How can future trends in the food and beverage industry and developments in consumer behavior be used for press work and public relations?
Especially this year, forecasts concerning new food trends are subject to constant transition. The F&B industry is also heavily affected by the Corona crisis. Changes in our eating behavior, the food industry and production, but also in our view of sustainability have reshuffled the cards. What will come, what will stay, what will go? And how can we as a PR agency use these insights?
How are consumers thinking?
“Corona is also changing the Germans’ everyday nutrition,” the Federal Minister of Food Julia Glöckner emphasizes. In fact, a quick look at the current studies shows that the last few months have brought up many new food developments. Given the recent lockdown, it does not seem surprising that people have been spending more time at home cooking for themselves since the crisis. This is what 30 percent of those questioned stated in a Forsa survey on the subject of “Nutrition in the Corona Crisis”.
What rather seems surprising, is that thereby consumers are increasingly taking factors such as freshness, organic quality and the origin of their food into account. It seems as if the pandemic has made it clear that solidarity and regionality must be promoted. Over 80 percent thought it was important that fruits, vegetables, meat products, fish and the like came from the region. In this context, there is also a higher appreciation for agriculture and food producers.
But how do the informative and initially very positive developments help us look at the coming year? Certain trends cannot be missed if one is trend-savvy and is looking at social media.
Trend 1: Food & beverages via courier service
The temporary closure of all restaurants has been a tough test for the everyday gastronomy business. Delivery services are booming, especially for groceries of organic and regional farming. As the topic of mobile office occupies the office world, due to the high demand, many restaurateurs are increasingly focusing on delivery and thus save rent and personnel costs. However, since the typical gastro experience is shaped by communicative exchange and social interaction, it remains questionable to what extent this development will prevail.
Trend 2: Local and seasonal
The hashtag #supportyourlocal remains widely talked about. The goal is to support local stores and in doing so to buy locally and regionally. This awareness has been massively strengthened, especially among students and young people. Networks such as Solidarische Landwirtschaft (SoLaWi) are widely common. And for many people, going to the weekly market or the organic farm shop has developed from a trend to a lifestyle. People more sustainably deal with questions such as “what is regional, what is seasonal?” and the associated origin of their food.
Sustainability in the manner of PR work
As a PR agency we are recognizing these developments within the scope of our cooperation with clients of the food & beverages area. The Frankfurt starred chef Carmelo Greco, who has always relied on first-class products, has reconsidered his sources of supply in the current context: “In the past weeks we have talked with many farmers and producers of the region surrounding Frankfurt. We have tested their products and checked their production conditions. We will work with many of them in the future, especially if the production is environmentally friendly. “
Trend 3: Why not DIY?
Many DIY enthusiasts are now also very pragmatic when it comes to seasonal and regional food production: they simply grow their own food! Whether in gardens, on balconies or windowsills, photos of self-harvested fruits and vegetables fill the social media channels and thus make their own statement in the crisis. And so as well in the kitchen, there is more “home-made” food, with various preserving and cooking instructions enjoying growing popularity.
How can I identify trends as a food producer?
As a PR agency for F&B, culinary, enjoyment and travel clients, we have many years of know-how in the food sector. And we are always monitoring the latest developments. After all, we want to do exciting storytelling, bring off professional and creative PR measures and put our food clients’ products in the right light. These three elements help us with staying up to date:
- Track the change on social media
Food and beverages belong to the subjects most frequently posted on social media. Accordingly, these references show how people are involved with the topic of nutrition as well as which food ranks high within the different target groups.
- Focus on the megatrends
One trend determines the other. Globalization, individualization and the ongoing digitalization are developments which leave their footprints in every industry worldwide. If one understands this connection and breaks it down, interesting conclusions about sub-areas such as the food and beverage industry and thus also food PR can be drawn.
- Just wait and see
Trends do not emerge overnight. They are the result of a transition going on for years. Especially the food sector and the food service industry are still shaped by strong dynamics and permanent change. By continuous observation and consideration of the past years’ developments, one gets a good sense for upcoming innovations.
Food trends in the manner of PR work
As a PR agency we always stay on top of the latest food trends and transform our insights into useful marketing concepts and communication strategies.
With their instinct for trends, our client Aramark is a leader in this topic. As a pioneer in the industry, Aramark serves their guests creative dishes before they become a trend. We thereby support this work with a PR strategy convincing journalists and editors of target group-specific media. For example, this year we arranged a joint project between Aramark and the Zukunftsinstitut, in which Aramark chairman Jürgen Vogl and food trend researcher Hanni Rützler exchanged ideas on hot topics such as Corona, healthy nutrition, sustainability and the future of company catering.
You can view the teaser for the dialogue here.