The Changing Face of Food Tastes

The Changing Face of Food Tastes

18 July 2018

Food tastes are constantly changing, with 2018 already seeing a variety of trends beginning to affect the food industry. With their buying power, millennials are one of the driving forces behind these, however generally change occurs over time and not abruptly.

How are millennials impacting the food industry and what changes can we expect to see?

More Customisation

Having a wide variety of options at one’s disposal has become the ‘norm’. Controlling what goes in their meal is a big part of millennials’ attitude towards food, so they prefer having a range of options. Be it bowls, burgers or sandwiches, there are options for every taste. Consumers can choose their favourites and mix in new ingredients to try, creating unique meals tailored to individual preferences.

Convenience is Popular

Millennials live busy lives and eating prepared food is a convenience for them. A study performed by the University of Arkansas revealed that eating out has increased 43.5% since 1970. With a more ‘on-the-go’ lifestyle, millennials will opt for grab and go options that are portable, easy to open and easy to eat while moving.

The Rise of the Plant-Based Diets

The choice of vegetarianism and veganism have risen in the past few years and plant-based meat is predicted to hit $6.43 billion sales (approximately £4.8 billion) by 2023. After all, according to Tim Barford, manager of VegFestUK, we have “got a real cultural change among millennials, which is very much built around justice and the way we look at animals”.

With half of millennials considering a meatless diet, many restaurants are addressing this shift and delivering more vegetarian and vegan options. An example is itsu, an UK Asian-inspired food chain, which have added vegan dishes to its menu and doubled their sales – 20% of these come from meat-free options.

A Health Focus

Millennials are very concerned about what is in their food. Consequently, 68% of millennials are willing to pay more for non-GMO and organic products and 66% are willing to pay more for sustainable foods.

Fermented foods appear to be in fashion, especially with the health-conscious in this age group. Fermented foods, such as kimchi, sauerkraut and sourdough bread possess live cultures that improve gut health and aid digestion.

Protein-packed diets are equally becoming more popular, with 81% of millennials considering protein content to be “extremely or very influential when making grocery store purchases”. Millennials do think of protein sources in a broader sense, as seen by the rise in meat-free options. The Keto diet is another trend that sees consumers focusing on protein and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (‘good fats’).

Cashier-Free Grocery Stores

Amazon Go is located in Seattle, USA, and is a ‘new kind of store with no checkout required’. For now, it is still at an experimental stage. The idea behind it is to employ the world’s most advanced shopping technology for a shopping experience where customers do not have to wait in line. They just use the Amazon Go app to enter the store, take the products they desire and leave.

According to Amazon, this is only possible due to technologies such as computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning, also found in self-driving cars. Products that are taken out are detected automatically with the online retailer’s Just Walk Out technology and, once the consumer has finished shopping and leaves, they receive a receipt and their Amazon account is charged.

A version of Amazon’s vision of the future of brick-and-mortar stores with two thirds of millennials preferring to make payments without any human interaction  may truly become a widespread reality.

Social Media and Food

Foodie culture and the rise of technology paves the way to Instagram-worthy pictures. Millennials are actively sharing their food interests on social media, and this increases the influence of the trends they are driving. 69% of millennials take photos or videos of their meal before consuming it, which spotlights the brand or restaurant featured.

At KLBD Kosher, we understand that millennials are changing the face of the food industry and we reflect this in the services we offer. Get kosher certified or contact us today on +44 (0) 20 8343 6255 (or email us at info@klbdkosher.org) to learn more about how we can help.