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15 & 16 JUNE 2021


Gamification, individualised eating among emerging global dining trends: report

Growing consumer expectations continue to put more pressure on the foodservice competition.

The global foodservice industry is expected to grow 13% in the next five years, leading to an incremental value of US$359 billion, with technology providing digitalised experiences for customers according to a study by Euromonitor.

The market research company described four different areas that caters to the consumers’ growing demands. These are clean and green living, gamification, individualised eating experiences and creating innovations for the busy consumers.

Healthy-eating trends have become significant as customers prefer to dine more often in QSRs that uses sustainable packaging and serves vegan or gluten-free options.

Stephen Dutton, senior foodservice analyst at Euromonitor International, observed that they are seeing more restaurants embracing the idea of ‘hyper-localisation’, where operators get their ingredients from local suppliers or farmers in order to shorten the distance between the source and the restaurant. This reduces the environmental footprint and also makes sure that they serve fresher food.

“Food is at the heart of many causes from sustainability to the environment to food insecurity.

Restaurants are intimately involved with these issues, and consumers know this,” he said.

Restaurants are also seeing an increasing demand for single-portion meals in metropolitan cities, which is also related to the clean and green eating trends as single-portion meals reduces food waste and caters to customers with dietary control.

Third-party apps and aggregators are also driving this trend as they offer meal-plan services or a feature where customers can easily search for meals for a specific dietary preference.

Another trend is the increase of customer engagement through in-store games or gaming apps.

Gamification engages a consumer through challenges or games that may or may not have rewards. Through gamification, a brand can push to the forefront of the consumer’s mind when thinking about when and how to dine out and keep them returning for future visits,” Dutton explained.

One is example is PizzaExpress creating their own gaming app, DoughBall, where a customer needs to score as many DoughBalls through a mini football net. 

Lastly, busy consumers are also looking for more convenient dining options served on-the-go or outside restaurants that cater to their busy schedule.

Deliveroo and UberEats have revealed this year that they are further expanding their respective virtual restaurant networks in the UK.

“The battle to earn part of this additional revenue is more difficult than ever as consumer expectations are higher, placing more pressure on foodservice operators to incorporate quality into every inch of the experience or risk losing out to more daring concepts,” Stephen Dutton, senior foodservice analyst at Euromonitor International, said.

“Consumers are busier than ever. Technology bridges the gap between foodservice providers and busy consumer lifestyles. From identifying where to eat, to how consumers decide on their order and how orders are placed, diners expect technology to create a seamless experience for them.”

* Article and images courtesy of our partner, QSR Media.