30 Sep Food + Beverage Trends – Europe 2015
On a recent trip to Europe match Director Mike Hammer, noticed three key food fashion trends that could make their way to New Zealand shores. There was an increasing preponderance of fresh food and food of provenance in Europe and this is definitely something we are beginning to notice in New Zealand too.
1. Food Emporiums
In London and Paris, fresh food was a key feature in better-end department stores. Rainbows of colourful fruits and vegetables covered the shelves of Harrods, Harvey Nicolls and Selfridges. Delicate glass cabinets were stocked with freshly cut meats at Galeries Lafayette along with perfect piles of fresh spices and herbs.
Bon Marche Paris was the world’s first ever modern department store built in 1852. In the 1980’s it was purchased by the luxury group LVMH who have invested heavily in the department store and its subsidiary, La Grande Epicentre de Paris. True to it name, La Grande Epicentre has become the centre of gastronomy in Paris, offering a vast array of fruits and vegetables, cheeses, local macarons and chocolates.
Mike thinks this trend reflects consumer need for a ‘tangible experience’ and the growing demand for quality fresh, local foods. Over the past 10 years in the US “consumption of fresh foods grew 20% to more than 100 billion “eatings” per year” and consumption is forecasted to exceed 120 billion by 2018”. We are seeing strong growth in organic products and products of known provenance. This trend for fresh, local food is something to keep in mind when examining the predicted demand for further convenience retail in Auckland CBD.
2. Produce Markets
Produce markets are alive and well as demonstrated at the Borough Market in London. Fresh fruit and vegetables, local cheeses, homemade ciders/craft beers and fresh juice bars lined the streets. A key feature was the ability to ‘grab and go’, the markets catered to a ‘grazing’ customer. Food was quick and easy but at the same time high quality.
3. Café Courts
It’s an idea that we’ve touched on briefly, but the food court is transforming. Malls, shopping centres and department stores are introducing the café court, offering a curated selection of top-notch restaurants, cafes and ‘good-food-fast’. While these stores still have a grab and go component, the selection is often healthier and better quality than fast-food type operators that dominated these courts in the past. Gone are the vast, desolate seating areas, replacing these are small pockets of individually designed eating zones achieving higher service levels.
Some malls/department stores are removing the food court all together and focusing on the sale of artisan food products, or food emporiums as mentioned above. Often these environments invite the customer to taste the product or become involved in cooking demonstrations etc. Harvey Nichols in London even houses its own champagne bar, taking food and beverage in this category to a whole new level.