Home Blog 2018 2018 Outlook for Consumer Eating Trends
Jan 5, 2018

New Year, New Realities

Subscribe to our blog

Technology, generational change, and emerging consumer food values will result in new realities for both retail food and foodservice in 2018 and beyond.

  • Retail food and foodservice will remain in a low growth environment - Our aging population is shifting more consumers into lower consumption life stages at both restaurant and retail.  At the same time, emerging generations illustrate eating patterns that are a departure from established trends of the past.  These macro demographic shifts create headwinds for total food and beverage consumption that are difficult to overcome for both food retailers and foodservice operators. In a stagnant market, there will be retailers, brands, and restaurants that find growth through a differentiated value proposition, on-trend attributes, and/or  superior quality, but that growth will be mirrored as declines for other players.
  • Brick and mortar retail disruption will accelerate -  Almost 8 percent of NPD’s measured universe of $1.8 trillion in consumer purchasing is now online.  In some industries, online penetration is as high as 30 percent.  In both retail food and foodservice, e-commerce penetration is far lower than the average across industries but the gap is shrinking fast.  We are now at a tipping point where a critical mass has adopted ecommerce in groceries, restaurant meals, and subscription meal kits.  Brick and mortar grocery and on-premise foodservice is here to stay, but the landscape is being reshaped dramatically.  Manufacturers, retailers, and restaurant operators who best leverage digital commerce will win in a challenging environment.  Retailers and restaurant operators who reinvent the brick and mortar experience will remain standing.
  • Convenience is being re-defined - From the 80’s through the 2000’s we witnessed the convenience revolution as baby boomers focused on career and family formation. They found value in convenience foods that offered time saving meal solutions and outsourcing meal prep to restaurants.  Today convenience is as highly valued as ever but it’s taking on a new form.  Consumers, who now desire natural foods, are shifting from convenient food to convenient preparation and procurement.  This contributes to the growth in grocery ecommerce and restaurant delivery.  In addition, American kitchens will be home to a variety of appliances and gadgets to facilitate cooking at home
  • We are going “in” to eat more - Regardless of where the food is sourced or who prepares it, our meals are increasingly being consumed at home. Thanks to a changing workforce, the ease of online shopping, and the boom in streaming entertainment, there are fewer reasons than ever to leave the house.  The most popular place to eat out this year will be our own home.  49 percent of dinners purchased from a restaurant are consumed at home, and many in home meals are a blend of dishes we prepare and those we purchase ready-to-eat from a foodservice establishment.  Manufacturers, retailers, and operators today can win by making it easier to get foods and beverages to the home.
  • Wellness….and Health - There is no doubt that a healthy lifestyle movement has changed American eating patterns.  The shift to perimeter of the store, the rise in consumption of foods with organic, non GMO and natural labels, and a rise in the desire to avoid sugar are all evidence of healthy attitudes that have been emerging for several years.  But now, the goal may be shifting to a focus on wellness.  Consumers today are opening up to food as a means of feeling good that can include good health and an indulgent reward.  In either case, authenticity will be valued. One the one hand, authenticity in the form of real, natural, minimally altered food.  And on the other, an unapologetic honesty about the feel good aspect of a food like its taste, nostalgia, or the experience it is connected to – even if that food may not be the most healthful option.

 

A happy and successful 2018 to all!


Upcoming Event


Finding Data-driven Opportunities for Growth

Presentation Title: State of Product Categories and Formats
Presenter: David Portalatin, Vice President, Food Industry Advisor, The NPD Group
Date & Time: Thursday, August 13 at 12:00pm CT
Location: Virtual
Description: A fact-based analysis of how COVID -19 has reshaped the foodservice industry not just for today but for tomorrow. This data-driven session will explore operator segments, product categories, product formats, and geographies revealing insights that will help manufacturers collaborate across the supply chain. Prepare for the road to recovery by learning what has happened and how to overcome headwinds in the future.

Register Now

2nd Annual Trends and Innovations, a Sosland Publishing Seminar

Presentation Title: Embracing the OMinchannel Opportunity
Presenter: David Portalatin, Vice President, Food Industry Advisor, The NPD Group
Date and Time: Wednesday, August 26, 2020, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. EDT (1:00 p.m. CDT)
Location: Virtual
Description: Finding white space in the rapidly evolving retail marketplace is difficult. Stay a step ahead by learning about how consumer perceptions of different retail models are affecting purchasing patterns.

Register Now

Stay current in your industry
SUBSCRIBE

Related Content

Tagged: Foodservice


Now More Than Ever, Local Means Business
Now More Than Ever, Local Means Business

During COVID-19 crisis, Canadian consumers are being encouraged to buy local and support local independent restaurants, food suppliers, farmers, or suppliers.

U.S. Restaurant Chain Customer Transaction Declines Remain Relatively Flat in W/E July 26
U.S. Restaurant Chain Customer Transaction Declines Remain Relatively Flat in W/E July 26

U.S. major restaurant chain customer transaction declines in the W/E July 26 vs year ago were a continuation of the relatively flat pattern seen over the last several weeks. The loss of CARES Act enhanced unemployment benefits could hurt the industry in the weeks ahead.

The Struggle is Real for U.S. Full Service Restaurants as Visit and Transaction Declines Stay in the Double-Digits
The Struggle is Real for U.S. Full Service Restaurants as Visit and Transaction Declines Stay in the Double-Digits

Full service restaurants (FSRs) were hit hard when the COVID pandemic resulted in shelter-at-home orders and mandated dine-in closures. With most FSR business being on-premises dining, visits to FSRs were down -47% in the April, May, and June quarter compared to same quarter year ago.

U.S. Restaurant Industry Recovery Stalls with No Improvement in Transaction Declines in Six Weeks
U.S. Restaurant Industry Recovery Stalls with No Improvement in Transaction Declines in Six Weeks

In W/E July 19, restaurant chain transactions are down -12% vs year ago, compared to -14% in prior week. Improvements in transaction declines have been stalled for six weeks.

Newsletter

Subscribe and get key market trends and insights relevant to your industry each month.

We will not sell your information. View privacy notice. | Cookie Settings

Follow Us

© 2020 The NPD Group, Inc.