6 ways the food & beverage industry has evolved in 2021

The food and beverage industry has undergone some fascinating changes over the years. With the rise of pop-ups and street food and the onset of online food delivery companies making fast food, restaurants and even cocktails more accessible, the early 2010’s saw a shift away from standard high street chains and a move toward independent, Instagrammable spots.

The late 2010s and early 2020s have continued this trend but seen a number of other interesting trends pop up due to changing consumer desires, the COVID pandemic and the unstoppable rise of data.


 

1. Lost in the moment

Led by immersive experts Secret Cinema and Punchdrunk, the desire for experience-led, immersive events has taken the big cities by storm. Unique, one-off drinking and dining experiences have risen from the popularity of the theatre experiences, with Gingerline, Hackney Funhouse and Alcotraz Prison Cocktail Bar showing that dinner and drinks need not be a dull affair.

 

2. One thing, done well

The days of restaurants that sell five different cuisines picked from a menu that resembles the Yellow Pages are slowly beginning to wane. We’ve seen a rise in the simplification and specialisation of cuisine and menu choices, allowing the restaurants and chefs to perfect a few dishes which in turn maximises sales (because they’re often so damn tasty), while reducing storage, waste and the cost of production and innovation.

 

 

3. Nimble needs

Sprawling restaurant and bar locations have started to become less desirable, as the need for more intimate spaces with modular designs to allow restaurants to pivot at the drop of a hat. This flexibility allows restaurants to stay nimble and ensure maximum efficiency in an ever changing world.

 

4. Valued values

As the average consumer becomes more clued up on ethical matters such as carbon footprints and the use of ethically reared meat and fish, it’s never been more important for restaurants to wear their brand values on their sleeve. Customers want to know that the brand cares about the same things as them and that they actually walk the walk, sticking by their principles in practise. This is particularly important with social media in mind, with cancel culture at its terrifying peak.

 

 

5. Driven by data

It’s never been easier to collect data and be reactive off the back of it. Technology and social media has allowed owners to really delve into their customers experience, helping them become more aware and more efficient in their choices. It could be as simple as social media outcry for a certain dish to be brought back onto the menu and the restaurants announcement that they’ve heard and obliged, showing care and consideration for their customers.

 

6. The takeaway boom

While Deliveroo and Uber Eats had already breathed new life into the takeaway business, the pandemic really gave it a shot in the arm. Now restaurants that had never even contemplated pivoting to a delivering service, have either created specific menus for takeaway delivery, created DIY food kits or setup dark kitchens so people can continue to enjoy their delicacies from home.


As this market expands with more choice, customers will demand more from restaurants. Quality of food and the way it’s delivered will become more and more important. It will be those who focus on these details that flourish. This is where our expertise is invaluable. Through our years of research, we’ve created a range of packaging to ensure that those specific menu items are able to travel and retain their integrity from restaurant to table. Meticulously designed packaging that’s developed to suit your products needs. Because no one wants an upside burger.

Have a read on how and why optimised packaging has become so important.

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