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Menu Flavours - UK - January 2014

“One in 10 diners agree they actively look for dishes in restaurants that they have read or heard about (eg in magazines/TV), rising to 19% amongst Londoners. This illustrates the significance of headline grabbing products and dishes in today’s fast moving eating out market.”

– Helena Spicer, Senior Foodservice Analyst

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • What products can help operators cater for Britons’ conflicting demands for safe and adventurous dishes?
  • How can social media be leveraged to drive footfall?
  • What opportunities are there for London food trends outside of the area?
  • How can flavour trends help operators tap into the buzz surrounding upcoming events?

This report analyses some of the key menu trends evident in the UK foodservice market in 2013 and leading into 2014 such as hybrid baking products, ethnic street food, regional American cuisine, smoked meats and emerging sandwich concepts (eg lobster subs, French dip rolls, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches).

It aims to examine the motivations behind many of these trends, such as the globalisation of menus, and establish their longevity, suggesting opportunities going forward. For example, fusion products are increasingly appearing on mainstream menus (e.g. Korean-influenced hot dogs with kimchi toppings) tapping into interest in niche ethnic cuisine types. Meanwhile, ramen (Japanese noodle soup) and pho (Vietnamese soup) have benefitted from wider consumer trends such as the demand for fresh ‘real’ food. Ethnic street food also represents an opportunity for the market going forward, appealing to those diners who are looking for ‘something new and different’ through niche products such as bhel puri (savoury Indian snack food made with puffed rice, fresh vegetables and tamarind sauce), for instance.

Similarly, the report examines the evolution in the UK market of the American cuisine trend from gourmet burger bars to specialist BBQ joints to smoke houses, as ‘Americana mania’ continues to grip the market, and product and venue differentiation becomes harder in an increasingly competitive sector.

Consumer research for this report attempts to quantify current usage and future interest in these current menu flavour trends as hybrid baking products (e.g. cronuts and duffins), as well as the continual premiumisation of comfort food such as gourmet éclairs.

The report also explores consumers’ general propensity to be adventurous when dining out of home, with over a third of diners reporting that they are always looking to try dishes they have not had before, compared to 17% who would like more restaurants to give them recommendations based on dishes they like.

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Abbreviations
        • Executive Summary

            • Market drivers
              • Frequency of eating out
                • Figure 1: Frequency of eating out, November 2013
              • Consumer confidence
                • Figure 2: Consumer confidence index, January 2007-December 2013
              • Food costs continue to rise
                • Regulatory issues affect menus
                  • Meat, fish and poultry trends
                    • Americanisation of menus
                      • Ethnic food at restaurants
                        • Figure 3: Use of and interest in ethnic food at restaurants, November 2013
                      • Baked goods/desserts at restaurants
                        • Figure 4: Use of and interest in baked goods/desserts at restaurants, November 2013
                      • The consumer
                        • Attitudes towards eating out
                          • Figure 5: Attitudes towards eating out, November 2013
                        • What we think
                        • Issues in the Market

                            • What products can help operators cater for Britons’ conflicting demands for safe and adventurous dishes?
                              • How can social media be leveraged to drive footfall?
                                • What opportunities are there for London food trends outside of the area?
                                  • How can flavour trends help operators tap into the buzz surrounding upcoming events?
                                  • Trend Application

                                      • Pushing side dishes as the main event
                                        • Encouraging more adventurous purchases through online tools
                                          • Old Gold
                                          • Market Drivers

                                            • Key points
                                              • Opportunities to reinvigorate spend per head as consumer confidence continues to recover
                                                • Figure 6: Consumer confidence index, January 2007-December 2013
                                                • Figure 7: Consumer spending priorities (after bills), November 2009-November 2013
                                              • Rising food costs prompt menu changes
                                                • Regulatory issues affect menu trends
                                                  • A third of adults eat out at least once a week
                                                    • Figure 8: Frequency of eating out, November 2013
                                                    • Figure 9: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2008-18
                                                • Meat, Fish and Poultry Trends

                                                  • Key points
                                                    • Chicken
                                                      • Gourmet fried chicken specialists
                                                        • Dual product operators
                                                          • A growth in ingredient- not dish -specialists
                                                            • Pork trends
                                                              • Fish trends
                                                                • A fish and chip shop renaissance?
                                                                  • Fish in healthy and on-trend dishes
                                                                    • Growth in more relaxed fish dishes
                                                                      • Lobster becomes mainstream
                                                                      • The Americanisation of Menus

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • The Americanisation of menus in the wider eating out market
                                                                            • Burger trends
                                                                              • Making burgers stand out
                                                                                • Bun experimentation
                                                                                  • ‘Shock tactics’ in burger buns
                                                                                    • Hotdogs
                                                                                      • French dip rolls
                                                                                        • From burger specialists to a renaissance of American diners…
                                                                                          • …to interest in southern American cuisine…
                                                                                            • …and drinks trends
                                                                                              • 2014 – the year of the smokehouse?
                                                                                                • Seafood dishes highlighted by growing trend towards American dishes
                                                                                                  • Americana mania is also driving sandwich trends
                                                                                                    • 2014 – a year of the gourmet toastie?
                                                                                                    • Ethnic Food Trends

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Significant interest in global cuisine
                                                                                                          • Specific targeting of different meal occasions
                                                                                                            • Asian bars and gastropubs
                                                                                                              • The growth of ethnic street food
                                                                                                                  • Figure 10: Use of and interest in ethnic food at restaurants, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Indian snacks
                                                                                                                  • Ethnic noodle soups
                                                                                                                    • Pho
                                                                                                                      • Ramen
                                                                                                                        • South American dishes
                                                                                                                          • Steamed buns
                                                                                                                            • Global fusion flavours
                                                                                                                            • Baking/Dessert Trends

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • Use of and interest in baked goods/desserts at restaurants
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 11: Use of and interest in baked goods/desserts at restaurants, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Regional differences in interest for baked goods
                                                                                                                                  • From grab and go baked treats….
                                                                                                                                    • …to premium baked treats as desserts
                                                                                                                                      • Savoury baked goods
                                                                                                                                        • Hybrid baking – cronuts & duffins
                                                                                                                                          • Global bakery
                                                                                                                                          • Attitudes towards Eating Out

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • Increasing diners’ enthusiasm for spending on eating out through ‘safe adventure’
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 12: Attitudes towards eating out, November 2013
                                                                                                                                              • European flavours
                                                                                                                                                • Experimentation within different menu areas
                                                                                                                                                  • More interest in adventurous sides than starters
                                                                                                                                                    • Sauces can cater for experimentation
                                                                                                                                                      • Breakfast moves into new spheres
                                                                                                                                                        • Willingness to pay more for tasting platters peaks amongst the 25-34-year-olds
                                                                                                                                                          • Sharing concepts remain popular
                                                                                                                                                            • Experimentation with service types and eating out concepts
                                                                                                                                                              • Adventurous dining has an age bias
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 13: Selected attitudes towards eating out, by age, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Frequency of Eating Out

                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 14: Frequency of eating out, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 15: Frequency of eat in restaurants, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 16: Frequency of takeaway/home delivery, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Attitudes towards Eating Out

                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 17: Attitudes towards eating out, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 18: Most popular attitudes towards eating out, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 19: Next most popular attitudes towards eating out, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 20: Attitudes towards eating out, by frequency of eat in restaurants, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 21: Attitudes towards eating out, by frequency of takeaway/home delivery, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 22: Attitudes towards eating out, by most popular attitudes towards eating out, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 23: Attitudes towards eating out, by next most popular attitudes towards eating out, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 24: Use of and interest in ethnic food at restaurants, by most popular attitudes towards eating out, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 25: Use of and interest in ethnic food at restaurants, by next most popular attitudes towards eating out, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 26: Use of and interest in baked goods/desserts at restaurants, by most popular attitudes towards eating out, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 27: Use of and interest in baked goods/desserts at restaurants, by next most popular attitudes towards eating out, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Use of and Interest in Ethnic Food at Restaurants

                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 28: Use of and interest in ethnic food at restaurants, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 29: Use of and interest in ethnic food at restaurants – Dosa, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 30: Use of and interest in ethnic food at restaurants – Ramen, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 31: Use of and interest in ethnic food at restaurants – Empanadas, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 32: Use of and interest in ethnic food at restaurants – Gyoza, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 33: Use of and interest in ethnic food at restaurants – Baozi/bao, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 34: Use of and interest in ethnic food at restaurants – Bhel puri, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 35: Use of and interest in ethnic food at restaurants – Pho, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 36: Use of and interest in ethnic food at restaurants – Ceviche, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 37: Use of and interest in ethnic food at restaurants, by frequency of eat in restaurants, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 38: Use of and interest in ethnic food at restaurants, by frequency of takeaway/home delivery, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 39: Use of and interest in ethnic food at restaurants, by most popular use of and interest in ethnic food at restaurants – Have ordered, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 40: Use of and interest in ethnic food at restaurants, by next most popular use of and interest in ethnic food at restaurants – Have ordered, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 41: Use of and interest in baked goods/desserts at restaurants, by most popular use of and interest in ethnic food at restaurants – Have ordered, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 42: Use of and interest in baked goods/desserts at restaurants, by next most popular use of and interest in ethnic food at restaurants – Have ordered, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Use of and Interest in Baked Goods/Desserts at Restaurants

                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 43: Use of and interest in baked goods/desserts at restaurants, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Use of and interest in baked goods/desserts at restaurants – Local speciality, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 45: Use of and interest in baked goods/desserts at restaurants – Churros, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 46: Use of and interest in baked goods/desserts at restaurants – Non-traditional savoury baked goods, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 47: Use of and interest in baked goods/desserts at restaurants – Gourmet éclair, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 48: Use of and interest in baked goods/desserts at restaurants – Cronut, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 49: Use of and interest in baked goods/desserts at restaurants – Duffin, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 50: Use of and interest in baked goods/desserts at restaurants – Alfajors, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 51: Use of and interest in baked goods/desserts at restaurants, by frequency of eat in restaurants, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 52: Use of and interest in baked goods/desserts at restaurants, by frequency of takeaway/home delivery, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 53: Use of and interest in baked goods/desserts at restaurants, by most popular use of and interest in baked goods/desserts at restaurants – Have ordered, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 54: Use of and interest in baked goods/desserts at restaurants, by next most popular use of and interest in baked goods/desserts at restaurants – Have ordered, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 55: Use of and interest in ethnic food at restaurants, by most popular use of and interest in baked goods/desserts at restaurants, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 56: Use of and interest in ethnic food at restaurants, by next most popular use of and interest in baked goods/desserts at restaurants, November 2013

                                                                                                                                                            Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                            • Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Restaurants, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                            • D&D London
                                                                                                                                                            • Five Guys Enterprises, LLC
                                                                                                                                                            • Gourmet Burger Kitchen
                                                                                                                                                            • Hungry Horse
                                                                                                                                                            • London Trocadero
                                                                                                                                                            • McDonald's Restaurants Limited (UK)
                                                                                                                                                            • Pernod Ricard
                                                                                                                                                            • Planet Hollywood
                                                                                                                                                            • Ruby Tuesday Inc.
                                                                                                                                                            • Smashburger Master LLC
                                                                                                                                                            • Strada
                                                                                                                                                            • The Restaurant Group plc
                                                                                                                                                            • The Wendy's Company

                                                                                                                                                            Menu Flavours - UK - January 2014

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