FUTURE CONSUMERS – A LOOK AT THE OPPORTUNITIES AHEAD
Whilst our concept design is always informed by client briefs rather than what the "Colour of the Year" might be, there are certainly overarching shifts in consumer attitudes and technological innovations that are worth considering. We take a look at the key trends set to influence F&B in 2019.
Using the same technology behind Pokemon Go; AR done well is providing excellent customer engagement via smartphones and tablets. Both Magnolia Bakery and NYC restaurant chain Bareburger allow customers to visualise menus in a 3D interactive way before ordering, with the Bareburgers menu also linked to snapchat for valuable social reach.
Apps have huge potential to enhance the customer experience, whilst also speeding up service, providing valuable feedback to operators and increasing brand visibility. Apps have the interactive advantage of personalisation, offering loyalty schemes, order and pay by phone options, the ability to search menus for specific dietary requirements, translating menus and allowing guests to rate dishes.
FOOD & BEVERAGE
Whilst not a new for 2019, it would be remise not to mention the traction in this area, fuelled largely by heightened environmental and health consciousness. Where this choice extends beyond the food offer, consideration should be given to upholstery choices, avoiding animal derived products such as hide leathers and wools.
The UK Department of Health are considering non mandatory measures requiring restaurants to display calories on their menus and reduce calories in a bid to tackle obesity and end those indulgent Instagramable freak shakes.
A third of 16-25 year olds don't drink alcohol, driving demand for innovative alternatives like kombuchas, mocktails and zero alcohol ranges. Generation Z are also not staying out as late as their predecessors.
SIMPLIFYING COMPLEX LIVES
In 2019 many venues are needing to work harder by providing a all day offer. In the US Starbucks has converted some locations into wine bars after 4pm when the demand for coffee trails off, whilst co-working spaces blend with bars and restaurants which later host music events.
As consumers grow more enlightened on plastic waste and where the items they consume originate, 2019 will see increased support for locally sourced and ethical produce.
Despite technological advancements, in 2019 customers continue to seek meaningful physical interactions. Brands need to spark a emotional connection to space, through authenticity and storytelling.
In interiors we see this translating to a demand for classic and minimalist designs, such as bentwood and rattan furniture that endure the test of time and the comforting, reassurance of natural wood finishes and other natural tactile fabrics that juxtapose the slick technology influences. We'll be watching closely to see how the trends evolve and impact the F&B industry in 2019.