Food Industry Trends that will define the new normal post Covid -19

Food Industry Trends

The Covid-19 storm has brought devastating impact all around the globe. The restaurant industry in India today bears witness to one of the most challenging times that it has ever faced, the extent of which can be understood by the fact that its mere survival is at stake now.

The change in consumer behaviour, social distancing norms, the time and again implementation of lock down in phases in different parts of the country and the increasing risk associated with travelling is unlikely to bring back restaurant sales to the pre-pandemic figures. Infact, it would take more than a year for the restaurant industry to recover completely from its effects.

However, as the restaurants return to the new normal they are finding new ways to run their restaurant and appeal to the masses. Keeping in mind the interest of their customers who now prefer to enjoy meals at the secured environment of their home, restaurateurs shift their focus towards the trend of online ordering, contactless deliveries, pickups and takeaways and are channeling their investments in smart technology that would keep up with the needs and demands of the evolving market. Many of them in fact are redefining their business model and bringing in conceptual changes in their operations right from procurement and processing to delivery and service, setting new trends for the industry.

Some of the trends that are gaining huge popularity and would continue to do so in the post covid future includes :

Healthy Eating

As a result of the pandemic we now see an increase in consumer preference towards organic food, vegan diets, sugar free products, gourmet food, vegetarian food and other health foods. The demand for such foods is likely to increase more in the future given the fact that people are now much more conscious of their health and understand the importance of healthy eating. Restaurant menus will include more plant based food, gourmet meals and we will see fruits and vegetables replacing junk food on the customer’s plate, ensuring people of the high quality food standards adopted by the restaurant.

Grab and go meals

Even while stepping out of their home to savor a meal from their favourite restaurants, customers now prefer to have it on the go, which has led to an increase in takeaways and pick ups at the restaurant. While many place their orders online at the restaurant for takeaway food, some place their orders at the restaurant’s takeaway counters, avoiding the restaurant’s dine in facility. People are more likely to opt for online ordering of takeaway food than to visit the restaurant for the next couple of months and probably even after that until they are sure of a safe environment outside their home.

Home Deliveries over Dine in

This perhaps, is one of the most evident trends that we have seen during the quarantine period. The lockdown has forced many restaurant businesses to transform their dine-in only business model into a delivery centric business model. According to a study 3 out 5 customers who want to enjoy restaurant meals, now prefer to have it delivered at their homes instead of visiting the restaurant. This is why traditional eateries and emerging food start ups, all foresee a great opportunity in online ordering systems to revive restaurant sales or bring new business opportunities. This is also why we see the rise in number of cloud kitchen setups as compared to physical restaurant spaces.

Tech Driven Service Solutions

From third party delivery apps to QR code based menus, restaurants are increasingly investing in technologies that would facilitate contactless operations and minimize human involvement while delivering excellent customer service. Smart tech solutions not only addresses people’s concern over going out but also provides them easy access to the restaurant’s food and services and helps in establishing consumer confidence in the brand.

As consumer behaviour keeps changing, they are majorly driving changes and altering trends in the food industry, forcing them to constantly experiment and innovate with their products and services to match up to the customer expectations.

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