With multiple restaurants being opening up in metro cities as well as in suburbs, food industry witnessed some of the best times in the last few years. With crazy number of events, live concerts, jam sessions, stand-up comedy nights and so on – eating out frequently in restaurants and lounges had become a part of our lifestyle. Until Covid19 happened.
The current pandemic has forced us to adopt too much change in a too short a period. Countries around the world are implementing a number of measures to contain the further spread of the virus where securing public health is the primary concern. From personal hygiene to food choices – people are taking their general health much more seriously. In this scenario, the urgent task of the restaurant industry is rebuilding consumer confidence. Along with the implementation of hygiene protocols and social distancing, they should also understand the emerging trend of food consumption and eating habits to retain customers. Being one of the top Hotel Management colleges in Eastern India, we introduce our students to various global norms and trends so that they stay relatable, no matter how difficult the situation is. We engage them with liberating insights on how to create a global management perspective and add value to customer service.
So, here are 5 food trends that we believe the industry will witness in the post Covid19 era:
- Inclination towards local produce:
As long as there is no vaccine available in the market, people are concerned to boost up their immunity to fight with the disease. They want to eat fresh produce over canned and frozen varieties. Fresh seasonal vegetables and fruits will replace imported ingredients. The initiative ‘vocal for local’ will be especially implemented when it comes to food consumption because the demand for local is mostly driven by health. Hot food will be preferred over cold food as the later reduces digestive fire.
- More veggies, less meat:
Vegan diet and plant-based eating will be given preference as people were made aware of the multiple health conditions associated with a meat-based diet. Bubonic plague, HIV, SARS, Ebola – a host of infectious and deadly diseases have hopped from animals to humans and even from humans to animals. With Covid19 taking the globe by storm, more and more people will go vegan and this market will see a rise in ‘vegan only’ brands. Restaurants will come up with recipes focusing on health, farm-to-table experience in their vegan menus. Mock meats and meat alternatives will become popular among non-vegetarian who will turn into a vegetarian, whether for humanitarian or health reasons. Mock meats are plant-based products made using soya protein, wheat gluten or vegetable substitutes like jackfruit offering more nutritive value, more fibre, lower fat content and minus the cholesterol that animal fats offer. Restaurants must include these options to allow the customers to add the required protein content to their meal.
- Gourmet street food:
Indian has a wide variety of street food to offer and we love to dig into it for its incredible taste. But not anymore. Hygiene and cleanliness is the biggest takeaway from this pandemic. People will not feel safe anymore standing in the queue beside the road for gulping Golgappas or Vada Pav where personal hygiene and sanitisation protocols are not up to the mark. At this time, we may expect to witness the rise of many gourmet street food brands in the organized sector who will serve good quality fresh food that tastes great coupled with hygiene and convenience of delivery.
- Homemade experiences:
Homemade food is the safest option that we all are relying now. Hence, more and more F&B brands will promote the idea of ‘Homemade’ or ‘Mom made’ food. The trend was already explored by a few brands before, and now we will see a major rise of this concept. Home cooking is back in favour and some restaurants are also offering ready-to-eat delicacies. Hospitality brands would provide private catering services that will have the option of ‘cooking at home’ for a small group of people post the pandemic. The idea is to monetize the emotion attached to safe and healthy homemade food that all Indians can connect to.
- Increase in takeaways:
Dining out will take a back seat while takeaways will be on the rise. Ordering food online is more convenient and time-efficient. The home delivery business has survived during the lockdown and in the future too, people will prefer home deliveries instead of dining out. Restaurants will adopt extra hygiene measures to retain the trust of the customers. It is possible that customers in the future would rather prefer picking food from their favourite restaurant on their own for greater safety while avoiding the delivery services. Top restaurants will offer ‘premium’ delivery that will give complete food experience sans the ambience.