It’s common to see articles about what’s new in America and what the industry needs to do to innovate and stay ahead. Looking outside of the market is important too, as international trends are a crucial reality in every industry. The exchange of trends is truly global in nature: countries and cultures have been “trend crossing” for years and it continues to grow. Canada mimics trends from Peru; London duplicates trends from France. Some of these trends are interesting and work well while others fall flat. Either way markets are testing them. Let’s see what’s trending around the world and discuss the plausibility of the U.S. market embracing it.
Fresh, Ready-To-Eat Meals in Glass Containers
A “take your own lunch to work” inspired trend, this is a concept that seems to be taking off in Brazilian markets. All-natural or gourmet options, packaged inside charming glass jar containers, are being offered from businesses that don’t have seating areas, selling them in high-end grocery stores or running their orders through direct sales online. Most of their websites are very creative, colorful and easy to navigate, allowing customers the ability to build their own plate, or jar in this case. According to the article “Cresce em São Paulo Serviço de Receitas Vendidas em Potes” (translation: “Growth in Service that Sells Recipes in Glass Containers”), by the Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo, a few businesses began offering this dining option in mid-2014 and the concept is becoming more popular as time goes by.
Available options for this concept:
- Special stews such as boeuf bourguignon or cassoulet
- Entrees such as pasta, chicken, beef or fish
- Healthy versions like specialized build-your-own salads with different types of grains, lettuce, fruits and veggies
- Snacks such as selected nuts or hummus of various flavors
- Desserts such as forest berries mousse or special recipe cakes
All of this variety can be ordered and delivered at your convenience, glass jars included. It is important to note these meals are not pre-made. The concept is to sell good quality and freshly made food, so online orders have to be made 72 hours in advance.
Considering the fact that Americans are constantly on the go, this trend has a great chance of being easily adapted and embraced by the American market.
In the QSR magazine article entitled “9 Fast Food Trends for 2015,” the author mentions that “do-it-yourself health” is one of the biggest trends of 2015. Establishments with healthier choices, allowing you to build and choose what goes into your food, are on the right track to attract customers. Considering this, and the fact that Americans are constantly on the go, this trend has a great chance of being easily adapted and embraced by the American market.
Nice Kids Share … and So Do Adults at High-End Restaurants
In Vancouver, a large variety of restaurants are betting on shareable menus. PreGel’s Marketing Specialist for Canada, Camille Bedu, tells us how this hot trend works in the Canadian market. “It’s usually a fixed price per person, and you order as many items as you want during the dinner to share with your table, or you pay per item. It’s the tapas concept, but very high-end restaurants are adhering to it in different and interesting ways.” The types of restaurants embracing this concept are generally more Asian fare, presenting dishes such as oysters, scallops, duck and mushrooms. They offer a regular single plate menu, but there is also a section that holds a prix fixe menu option, which includes a certain number of small plates for a per person price that ranges from $19.99 to $55 (CAD); $15 to $42 (USD) It is great for those who want to try a little of everything without having to pay for multiple full-sized meals. Confirming this trend, www.restaurantcentral.ca (Canada’s go-to website for foodservice professionals) points out in their article “Ten Food and Drink Trends for 2015,” that sharing plates will continue to be a must at Canadian restaurants this year. Also riding the wave of healthy and specialty foods, this concept easily allows for offering plates with gluten-free, vegan or dairy-free options, which caters to all customers’ dietary needs. American customers may already have a taste for tapas, but the one price per person option is attractive as well.
Artsy Pizza Brewery
Forget about the good ol’ greasy cheese and tomato pizza. According to the article “London Menu Trends 2015,” by the Lost in Catering London website, London’s newest fever is for pizza restaurants with gourmet ingredients. These hybrid locations will also offer the freshest pint of craft beer. This new concept combines the aspect of a brewery with a gourmet pizzeria, and offers a hipster/trendy atmosphere. Places like these have been popping up in London in a very exclusive way. You probably wouldn’t recognize one of them if you walked passed it on the street because part of the trendy atmosphere includes a very discrete facade, some don’t even have a sign at the door. The inside, however, looks quite different than the outside: retro-chic deco, and in some cases even art exhibitions can be found as soon as you step in. Restricted menu options and different ingredients are also unique features of the concept. Each restaurant offers a selection of four or six pizza options, and flavors such as sweet potatoes, eggs, walnuts, zucchini and lamb are among the norm.
This new concept combines the aspect of a brewery with a gourmet pizzeria, and offers a hipster/trendy atmosphere.
All these factors combine to create a whole new pizza eating experience that is referred to as “hipster pizza” style. Would this work in the U.S.? Not so sure about that. New niches are always fun when trending, but this doesn’t seem to be a concept that would remain for the long haul. As the name suggests, hipster trends are only “cool” when a very select few know about it, and after this point people tend to lose interest and move on to the next hot topic. Of course, pizza is one of America’s favorites, and so are local breweries – especially right now – so a better option for the market might be a hybrid of these two.
Whether you agree with these trends and the likelihood of their assimilation into the U.S. or not, it’s good practice to know what’s going on around the globe. And who knows? You might see these trends near you soon, or you might find yourself becoming the entrepreneur who brings them in!