Healthy options, customisation and ethnic and spicy foods are the top menu trends set for UK growth to mirror the US.
According to Patrick Noone of Technomic speaking at the Arena Summer Event, UK consumers are expected to follow behaviour in the US and favour greater levels of customisation in meal options such as the rise of build your own sandwich or pizzas and greater choices within the QSR market.
This is evidenced with larger fast food outlets mimicking the trend, such as McDonalds in the US giving patrons the chance to mix and match sauces and toppings with their meal.
The popularity of ethnic and spicy sauces has seen growth in the use of Szechuan sauce on UK menus of 50% over the past two years, with Kimchi growing by 42.9% in the same period and Peri Peri continuing to rise by 20.3% in that time meanwhile the use of curry sauce has increased by 26.5% in that time.
While diners are becoming more adventurous, Noone argued they are also becoming more conscious of the heathy credentials, however the desire to be healthy is not always reflected in consumer behaviour demonstrates people make different in-store choices when faced with indulgent foods.
The association between provenance and health in consumers’ minds has given rise to a growth in popularity of ‘locally’ sourced foods – the UK outpaces the US on this trend.
Technomics suggest consumers are becoming more interested in healthy eating trends which results in more food labelling in restaurants and retail. These include superfoods, vegan and vegetarian diets, paleo diet, GMO free and allergen free foods.
Meanwhile the popularity of pork in all types of cuisine is expected to continue following a growth in the hot dog sector of 361.1% growth over a two-year period; Asian pork dishes have grown in popularity by 61.5% in the same period, while ribs have enjoyed a surge of 30.3% in the same two year period.