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4 trendy things shaping the Foodservice industry

03/14/2024

4 trendy things shaping the Foodservice industry

4 trendy things shaping the Foodservice industry

If you are in the foodservice industry then here is your check in on the trends to start the year with. From sustainable solutions to artificial intelligence, read on to find out more. 

  1. Sustainable packaging

We all know the foodservice industry uses a lot of disposable packaging - some 1 trillion pieces of disposable products to be exact. Since people have been leaning towards third party delivery apps, a quarter of this packaging is used for go-to orders. That’s an outlandish amount of trash, making our planet worse off. 

So industry giants like McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s have taken strides to bring more sustainable packaging. It is not easy to match the convenience of plastic packaging, sustainable packaging has to be leak-proof, sturdy and travel friendly, all while also being easy on the wallet. 

We are seeing a lot of growth in this area with new products like bio-based plastics which are made from renewable resources and are compostable. Materials that are recycled many times to minimize waste and are minimalistic in design are also a growing trend in this space.

We are also seeing businesses start to offer packaging-as-a-service. For distributors, this is worthwhile, as they serve the same customers repeatedly. There is always a physical connection when goods are delivered to operators, and is an ideal point to return reusable packaging which can be cleaned and reused once again. 

  1. AI powered pricing

Artificial Intelligence is the latest buzzword, and for good reason - there are some brilliant applications of it in many industries. The adoption of e-commerce has made dynamic pricing quite commonplace, and now, with the emergence of artificial intelligence, advanced AI-based algorithms can be deployed to optimize prices by predicting purchasing behavior and the external environment. For distributors, this is a game changer - you can leverage AI powered pricing along with target pricing to really give your customers the best possible price they can imagine. 

  1. Plant-based menus

Plant-based food items are the latest hot picks by diners everywhere - with new products like plant-based shrimp and even ‘raw’ sushi! Plant based products are great options, which offer great health benefits, reduced environmental impact, improved animal welfare and are allergy friendly - guilt-free indulgences for the socially conscious diners. Distributors can get ahead of the game here. Start carrying more plant based products in their catalogs and encourage operators to try out new dishes and variations. 

  1. Dining on a budget

Even though disposable incomes have shrunk, consumers are still keen to eat away from home. But, with less money to spend there is a growing demand for dining on a budget. The food away from home index is still relatively high, checking in at 5% year-on-year in the latest update in January 2024 

Operators will have to focus on offering value meals, and offer discounts, specials and other promotions to attract consumers. Operators may downsize menus and variations offered. This will flow back to distributors in terms of operators seeking better, more competitive prices for products that they purchase. 

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