Travel, Tourism & Hospitality

Technology and sustainability top of mind for F&B market

Despite slowing restaurant growth and shifts in consumer dining patterns, the food and beverage (F&B) market is still booming.

According to JLL’s Foodservice Trends 2020, Europe’s fast casual sector is expected to reach $17 billion in revenue by 2024, and with populations steadily increasing, the growth across the foodservice landscape is likely to continue.

Technology in the foodservice arena is prominent as ever as we enter the next decade. This is seen maturing in the global delivery market as part of the dining experience. Between 2017 and 2023, the online delivery market in Europe is forecasted to increase by more than $4 million dollars in revenue.

“Consumers value the demand for convenience,” said Paulina Herrmann, Foodservice Consultant at JLL and lead author of the report. “The convenience of using technology, cashless payments and service to your front door is driving restaurants to innovate and bring the dining experience to the consumer.”

With an eye towards the rest of 2020, JLL foodies around the world examined the foodservice trends that are leading the way across the Americas, Europe, MENA, and APAC regions:

“Future Forward” vs “Back to Basics” in the Americas: The increase towards automation has clearly identified that going forward it will play a significant role as a cheaper supplement to labour, especially in the fast food world. But, at the same time, on the consumer side there is a demand for restaurants, corporations and retailers to start incorporating more healthy ingredients on their menu. By 2021, there will be a supply of about 630,000 industry robots working on the labour line. Will robot workers create a savings opportunity for operators, so they can invest in better ingredients?

Time for Better Business in Europe: With rising competition, the food delivery market is skyrocketing with the help of technology. Between 2017 and 2023 in Europe restaurant to consumer delivery is forecasted to surpass $16 billion. As a result, we expect the growing trend of “dark kitchens” to continue to rise. In fact, Blackstone recently invested €8 billion ($8.6 billion) in a portfolio of warehouses and dark kitchens across Europe. But on top of this, consumers also care about the environment. Operators such as Starbucks are taking a significant stance to reduce plastic by creating a new cup design that does not include plastic straws, saving the use of 1 billion straws per year, worldwide.

Knowing MENA Knowing You: This region has two distinct separations, the Arabian Peninsula whose wealth is helping it become a global destination for high-end brands, and Africa, which has numerous development challenges. However, with a growing middle-class population in Africa, consumer expenditures are expected to rise to $2.1 trillion by 2025. As a result, the region has gained in popularity with international foodservice brands, spurring pockets of foodservice innovation in areas like Lagos, Cape Town, and Nairobi.
APAC- A Battle Between…: Dining across the Asia Pacific region is not just as simple as grabbing a quick bite to eat. A whole experience is involved, making each meal memorable and unique, but also setting a highly competitive dining scene for each operator in the Asian F&B market. At the same time, the demand for healthier food and sustainability is becoming more important across APAC. About 40 per cent of consumers are willing to pay for high quality ingredients, driving a lot of change and innovation. The battle between experience and mindful eating will continue to shape the market in interesting ways.

Global Movements: JLL Foodservice Consulting have been working with several brands to expand their markets globally. For many brands, global expansion is a key part of their “end game,” especially when they feel their home market is beginning to slow down. An example of a current brand expansion is Wendy’s moving from the US to Australia.

A.I. in Foodservice: What if restaurants had an Artificial Intelligence-based system? What if you made a reservation online where the AI system asked if you wanted a drink on arrival? What if the customer consented to sharing their geolocation, which enabled the AI to be notified when the guest was nearby? What if that drink was waiting at their table when they sat down? This is one of the many things new technology can do to integrate faster, more efficient customer experiences, removing the “unpleasant” elements (such as waiting for the check) of dining at a restaurant.

“In this new decade, we expect these six foodservice industry trends to continue to evolve, which will continue to create a highly competitive landscape,” shared Alexis Marcoux-Varvatsoulis who leads JLL Foodservice Consulting in MENA. “Restaurant growth may be slowing, but technology adoption is speeding up, so it’s up to the operators to innovate and meet the consumers where they are.” - TradeArabia News Service