Aviko General Manager Lists Eight Trends to Watch in 2015
- The boundaries between foodservice and retail will get closer. Consumers will continue to exert power and influence, demanding companies to cater to their needs when it's convenient for them. The companies that listen and act quickly will be the winners.
- In a multi-channel and multi-cultural environment, there will be an ongoing shift from regionalization to personalization as smart operators deconstruct their operations and menus, while increasing localized customized offers that have greater meaning to consumers.
- Ubiquitous use of technology will continue. More organizations will change their approach and reach out to customers through multiple online mediums. The key will be to better understand and translate the data received into meaningful tangible outputs that add value.
- The winners will be adept at agility marketing. With the explosion of data into Zettabytes, the best marketing teams will have more customer data, be capable of faster adaptation and shorter lead times, while continually harnessing food trends to drive customer footfall.
- Food polarization will continue. Consumers will have an overall healthier diet, accompanied by weekly treats or indulgences such as cappuccinos with cream, donuts and fried food.
- Social time will be more special. As the demographics of society continue to change – including the rise of the grey consumers and the Z-generation – consumers will increasingly value time with family and friends, making occasions more special.
- Casual dining will continue to drive out-of-home sales. There has been an explosion of casual and fast-casual dining outlets over the last two years, offering quick food at low prices and in a contemporary and trendy environment. This is much more evident in large cities, with food concepts such as Roosters Piri Piri, Chipotle and Five Guys increasing in numbers.
- Eating in retail stores will become more prevalent. Clothing retailers increasingly realize that they have to provide an in-store experience; otherwise customers will simply order online. There are now restaurants, coffee shops and food-to-go options in retail outlets, and this looks set to increase in 2015 as retailers strive to cater for “on-the-move” customers.
As general manager of Blackburn, England-headquartered Aviko UKI, Mohammed Essa knows a lot about frozen potato and snack product markets in Great Britain and Ireland, as well as a good deal about spud production in the United Kingdom and continental Europe. Not surprisingly, he is also a keen consumer trends watcher and analyst.
“The fundamentals of commerce will never change, but as the landscape develops with the speed of technology, what matters most now is how to activate those fundamentals,” wrote Essa in the Aviko newsletter issued online (www.aviko.co.uk) on December 11. “Smart organizations know they need to stay ahead of trends and anticipate the next big thing, or risk being devoured by competitors.”
Listed below are what he believes “could be some of the most interesting developing trends in the UK food industry next year”: