Convenience Matters

 

Of the many food trends for 2017 that are offered by industry experts at this time of year, three from a recent Mintel report are particularly applicable for retail bakery.

Technology, global ingredients, and unique experiences are cutting-edge trends expected to make a huge impact on the U.S. foodservice market this year, according to Mintel.

With restaurants where customers never interact with employees and other with pizza-making robots already emerging, the availability for technological innovations that improve overall experience will grow into an expectation in 2017, Mintel reports. As costs are becoming more substantial and the price of food for at-home consumption continues to decline, food operators including bakeries are streamlining operations. Of note, convenience plays a role in where Americans choose to spend their food dollars, as 82 percent of consumers says convenience is an especially important aspect when eating out.

Also in 2017, restaurants and food retailers will increasingly automate service to provide convenience and efficiency to consumers, whether through kiosk-only restaurants, chatbots that allow online users to make reservations or drones that can deliver pizza to customers' doorsteps.

On a related front, the experiential dining trend is set to grow quickly in 2017. Mintel recommends the opportunity to stand out from the crowd is too good to pass up. And finally, whatever your format, Mintel reports that a focus on authenticity is essential in 2017, especially for younger generations who crave authentic experiences and foods.

"Global cuisines and flavors that are new to American palates are growing on menus as the desire for authenticity grows, while restaurants are aiming to fulfill consumer cravings for unique experiences with photo-worthy meals and venues," says Amanda Topper, associate director of foodservice research at Technomic.