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5 of 2017’s hottest HoReCa sector trends

The hotels, restaurants, and cafes (HoReCa) industry is probably the most dynamic food service sector in the world today. Still, navigating all its twists and turns can be tricky. Things change fast.

What was once the “in thing” can very quickly become yesterday’s news in the world of hospitality, especially in the food and beverage sector.

Acting as a handy navigational aid while you sail this sector’s choppy waters, we’ve put together a guide to five of the hottest HoReCa trends that have emerged in 2017 thus far.

HoReCa in 2017: 5 top trends

Restaurants without seats, seats without restaurants

Pop up restaurants, and fast casual dining experiences, caused a sensation when they first appeared mid-way through the decade. In fact, before 2009, the phrase “pop up restaurant” barely registered on Google search phrases. Now, it seems a new eatery is appearing in some unconventional locale every day.

Pop ups are not going anywhere soon  - but the concept is evolving quickly. Baum + Whiteman (B+M),  global restaurant consultants, have predicted the new pop up frontier is “restaurants without seats, seats without restaurants.” 

In practice, this means a couple of things. One is kitchens setting up in discreet, off-beat places, known as “phantom kitchens”, where food is then delivered into cities. The next is a kind of Airbnb for diners. Apps such as VizEat allow amateur chefs to invite strangers into their homes for a paid meal.

Rise of vegetarians prompts greater healthier options

Across the world, it seems more and more people are giving up beef, pork, and poultry in favour of meat-free lifestyles. Approximately 375 million people across the globe are vegetarian or vegan, according to the Heinrich Böll Foundation. That’s roughly 5% of the Earth’s entire population.

For the HoReCa industry, that means a shakeup in a) menus and products on sale and b) provenance of ingredients. Health is major concern – it’s one of Turkish consumers’ key buying drivers, for instance – so greener options are appearing on specials lists and menus worldwide right now.

Restaurants are now also obliged to provide more allergen-aware dishes too against higher levels of vegetarian and vegan options. According to consumer research specialists the NPD Group, diners are more likely to see a venue as high quality if they see these options on the menu – even if they would prefer not to order them.

The backlash from meat-eaters might be starting already, however. Nose-to-tail butchery, powered by the growing prominence of artisanal meat producers, is a key market trend right now.

Diners get bowled over by bowl food

Bowl food is exactly what it sounds like: dishes served in a bowl. There is, however, a greater degree of thought then just sloshing together a bunch of ingredients and serving them with abandon.

Proper bowl food, inspired by Hawaiian and East Asian dishes, have ingredients prepared separately. They are then dropped into the bowl in accordance to set rules covering colour, calories, special diets, compatible foods, and so on.

In many ways, bowls align with customers’ desire to eat healthy. Popular choices include mixtures of cereals, fresh and dried fruits with purees, and Hawaiian Poke (pronounced “poh-keh”) which is a mixture of meat, fish, chill, and vegetables.

All standard stuff, but why are they so popular? Apparently, it’s all in the mind. Psychologically, eaters are prone to be more attentive and mindful when eating a hand-held bowl, claims B+M. They are also said to feel fuller faster, and stand a better chance of picking out all of the flavours and textures while chewing too.

Coffee is all about convenience

A casual stroll around seemingly any major metropolis reveals a staggering array of independent coffee shops. In the UK, for example, such small operations account for an impressive 30% of the total market. Thing is, consumers want their coffee on the go, wherever they can get it, so non-specialists are leveraging this into more market share.

Non-specialists are defined as outlets that do not solely sell coffee and related products. Think of places like supermarkets, book stores, and even pubs. If we take a look at the UK market, where 39% is covered by such channels, then it only goes to show the value of this segment for coffee suppliers.

Breakfast: the most important meal of the day

Anyone operating in the HoReCa sector knows good breakfasts are a significant draw – particularly for hotel operators – but the first meal of the day is increasing its prominence by moving into new consumer spaces. All-day and brunch options are increasing in popularity worldwide.

The types of breakfasts on offer are changing too. Of course, each nation has its own unique breakfast food traditions, such as Turkey, where cheese is an integral part of the morning meal. But in hotels, where menus are often set regardless of national setting, a variety of flavours and ingredients are shaking things up.

According to B+M, “smooth foods”, like scrambled eggs and porridges, are being phased out in key HoReCa territories, like Europe and the US. Instead, crunchier textures are finding favour with diners. Expect breakfast menus to feature options such as fried chicken, chorizo, and coarser cereals from 2017 onwards.

Discover these key HoReCA trends and more at WorldFood Istanbul

If you’re a HoReCa sector buyer, looking to capitalise on these latest trends and more, you can at one of ITE Exhibitions’ food and drink events.

ITE Exhibitions is a world leader in food and beverage trade shows, with an extensive portfolio of shows to suit every food and drink professional.

For more information head to our event’s page.

Alternatively, please contact us to get the lowdown on our shows.


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