At the Forefront of 2021’s Food Trends: Top Ten Things to Consider

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2023 Food Trends

2020 has brought changes not only to the way we live, but also to the way we eat. With the continued shift in consumer behavior, there is a growing demand for greater value and increased levels of convenience when it comes to food. This has changed the game for franchise owners, especially those who are looking to expand their operations. To stay ahead of the curve and capitalize on the new consumer demands, franchise owners should pay close attention to 2021’s food trends.

Fortunately, with the right research, data, and insights, franchise owners can gain invaluable insights into what their customers are looking for and what food trends are emerging as the most popular. Now, more than ever, is the time to be proactive about understanding the foodservice market, arming sales teams with data-driven insights and analytics, and strategically expanding a brand based on a comprehensive understanding of the foodservice market. To ensure that franchise owners have the best chance of success in 2021 and beyond, here are the top ten things to consider regarding food trends in 2023.

1. Transparency & Traceability:

Consumers today have become more and more conscious about the food they’re eating and where it’s coming from. Traceability and transparency of food sources have become key in the foodservice industry. They want to be able to trust food brands to give them accurate and up-to-date information about the origin of their food. Franchise owners should take note of the transparency and traceability of their sources and ensure that their customers are confident in their choices.

2. Plant-Forward menu:

As the demand for vegan and vegetarian options continues to grow, franchise owners should adjust their menus accordingly. This trend is seen across the board – from restaurant menus to pre-packaged meals, plant-based alternatives are increasingly popular. Franchise owners should consider adding plant-forward options to their menus in order to capitalize on this trend and make their menus more appealing to today’s health-conscious consumer.

3. Local & Sustainable Sources:

Local and sustainable sources have gained tractionin recent years. Consumers are now more likely to seek out and support local farmers and producers in order to limit their environmental footprint. Franchise owners should take advantage of this trend by sourcing their produce, ingredients, and other necessary items from local and sustainable sources. Additionally, featuring local ingredients on their menus will make them stand out from their competitors as a purveyor of locally sourced, sustainable foods.

4. Expansion of Alternatives:

Once upon a time, the options for dairy and protein-free alternatives were limited. However, as awareness grows, so has the range of dairy and meat alternatives that are on the market. Consumers are paying close attention to nutrition labels and are always on the lookout for options that are just as tasty as their non-vegan alternatives. Even dairy-free ice cream has infiltrated the foodservice market. Franchise owners should keep an eye out for and take advantage of this growing trend to ensure they’re providing their customers with the alternatives they’re looking for.

5. Packaging & Delivery:

The explosion of the delivery industry in 2020 has left its mark on consumer preferences. Consumers now expect food to arrive quickly and conveniently with minimal packaging. Franchise owners should keep up with this trend by providing packaging and delivery options that are minimalistic and sustainable. Additionally, they should pay close attention to their delivery protocols in order to make sure their food reaches their customers in a timely fashion and in perfect condition.

6. The Rise of Meal Kits:

Meal kits have become increasingly popular due to their convenience and affordability. For franchise owners looking to capitalize on this trend, offering pre-packaged meals and meal kits is a great way of attracting new customers and retaining existing ones. Franchise owners should think carefully about their customers’ needs and the kind of pre-packaged meals and meal kits that would best appeal to them.

7. Food Innovation:

People’s palates are continuously evolving. This means that menu innovation is key in order to keep customers preferring and returning to a franchise. Franchise owners should explore various cuisines, flavors, and ingredients to create new variants of old favorites that resonates with their customers. Additionally, if a franchise offers catering services, they should make sure to incorporate variations on their menu to keep customers interested and engaged.

8. Digital Presence & Integration:

Nowadays, digital presence is key in order for a franchise to stand out from the competition. It’s no longer just about having a website or being active on social media. Franchise owners should explore various digital solutions that can help them streamline and optimize their operations. From contactless payment systems to online ordering, there are plenty of digital solutions that can help franchise owners interact with and serve their customers better.

9. Environmental Advocacy & Socially Responsible Practices:

Consumers today are paying close attention to businesses that prioritize environmental awareness and sustainability. As such, franchise owners should make sure that their practices reflect their commitment to sustainability and social responsibility. This could be anything from switching to compostable packaging to donating food to a nearby food bank. These small actions can go a long way in appealing to today’s conscious consumer.

10. Effective Data Management & Analysis:

Data is the key to getting to know customers and understanding the foodservice industry. Franchise owners should equip themselves with the right tools to access and analyze the data they need. Whether it’s menu data or sales prospecting information, having comprehensive insights into their customers’ needs and preferences gives franchise owners the edge they need.

The foodservice industry has been on a rapid upswing in 2021, leaving franchise owners with an immense opportunity to capitalize on popular food trends. With the right research, data, and insights, franchise owners can stay ahead of the game and develop a comprehensive understanding of the foodservice market. Combined with a focus on transparency, plant-forward options, sustainability, innovation, and effective data management, franchise owners can make sure they’re always one step ahead when it comes to their customers’ needs and preferences.