Food is a booming business because everyone consumes it. However, for your food business to succeed it should be able to meet the consumer needs and preferences. Over the years market trends have shifted to reflect current preferences and requirements. Going into 2018, here are some factors that will shape the food business and how you can take advantage of each.
With the busy lifestyle, home-cooked food has taken a backseat, and consumers are searching for alternatives that support their way of life. Long working hours among households has created demand for convenience. As it is, sales of takeaways have increased over the years and could equal the amount spent on food consumed at home. Even at the workplace, consumers prioritize convenience opting for takeaways.
As a service provider, you will have to employ alternative methods of delivery to cater for the growing demand for convenience food. Advancement in technology is changing the food delivery landscape although traditional methods still dominate the field. You can either outsource delivery services or provide them yourself.
Customers does not prefer travelling miles to have their food, they prefer going to the nearby places and satisfy themselves with delicacies. Try expanding your business by opening multiple branches or by giving franchise to different people of several areas.
Customers can reach you either through phone calls or order online. Online shopping is a common trend as it offers consumers comfort, variety and saves time. You can choose to create a website that consumers can use. Alternatively, there are single online portals that showcase offerings of multiple restaurants. Consumers can either download apps or log on to the site, here, they can compare menus and prices, place orders and rate or review the restaurants.
You would love food prepared how you want it, when you want it and where you want it. Personalization has helped various organizations grow their reach and retain their customers. In the food industry, soft drinks companies, coffee houses, and pizza shops have already embraced customization. Customization is the key to differentiation in the food industry. A consumer wants a product that connects. Embracing customization in your business will help you find a niche in the market, create loyalty, reach the intended customers and make your product unique.
In most instances, the consumer is willing to incur an extra cost to get a customized product. Therefore, rather than mass producing the same foods you can opt to make several customized dishes that would fetch equal or more revenues. The other trend is the single-serve trend that is popular in pizza shops; rather than sell the whole pizza you sell it in slices.
Market trends are moving from mainstream products towards niches that appeal to fewer customers in the long tail. As production and distribution costs reduce, it is more viable to sell customized products. Shy away from categorizing consumers and products in one pool. In the restaurant setting, the open kitchen has taken over.
Another customization trend is the focus on sustainability and environmentally friendly goods. You will notice an increased demand for eco-labelled products and organic foods. Consumers also want to know the source of the food they eat. You can leverage on this need to provide food made with local farm-sourced ingredients. Better still you can specify the sources in your menu. Remember, customization can also apply to service delivery. Coupons, after sales delivery and other promotional activities, can help you increase your market base.
The technology Influence
Consumers are accustomed to shopping at the comfort of their mobile phone and websites as it is faster and effortless. Having an online presence helps you grow your reach, revenues, and brand. You can create social media pages for your products to connect with your customers. You can leverage the advancements in technology to grow your business online. Here are some pointers on how to increase online presence and add value.
- Know your target audience; – Make your products and services visible to people who are most likely to purchase them. Identify the demographic specifications of the customers.
- Develop quality content; – create engaging and relevant information including the services, mission statements, values and educational material in the industry. The goal is to encourage customers to revisit and interact. Make room for a comments section and a question and answer forum.
- Provide individualized content; each visitor has a unique need, endeavour to make each experience different.
- Invest in technology and mobile capabilities; – most consumers have mobile devices. Take advantage of this fact by using solutions as apps, mobile sites, maps, notifications and click-to-call tools.
- Integrate sales channels; – consistency in product and delivery is important in building a brand.
Focus on Health Conscious
Current trends indicate an increase in the demand for foods that are more nutritious. Fitness, lifestyle diseases, and demographic shifts in households are some of the contributors of the trend. Growth in the number of millennials households is driving the demand for more organic foods and healthy options. Another trend driving the market is the food influencers, using celebrities and activities to push for certain foods. Recently, you have witnessed the rise of the gluten-free campaign mainly driven by food influencers who are chefs, authors or activists. Unlike past years,