Robots, flying cars and meals in pills. Predictions for the future always sound, well, a little too futuristic. But, as we close in on 2020, serious forecasts for the year 2030 are starting to emerge, with two dropping only this week.
The first, from the National Restaurant Association in America, is a report on the projected state of the US restaurant industry. The second, from global market research firm Mintel, is a look at predicted consumer trends across the globe.
In our recent Food Trends 2020 whitepaper, we highlighted three key macro trends ripe for evolution, with plant-based developments, cuisines from the Asia-Pacific region and healthy eating/nutritional focus all expected to progress in the UK next year.
In 2030, aside from the expected advances in AI, VR and other abbreviated futurisms, some of the most interesting predictions stem from the likes of wellbeing and veganism, with farming, delivery and the very definition of a ‘restaurant’ all cropping up.
So, what American predictions could find their way across the pond? Will nutrition continue to play such an important role? And what exactly is a blood-based diet?
The delivery dream
In their collaborative 2030 report with American Express and Nestle Professional, the National Restaurant Association predicts that US restaurant industry sales will reach $1.2tn (quite a jump from the expected £863bn in 2019).
However, they also believe that the market will look incredibly different, thanks to the rise and rise of delivery. Smaller restaurant sizes, automated drive-through interactions, growth in cloud kitchens (rented kitchen space for delivery-only) and a greater emphasis on subscription services will all be commonplace.
While these predictions centre on the American sphere, we can see similar spikes in the UK market.
For example, there were 755m delivery visits in the year ending December 2018, an increase of 210m or 39% since December 2015.
Delivery increased its share of Britain’s foodservice industry from 5% of visits in 2015 to 7% in 2018. This could soon reach 9% based on The NPD Group’s prediction of a huge 28% increase in foodservice delivery visits by 2021.
The NRA’s US report also highlights the possibility of big tech companies such as Netflix or Amazon getting involved with the food delivery boom, saying: “An online retailer could leverage one-click ordering, logistics and delivery expertise to add meals to their subscriptions. Restaurants could move beyond current loyalty or rewards programs and offer flat-rate monthly subscription plans to customers.”
Meanwhile, nutrition and sustainability will drive American menus, says the NRA, and single-use restaurant packaging will evolve.
The advancement of genetic knowledge and the rise of ‘lifestyle diseases’ such as obesity and the various types of diabetes will create a growing demand for meals that provide specific health benefits to diners – a prediction shared and expanded on by Mintel.
Blood and guts
Health and wellbeing are key drivers in the food industry today and it’s a point we’ve talked about at length. Mintel, in their Global Consumer Trends report, see only an increase in holistic lifestyle approaches, saying that it “is becoming a key motivator of consumer behaviour, underpinned by convenience, transparency, and value.”
Before 2025, Mintel say that we’ll “see the demand for individual solutions start to impact traditional models of food consumption, with personalised meal kits and meal substitutes becoming mainstream.”
The likes of nootropics and CBD became more widespread propositions in 2019, and their popularity could be set to expand, with Mintel predicting that products touting mental health benefits will continue to gain momentum.
Interestingly, Mintel say that the benefits of blood-based solutions in food and drink will “become widely acknowledged.”
Blood-based diets are, in a nutshell, tailored food and drink structures to suit a person’s blood type. Taken up by some celebrities over the past year, the diet has not been particularly well received in the world of nutrition (so far).
Urban and vertically farmed food and local micro farms will produce most of the food that people consume by 2030, claim Mintel. We’ve recently highlighted the many benefits of vertical farming in particular, such as more nutritious plants, greater crop yields and faster growing times.
The most radical food prediction? They say that the consumption of red meat will move from mainstream, to luxury, to taboo!