More than half of 2015 has transpired, which is at once baffling and comforting. Time keeps slipping away, but its passage allows us a glimpse at patterns that may influence the months and years ahead.
Here are four food and beverage industry trends that are positioned to impact the market in meaningful ways in the next year.
1). Restaurant Rewards
When people have been grinding away at life and work for long stretches, dinner at a restaurant appears to be an experience that provides a simultaneous sense of relief and pride. It’s all been worth it, one might say upon dabbing the corners of her mouth and pushing away from a table made from reclaimed barn wood.
According to a recent report from the NPD Group, more customers are sitting down and eating meals in a restaurant than are carrying out or using a drive-thru. Dine-in visits represent $223.4 billion dollars annually for the industry whereas off-premises visits represent $200.3 billion, according to NPD’s foodservice market research.
2). Grocery Dudes
The burden of domestic life does not rest solely on the shoulders of women. No doy, you might say. Well, not too long ago, women were responsible for maintaining most, if not all, aspects of family life at home. In the past 30 years or so, domestic responsibilities have leaked into men’s lives, and now it appears that grocery shopping has become a chief chore that men assume.
According to a Packaged Facts report, shifting household dynamics are changing the way Americans shop for groceries. The report indicates that evidence shows the percentage of men who are now the primary shoppers in their households has more than doubled in the past two decades.
From the report: “Millennial dads in particular are proving to be a very unique group, with behaviors that are a significant departure from previous generations. This set had a different upbringing and don’t subscribe to traditional gender norms. Because of this, Millennial dads are redefining fatherhood by spending more time with their kids, doing a larger portion of the household shopping and spending lots of money.”
3). Store Brand Savings
Healthy foods and specialty items are trend thoroughfares in the industry today. Any processor knows to align innovations with these trends. As consumers continue to move into the health and specialty space, they are increasingly seeking products that also allow them to save a little scratch. They are consumers, after all.
New research from the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) suggests that private label brands can provide significant savings for consumers shopping along these trends lines.
When comparing gluten-free products, the PLMA market basket study found the private label products cost 17% less on average when compared to their national brand counterparts.
4). Food Waste Fight
For any number of reasons, lots of food gets thrown away. I just threw out a moldy cucumber the other day. It had found itself into the depths of the crisper and I discovered it a month too late.
The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) recently announced a commitment to tackling the global food waste challenge by agreeing to halve food waste within the operations of its 400 retailer and manufacturers members by 2025. According to the CGF, a third of food calories produced are never eaten. This represents an economic cost to the global economy of $750 billion per year and, if food waste were a country, its carbon footprint would be third only to China and the United States.
With the understanding that this food waste reduction commitment will have a major impact on the food and beverage industry, the CGF has established an implementation plan. Stay tuned.