Each year we like to dust off the crystal ball and predict what will be the “hottest” trends for food for 2010, so here are our Top 7 predictions for the coming year:
1. Food lanes
We profiled this trend last issue and will begin to see them unveiled in coming developments. Food Lanes combine the convenience of a food court with the intimacy of a laneway through decreasing the common seating area and increasing the tenancy sizes to accommodate dedicated seating and a “slow cooked/ cooked to order” section. This is definitely the “next generation” for Food Courts.
2. Old brands in new locations
As the fast food market begins to move into a maturing phase, expect to see our most demanded brands search for new models to retail from such as inside supermarkets, co-branding, at hospitals, petrol stations and sporting venues.
3. Healthy, ethical options
No matter what the cuisine is, every fast food outlet will need to address the requirement for low fat, freshly made, organic, fair-trade, gluten free, nut free, locally sourced and seasonal menu lines from hamburgers to ice creams. (It reminds us of the milk ad on TV at present)
4. Value priced meals
Born of the GFC and now a perfect fit with the grazing nature of the largest fast food consumer group (18 – 24 year olds), all operators need to include a range of value priced meals, be they “combo” deals or snack sized lines.
5. Deluxe meals
And for every value priced meal there is a polar opposite need to offer a “deluxe” or gourmet meal option for the customer “trading down” from restaurants and cafes but still wanting premium quality foods.
6. Bars, bars and more bars
We predict a rise in “pop up bars” in all major capital cities, particularly around the CBD, a trend for “izakaya” bars (intimate Japanese style bars offering drinks and snacks), Dim Sum Bars (check out Silk Road Dim Sum Bar at Sydney International Airport), Champagne Bars, Teppan Bars, Noodle Bars, Dumpling Bars and on and on and on ….
7. East meets West
Australia will look to the Asian Food Court model of lots of specialty outlets offering narrow focussed menus (i.e. dim sum bar, teppan bar, laksa house) while Asia will adopt the Australian Food Court model in terms of creating more intimate spaces in their food courts rather than the utilitarian approach of the past. The closer the ideas are shared between Asia and Australia in terms of Food Court design and tenancy mix, the greater the outcomes to all players.
Source: Brain and Poulter in Food Week, 15 February 2010, http://www.foodweek.com.au/Default.aspx?tabid=53&ID=6538