In today’s fast-moving hospitality sector, it’s more important than ever for operators to keep on top of consumer behaviour and interests. Adapting your offering in line with key trends is a great way to attract new customers and stay relevant in an industry that’s increasingly competitive.
From veganism to low and no drinks, 2019 has seen a variety of trends, some of which are here for the long haul. However, as we approach 2020, what are the food and drink trends that are set to take the hospitality industry by storm?
Here’s a look at what we think will be the top five food and drink trends of 2020 that your business should take seriously.
From Prosecco to sparkling wine in cans, fizz is everywhere right now. With this year’s London Cocktail Week hosting a masterclass dedicated to the history of carbonated water, bubbles are no longer reserved for Champagne and sparkling wine. 2020 is set to be the year of the premium carbonated mixer. For operators, this creates the perfect opportunity to capitalise on a growing trend and stand out through creating your own collection of cocktails using carbonated drinks, offering customers a unique drinks experience. Sparkling water itself has also seen a revamp with new ‘hard water’ set to hit the UK in coming years following it success in the US as the low calorie, low sugar drink of the summer.
No sugar foods
Following the introduction of the sugar tax and increased consumer awareness of healthy diets, the development and interest in sugar alternative has grown massively. This is set to continue into 2020 with syrups and sweeteners made from monk fruit, pomegranate, coconut or dates gaining popularity over traditional sugars such as honey and maple syrup as ways to add a touch of sweetness to desserts, marinades and glazes. Introducing a sugar alternative can be a great way to offer customers an opportunity to try something new, tap into a health trend and set your brand as an industry leader.
In 2019, low and no beverages were arguably the star of the show. The trend quickly gained traction as consumers looked to put their health front and centre, with 65% of UK drinkers looking to cut down their alcohol intake, according to research by the International Wine and Spirit Record. In 2020, the non-alcoholic happy hour is set to go mainstream as consumers’ focus around health and the demand for wellness-orientated products increases. Adult no-alcohol mixers are also set to gain further popularity in 2020 following the launch of high-end non-alcoholic mixers by the likes of Coca-Cola and Fever Tree as big name brands help drive the category forward.
Alternative Asian cuisine
Alternative Asian inspired food is set to be on everyone’s mind as consumers look beyond mainstream dishes such as ramen and Pho, which have saturated the market in 2019. Inspired by street food and fusions, Vietnamese cuisine will be a stand out in 2020 with soups and egg coffee – a drink traditionally prepared using egg yolks and condensed milk, predicted to be a big hit with consumers.
Hello again to dark spirits
A spirit that may have been left on the back of the shelf, 2020 will see the popularity of rum soar following its success in recent years as sales hit over £1bn. Consumers are always on the hunt for new, innovative flavours, which is why this is predicted to be a big trend in 2020 – even overtaking the growth of gin. Why not add a rum-spin on a traditional cocktail and offer your customers something different?
Trends come and go, which can make it hard to identify which ones are genuine shifts in consumer behaviour and which are simply overhyped fads driven by social media. However, for operators, being aware of what is set to capture the imagination in food and drink - and how your business makes the most of them - is key to staying relevant to consumers.
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