grown by 6.5% in value and 3.5% in the number of outlets.
Consumers are seeking more "customisation" in their choices, not surprisingly the biggest growing high street brand is Subway (with 30,000 outlets worldwide), where the combinations are almost endless.
Healthy, "worthy" food at work, is still on the agenda, although "wow food" is becoming more popular as consumers are seeking a treat.
Whilst the ASDA Income shows income at its highest with energy prices giving at least £15 per month additional income per household; however consumer confidence is not as high as at start of 2013!
Breakfast is an incresingly important meal occasion, with many more outlets including pubs having a specific offer, and 50% of all adults buying breakfast products every week and bacon the most poplular items an area to focus on.
One interesting statistic was that one in six of the UK population dined out on Christmas Day, a premium opportunity!!
So what are the trends for 2015, continued growth of coffee shops for sure. Eating out of home whether at work or play will continue to grow. We'll see more premium informality - Michelin Star food at Michelin Star prices, but in an informal setting, Tom Kerridge at The Hand and Flowers for instance? Korean food could be the next big thing. Will we finally see tea shops emerge in the same way we saw coffee shops all those years ago? Watch this space!