McCain's 2018 Casual Dining report is designed to help operators better understand how to stand out in an increasingly crowded sector, where staying one step ahead of consumers can often mean the difference between success and failure.
"In an increasingly competitive sector, we know how important it is for operators to be agile and adapt quickly to cater for changes in trends and consumer behaviour", Jo Simmons, McCain Foods Senior Brand Manager explains.
"Our report highlights 6 recent successes in casual dining, giving operators an idea of the direction that the sector is set to head in over the coming years".
Here's a few headline trends that they see on the horizon in 2018:
The number of adults following a vegan diet has increased around 500% since 2016, with 3.5 million vegans now living in the UK. More and more restaurants are now moving towards plant-based ingredients like jackfruit, tempeh, seitan and aquafaba to cater for this demand, with around 52% of outlets offering at least one vegan option.
Shifts in spending patterns indicate that consumers are spending less money in traditional retail and foodservice, and more money on outlets that offer experiences. Successful operators are creating experiences around the food they serve, whether through limited time only menus or placing emphasis on communal or interactive dining.
50% of diners say they consider whether a healthier option will be available when choosing where to dine out. However, consumers don't want to feel like they are moderating or calorie counting, and operators need to find the balance between offering healthy yet indulgent feeling options.
To read all insights and view information on key trends Bringing it Home, Craft Beer Meets Craft Food, and Community Spirit, download McCain's casual dining report here.
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