CHICAGO, Nov. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.K. foodservice scene continues evolving in unique and interesting ways. Looking forward to next year, Technomic has identified five key trends expected to play major roles at British restaurants:
1. Catering to the Millennial customer. As the influence and collective spending power of U.K.'s Millennial generation grows, expect to see restaurant operators amplify efforts to target these consumers via foods and brands that appeal more directly to a Millennial demographic. Also watch for new mobile apps and digital tools that integrate seamlessly into Millennials' lifestyle, as well as shifts in restaurants' service formats, menus, atmosphere and overall dining experience to align with the key values, preferences and expectations of Millennials.
2. The evolution of pubs. Classic British pubs will push even harder in 2014 to transform and grab market share from conventional restaurants by focusing more attention on creating upscale, premium food and drink (particularly speciality coffee and American craft beer); launching repositioned outlets in nontraditional sites; introducing web-enabled ordering systems that emphasise convenience and speed of service for guests; and promoting low-price-oriented menus and new loyalty programmes designed to spur customer traffic and strengthen the value perception.
3. Honest chicken. Thanks in part to the recent crop of "better chicken" concepts opening in London, emerging chicken-focused concepts will flourish in 2014, a trend closely tied to growing consumer interest in sourcing, preparation and menu transparency. Expect to see chicken increasingly described as "free-range," "locally sourced" and "hand-battered." We'll also see more American influences in the form of barbecue chicken and buttermilk fried chicken, as well as simpler cooking techniques that let the quality of the chicken speak for itself.
4. Migration of street food. Fueled by younger consumers' demand for authentic and unique offerings, chefs are looking to global street foods for menu inspiration for their brick-and-mortar restaurants. Trendy street-inspired dishes starring on menus include Venezuelan arepas, Chinese jian bing and bao, Taiwanese hirata buns and Italian arancini. Ethnic beverages like Mexican aguas frescas and horchata will carve out a wider niche on the menu. Also watch for dynamic flavour mashups from different cuisines and the continued growth of food trucks serving ethnic and fusion street foods.
5. Telling the sourcing story. Transparency is now top-of-mind for operators who want to keep customers confident in their brand. Use of eco-friendly food packaging, such as recycled or reusable cups or stemware, is increasing along with a growing commitment to ethical food sourcing. Next year will bring a surge in brand campaigns communicating quality and traceability. Watch for package logos denoting animal welfare standards, in-restaurant signs documenting supplier sourcing, and marketing initiatives focusing on the use of British and Irish products.
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SOURCE Technomic, Inc.