Top 2016 foodie trends to watch out for


At the beginning of this year, Impos conducted a hospitality industry survey and received an overwhelming response from more than 400 hospitality business owners, managers and workers. The survey focused on a number of topics ranging from food and drink trends, venue fit outs and designs, technology in hospitality, and the challenges hospitality business owners face on a day to day basis.

The survey’s findings have been distributed throughout the media and been published on a range of mediums. The most recent publications on Open House Food Service Magazine, Bean Scene Magazine, Smart Company and Inside Small Business delve into the industry’s predictions for food and drink trends for the remainder of 2016.

Here’s the ‘top 2016 foodie trends to look out for’ from Inside Small Business:

Australian tastes are proving to be quite diverse, simultaneously embracing American-style dude-food venues as well as health- and diet-conscious venues with equal gusto, according to a survey on top 2016 foodie trends.

A survey of 400 hospitality business owners, managers and workers on food trends has found that “dude food” (including burgers and BBQ food), craft beer and cider are hot, while freakshakes and nose-to-tail eating is not.

Australia’s hospitality industry is moving towards sustainable eating, with hospitality experts placing locally sourced and home-grown produce at the top of their list of hot food trends for 2016. One in three (32%) also expect vegan, vegetarian and organic food to be hot this year. Another form of sustainable eating – nose-to-tail – is proving to be less popular, coming in the bottom three of identified trends.

Australian tastes are proving to be quite diverse, simultaneously embracing American-style dude-food venues as well as health- and diet-conscious venues with equal gusto (33% and 31% respectively). The research revealed that Australians value balance and variety, with extreme eating (extremely healthy or extremely unhealthy) and food-specific venues (such as those selling only one type of food such as jaffles) proving unpopular.

Which of these food trends will be ‘hot’ in 2016?

What’s Hot                                                                   What’s Not

Locally sourced/grow your own produce      44%        Extreme eating                 8%

Vegetarian / Vegan / Organic                          32%        Nose to tail eating           13%

Dude food / American burgers / BBQ            33%        Food-specific venues     13%

Eating out is usually a social experience involving people with different tastes. To please everyone, it is important for hospitality venues to offer some variety on their menus. As the data from our research shows, if you narrow your focus too much, you risk losing customers.

Drink trends: Artisanal alcohol on the rise

According to the majority of people surveyed (51%), hipsters’ love of artisanal products will see craft beer and cider reign supreme in drink trends this year. This is followed closely by locally made alcohol (38%) and craft spirits (31%). Meanwhile, premixed and bottled cocktails are on their way out (4%).

Australians are no longer content with the standard selection beers and basics at their local. We are more knowledgeable of the alcohol-making process and understand that not all drinks are made equal. In the pursuit to find the perfect drop, we have become more adventurous in what we’ll try. These days if a bar or pub is going to pull in the punters, it’s got to have a diverse drinks list.

When it comes to non-alcoholic drinks, health conscious juices (31%) and cold drip coffee (27%) are expected to remain popular, while freakshakes (8%) and high-end mocktails (9%) are expected to be less popular.

Which of these drink trends will be ‘hot’ in 2016?

What’s Hot                                                                    What’s Not

Craft beer and cider                                            51%        Pre-mixed or bottled cocktails           4%

Locally made alcohol                                         38%        Freakshakes                                           8%

Health conscious juice                                       31%        Mason jars                                              8%

Venue trends: The great outdoors

Australia’s love affair for both food and the great outdoors will take dining to a whole new level this year – with mobile locations and pop-ups forecast to be the most popular type of hospitality venue (36%), closely followed by outdoor venues such as floating bars and rooftops (34%).

In terms of design, the modern minimalist look (31%) is trending upwards, while Scandinavian (14%) and Retro (19%) is becoming less popular.

Which of these venue-design trends will have the greatest impact in 2016?

What’s Hot                                               What’s Not

Mobile venues                    36%                   Pub refurbishments        13%

Outdoor venues                 34%                   Scandinavian                    14%

Modern/minimalist          31%                   Retro                                   19%

Long lines to continue

Finally, in news that will be frustrating for some, the line-up for popular places show no sign of disappearing anytime soon, with the majority of respondents (58%) foreseeing the no-booking trend continuing this year.

Although lining up can be frustrating, most places these days do turn over patrons quite quickly, and so to do the queues outside. Taking walk-ins minimises the implications of non-showings, therefore much more profitable for the restaurant to do so. Venues don’t really turn many people away, and chances are if you do wait in line, you will get a table.

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