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Christmas 2021: Insights 

Our Insights Executive, Anna, has a vast quantity of data at her fingertips. With access to the latest industry reports, market trends and consumer data, Anna is an expert at deciphering and collating what's relevant and important for our customers.

'This Christmas consumers will be making up for list time. We anticipate celebrations will be enjoyed out-of-home, with a quality of food that can't be replicated by consumers themselves but also within the home, where do-it-yourself food boxes could come into their own. 

Vegan and vegetarian options have seen some fantastic innovation this year and will play a large role in meeting consumer expectations. 

Read on for detail on flavour profiles, consumer behaviours and expectations plus the macro trends you can't afford to forget. The opportunities available to our customers are huge and we want to make sure you make the most of this festive season and all it brings.'

The Effects of the Pandemic

Hospitality operators had to make multiple changes to their operations throughout the pandemic and these should still be harnessed as we head into Christmas;

  • Digital Ordering and Payments - consumers are comfortable placing orders through QR codes or apps
  • Safety - consumers are still dining out less than pre-pandemic so give them the confidence to pay you a visit. Clearly communicate the measures you're taking
  • Local & British - supporting local and eating local is important to consumers so explicitly say this on your menus where relevant

Wondering what flavour profiles to include on your menu? We've got you;

  • 2020 was all about caramel, gingerbread, hazelnut, mint and orange - classic Christmas flavours. You'll recognise these from high street coffee menus. 
  • The key is to incorporate at least one flavour profile from each of the five categories below;
    1. Spices & Herbs - popular spices include cinnamon, mixed spice, chai and nutmeg
    2. Christmas Classics - think mulled wine, gingerbread, candy canes and Christmas pudding
    3. Fruits - orange, cherry or plum will be easiest to add to a festive menu
    4. Nuts - pistachios and chesnuts are especially relevant but all nuts are appropriate this time of year 
    5. Sweetness - salted caramel, molasses, honeycomb and dates to name a few
  • All of these flavours can be incorporated across your menus with hot and alcoholic drinks, sweet treats and themed menus.

 

A Taste Of Christmas

2021 Trends are still relevant

Have you read our blog post on 2021 food and beverage trends? Just because we are coming towards the end of the year doesn't mean these are no longer relevant! 

Adding a sense of nostalgia has been key throughout this year thanks to COVID-19. Whilst in lockdown many consumers turned to family favourites and years old recipes to bring some sort of connection at a time when we couldn't visit loved ones. Christmas is the perfect time to do this and can be simpler than you think - do one of your chefs have a recipe past down through the generations? Get it on the menu! Think a trifle is too old school? Tweak it slightly to bring it up to date! 

If Christmas isn't the time to indulge, then when is! Pull out all the stops for your customers with food and flavours they can't replicate at home.

Be sure to offer your customers a true Christmas experience - deck your space out, get the Christmas songs on and if willing, introduce some fun Christmas uniforms! 

Sustainability should never be a second thought. From food waste, your supply chain and convenience packaging, consumers have an eye for detail and will back you over others if you're making strides. With a third of consumers making conscious decisions to avoid brands which do not satisfy their judgement of being ‘sustainable’, you don't want to be left behind.

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Offices are reopening but flexible working is the future, does your menu work to-go?  The UK Food to Go market is predicted to increase to a value of £22.6bn by 2024 so whether it's coffee and a cake or a festive sandwich, consumers will want the option to takeaway. 

 

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Social media is truly leading the way with food trends. If your target demographic includes Gen Z and Alpha then make sure your food and drink is instagrammable. A recent study suggests that 69% of millennials choose to take a photo/ video of their food before eating which could lead to a large amount of free advertising if you take extra care in your presentation.

 

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Shop the Christmas range here 

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